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British Lotteries

The lottery system in the U.K. consists of the main National Lottery and small local, society (charitable) and private lotteries. Lotteries are available through land-based outlets as well as online. Unlike other types of gambling, where gamblers have to be 18, the minimum age to participate in a lottery drawing is 16.

The National Lottery in the United Kingdom was established on 19 November 1994. It is regulated by the National Lottery Commission and operated by Camelot Group plc. The lottery has over 27,000 retailers.

Local, society and private lotteries are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. Some of the smaller lotteries are not regulated by any government agency and are not required to register or obtain a license.

In 2006, the National Lottery Commission began the process of looking for a new operator to run the National Lottery. The bidding process began in 2006 with an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from the Lottery Commission. Bids were received from Camelot Group plc and Sugal & Damani UK Limited. Camelot Group plc was chosen in August 2007 to run the National Lottery.

In January 2008, the Treasury announced it was considering changing to a gross profits tax system, which would allow more money to go to charity. Currently 28% of total National Lottery revenue goes toward charitable causes.

Residents of the United Kingdom may also play the Euro Millions, a European lottery that pools the stakes of participating countries.
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