Camelot fined £3.15m for mobile app errors

National Lottery operator Camelot has been fined by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for three errors occurring on its mobile app which affected thousands of players.

The first failure which led to the £3.15 million penalty was an instance in which up to 20,000 NationaL Lottery app users were informed that their winning draw-based ticket was actually a non-winner when scanning the ticket via its QR code between November 2016-September 2020.

Secondly, 22,210 players were charged for and received two tickets despite only purchasing one draw-based ticket. However, the UKGC noted that Camelot had refunded duplicate wagers, and in cases where the duplicates were winners these were still honoured. 

Lastly, the app sent out marketing measures to customers self-excluded via Gamstop or who had been identified by Camelot as showing signs of gambling related harm. 

A total of 65,400 players who fell into one or both of these two categories received marketing material from the app, although none were permitted to purchase any National Lottery products. 

Andrew Rhodes, Gambling Commission Chief Executive, said: “We are reassured that Camelot has taken steps to make sure that their National Lottery app is fit for purpose.

“However we must caution Camelot that any failings on their duties will be met with consequences. Today’s announcement reinforces that any operator failing to comply with their licence requirements will be investigated by the Commission and we will not hesitate to issue fines if requirements are breached.”

The £3.15 million fine will not be paid to the UKGC but instead will be directed towards Good Causes by Camelot, which remains the operator of the National Lottery until February of 2024. 

Camelot’s incumbency as National Lottery operator comes to an end in two years time after nearly three decades – the firm having first secured the licence in 1994 – with the fourth contract handed to Czech pan-European lottery firm Allwyn.

The announcement was made last Tuesday (15 March) meaning there are now three more days left in the 10 day legal standstill period. Camelot CEO Nigel Lawton remarked at the time that the company is now “carefully reviewing the Gambling Commission’s evaluation before deciding on our next steps”.

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