Sir Richard Branson’s undoubted genius for timely PR has convinced BBC reporters that he is seriously contemplating the launch of a non-profit rival to Camelot – the dragon that slew Sir Richard in the recent combat for the franchise to run Britain's National Lottery [WAMN: 20-Dec-00].

According to Branson’s People's Lottery mouthpiece, chief executive Simon Burridge, the "huge fall-off in sales" of tickets for Camelot's current lottery operation could influence Sir Richard’s final decision.

"If nothing were done about [the sales slump] then the real risk is that good causes would suffer unduly and obviously we would need to look at something to redress that," a concerned Burridge told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme. "The reason the People's Lottery joined the contest in the first place,” he claimed, “was to try and maximise the amount of money that went to good causes”.

No mention was made of where the money would come from for a venture as massive and risk-fraught as challenging the UK government-backed lottery.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)