The National Lottery is going online with games similar to its scratch cards.
There are five luck-based games on offer, ranging from a simple animated scratch card to an online 'Flirtathon' where players try out chat-up lines with members of the opposite sex.
Users must register with the site using a debit card and there are additional registration details for 16-19 year olds.
"We'll only take money that is already available in users' debit card accounts," said a Camelot spokesperson.
"This is just the first stage. Draw-based games like Lotto will be online hopefully by the end of the year, on Sky Active by spring 2004 and on mobiles by summer 2004."
The company hopes that the move will boost revenues, which have been falling recently as fewer people play the lottery.
However, some groups have criticised the move.
Rachel Lampard, parliamentary and political affairs secretary of the Methodist Church, said: "The fundamental problem with online sites like these is that it has been demonstrated to be the most addictive form of gambling.
"You're on your own, there's no peer pressure to moderate spending and it's easy to forget how long you've spent gambling.
"We would like to see the requirement that online gambling has a clock facility to help users keep track of time."
Research company Datamonitor estimates that online betting and gaming revenues will reach $10bn (£6.35bn) by 2005.
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