The UK lottery operator Camelot has denied suggestions that it was attempting to get rid of charity lotteries before taking over the license for the Irish Lottery later this year.
The suggestions were made by Fianna Fáil TD Seán Fleming, who met with Camelot representatives last year.
Speaking on Wednesday, Mr. Fleming told RTÉ’s News at One program that Camelot made it very clear they considered charitable lotteries to be in competition with the National Lottery and wished to get rid of them.
"This is part of an agenda for Camelot to get a clear pitch so they will have no competition out there in the scratch-card market," Fleming explained, but Camelot strongly denies the validity of Fleming's statements.
When he was asked about the matter on Thursday, Fleming appeared to go back on much of what he previously said, stating Camelot had expressed 'concerns' about charitable lotteries, but never said it wanted to get rid of them. Fleming further stated he'd meant to say the Minister for Public Expenditure was "Trying to clear the pitch of competitors before the Government embarked on privatization."
"Any suggestion that Camelot wants to get rid of charitable lotteries is inaccurate," a Camelot representative said. "On the contrary, Camelot is fully supportive of charitable lotteries and happily co-exists with them in the UK.
Camelot already faces stiff competition from Richard Desmond's Health Lottery. Last year the company tried and failed to get the Health Lottery's license revoked.