Express owner Desmond could take on lottery after Camelot hints it might step aside

Daily Express owner Richard Desmond is mulling a bid to run the National Lottery after it emerged current operator Camelot may not renew its licence.

Desmond has run the Health Lottery since 2011 and has raised £35 million for health-related causes, according to the Daily Express.

If he won the licence, Desmond has pledged to slash ticket prices to £1 and give all profits to charity. In January Camelot raised the price of a ticket to £2.

“I would be very happy to bid to run the National Lottery, which I will make bigger, better and British as well as far more cost-effective,” said Desmond.

“I will raise more money for good causes and put all the profits back to support charities and good causes.

“Unlike Camelot’s well-paid directors and Canadian bosses, I will not take a penny in remuneration. And of course, I will put the ticket price back to a pound.”

The possibility of the Northern & Shell chairman taking over the £6.9 billion lottery emerged as Camelot chief executive told a conference in Israel that that the company might not look to renew its licence when it comes up in 2023.

Thompson and Camelot failed to get Desmond’s Health Lottery licence revoked during a High Court battle last August.

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