MPs warn up to £1bn of Lotto charity cash could be siphoned off by legal battle

Oh dear, Nadine Dorries to decide – Owl

MPs urge ministers to stop up to £1BILLION of Lotto money earmarked for UK good causes being spent on Canadian teachers’ pensions amid legal battle over future of game

  • Camelot fighting Gambling Commission decision to let someone else run game 
  • European lottery operator Allwyn preferred applicant for the fourth licence
  • MPs worried about scale of possible damages that Camelot could receive  
  • Owned by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which has made £300m since 2017 (Extract)

Camelot is seeking to have the decision overturned and be awarded the licence but the Gambling Commission wants to go ahead and give it to Allwyn before the court rules, arguing to do otherwise ‘poses a significant risk’ of reducing cash going to good causes.

However, the former chief executive of Camelot, Dame Dianne Thompson warned earlier this year that going ahead and then losing the case to Camelot could lead to massive compensation. 

She said drain up to £1billion otherwise destined for good causes via the National Lottery Community Fund and demanded the decision be delayed.

Now MPs are concerned that Camelot could scoop massive damages, cash that would go to its owner, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Tory MPs including Hastings and Rye’s Sally-Ann Hart and ex-Tory vice-chairman Ben Bradley have written to Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries asking that she take steps to make sure money earmarked for good causes is not at risk.

In a letter seen by MailOnline they say that it would be ‘an unacceptable cost to the British taxpayer’ at a time when the economy and civil society is under severe pressure.’