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Camelot fined £90k for online lotto snafu

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Camelot - the outfit that runs the UK's National Lottery - has been fined £90,000 for getting some customer charges wrong in 2004.

Its online subscriptions system lets players pay for lotto games online and even set up direct debit agreements for repeat draws.

However, its regulator, the National Lottery Commission, found that Camelot was "in breach of its licence obligations...following problems with the implementation of an online subscriptions system in September and October 2004".

"The problems that arose were limited to specific areas of the system and resulted in incorrect charging and crediting of some players accounts and disruption to draw entries, including failed and duplicate entries," said the watchdog in a statement.

"Though consumers did not receive the level of service they should have, the Commission is confident that all affected players have been identified and compensated accordingly and that funds for good causes were not adversely affected. Camelot co-operated fully during the investigation," it said.

Camelot said that the issue was a teething problem that affected a small number of players. On spotting the glitch the lottery operator moved to ensure that none of the 150 or so punters affected lost out financially.

"This is a historical issue which occurred in 2004 and Camelot has since gone on to develop the most successful interactive lottery in the world," a spokesman for Camelot told us, adding that the firm "accepts the decision of the National Lottery Commission to levy the fine".

The fine has already been paid and comes from Camelot's profits and not cash generated for good causes. ®

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