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Richard Branson bids for Camelot

Last Updated: Tuesday 24th November 2009, 08:26 am

National Lottery Ever since the National Lottery launched back in 1994 Virgin Boss Sir Richard Branson has been trying to get his hands on the license. Twice in the past he has bid for the franchise but both times has lost out to Camelot. Four years ago he vowed never to contest another National Lottery bid but as we know he is not a man to accept defeat lightly and now it looks like he may just get what he always wanted as Richard Branson bids for Camelot.

Sir Richard Branson has always wanted to take control over the National Lottery to run it as a non-profit organisation with 100% of the profits going to charity. This would mean millions of pounds extra each year would go to good causes. At present Camelot make over £1 million a week in profit and pay their company directors huge salaries. Sir Richard Branson has many times been quoted as saying the National Lottery is a license to print money and when you consider Camelot is now valued at over £450 million we can't say we disagree with him.

This time round instead of bidding for the National Lottery license Sir Richard Branson is aiming to take over the whole company. Camelot is owned by five equal shareholders and four of these have put their stakes up for sale; De La Rue, Thales, Fujitsu and Cadbury.  The Royal Mail is the fifth shareholder and although they do not want to sell they will if the price is high enough.

Sir Richard Branson who is not acting as part of the Virgin brand has teamed up with Dutch-owned People's Postcode Lottery and is aiming to take over the controlling share of Camelot. Sadly even if this bid is successful it does not mean will we see a none profit lotto any time soon as the current franchise still has nine years left to run and the new owners of Camelot will not be allowed to alter the terms of the licence.

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