Page 5: Operating in a competitive environment
Camelot has set clear strategic objectives for its second licence period. These include:
- to deliver target returns to Good Causes in a socially responsible way
- to increase the number of players and total sales
- to maximise player and retailer satisfaction through high levels of service
- to retain the trust and support of the general public
- to deliver healthy returns to shareholders.
In order to meet these objectives effectively, Camelot feels that there needs to be more consistency in the regulation of an already highly regulated industry. Camelot believes that there are too many conflicting regulations covering different aspects of gambling eg gaming, betting, bookmaking, pools, bingo and too many lottery specific regulations. The company wishes to see more consistency in the regulation of different forms of gambling. Camelot is particularly concerned about the unequal tax regimes. In recent years the UK government has abolished the tax on bingo and on betting in order to protect the huge UK gambling industry from off-shore operators who escaped UK taxes and could offer more attractive returns. This has allowed UK-based bingo operators and bookmakers to make their own products more attractive.
It seems likely that in the near future the level of regulation for competitors to the National Lottery will be reduced and they will be allowed to offer bigger prizes eg allowing rollovers for bingo with far higher jackpot prizes.
Faced with this increased competition, Camelot sees the regulatory regime in which it operates as a barrier to rapid and flexible response. The company believes that the only way to achieve a more effective balance between its own commercial requirements and the needs of customers is to allow it greater self-regulation. It argues that eight years of experience of operating the National Lottery has demonstrated its willingness and ability to operate safeguards and respect rules; giving it more freedom of action carries very little risk.
Camelot is heavily constrained by over 2000 rules and regulations, some of which it feels are more disabling than enabling. The company feels that the level of external regulation should decrease in order to create a more competitive climate, while still providing all of the necessary safeguards.
Meeting quality standards
International quality standards are awards given to organisations which prove consistently over a period of time that they can guarantee certain levels of performance. Camelot works within a sophisticated quality framework to ensure that it is transparent and accountable and operates to the highest standards of corporate governance and is a UK leading company in the development of theory and practice of corporate social responsibility. This includes: Recognised accreditation for:
- Processes: ISO 9001.
- Employee Investment: Investors in People.
- Security: BS7750.
- A Staff Consultative Forum.
- A community investment strategy including an independent charitable foundation and an employee participation programme.
- A full social and ethical audit of the company.