Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what discussions his Department has had with (a) the National Lottery Commission and (b) Camelot on Camelot's application to operate certain commercial services in addition to the National Lottery; and if he will make a statement; [320293]

(2) what steps his Department is taking to ensure the National Lottery Commission consults stakeholders and other interested parties on the implications for its core National Lottery business and brand of Camelot's application to operate certain commercial services; and if he will make a statement. [320294]

Mr. Sutcliffe: My officials and I have regular meetings with both the National Lottery Commission and Camelot about the full range of National Lottery regulation issues, and the possibility of Camelot providing commercial services which are ancillary to the operation of the National Lottery has been discussed in that context.

The approval of the National Lottery Commission is required before the National Lottery operator can undertake any ancillary activity and the commission is currently considering a proposal from Camelot to offer commercial services using National Lottery terminals. The commission will consider the proposal in light of its statutory duties and therefore will take into account issues such as the implications for the core National Lottery business and brand.

The commission is currently consulting on the EU/competition law considerations which may arise from the proposal, as these are issues on which those already offering such services have a direct interest. The commission considers that it will have sufficient information to exercise its discretion properly, without consulting on the implications for the core National Lottery business and brand.