The UK Gambling Commission has fined Camelot £3m for breaching the terms of its operating license.
The punishment is related to the £2.5 million the National Lottery operator paid out to an apparently fraudulent winner in 2009.
According to Camelot CEO Andy Duncan, the pay-out was made in accordance with Camelot’s “damaged ticket prize process”. But what seemed “a reasonable decision to take based on the evidence available” was later reviewed when it became apparent that the ticket had been “deliberately damaged”.
Following its investigation, the UKGC concluded that, “it could not be certain that a fraud had taken place… it was more likely than not that a fraudulent prize claim had been made and paid out.”
The bogus claimant was revealed by the media to be one Edward Putman, a convicted rapist who didn’t let his massive win deter him from continuing to claim state benefit.
When new information relating to his ‘winning’ ticket emerged in 2015, Putnam was arrested and charged with fraud. He was released without charge due to lack of evidence.
The £3m fine includes both the £2.5 million payday that ought to have gone to charitable causes plus an additional £500,000 to punish Camelot for its wrongdoing.
“Camelot’s failures are serious and the penalty package reflects this,” said UKGC CEO Sarah Harrison.