HomeSportsGolf'Poorly managed' UK lottery license process in need of upheaval

‘Poorly managed’ UK lottery license process in need of upheaval

The Financial Times reports that Allwyn announced on Saturday its bid to buy Camelot for £100 million in order to ease the transfer of operations before Allwyn is set to officially take over the 10-year National Lottery licence in February 2024.

Camelot handled the National Lottery operation for 28 years before the Gambling Commission chose Czech-based conglomerate Allwyn through a highly controversial and hotly contested bidding process.

Camelot appealed to turn over the decision in court and demanded a delay of the handover of the £6.4bn contract. Such a delay opened the lottery to the risk of being suspended for the first time in UK history.

The Gambling Commission warned, “In the worst scenario, there will be a gap in service between the expiry of the third licence on 31 January 2024 and the commencement of the fourth licence. The commission anticipates there will be an overall shortfall of payment to good causes of at least £1 billion and, in the case of an interregnum, considerably more.”

Labour MP Kevin Brennan also released a statement explaining, “Any delay in the handover of the lottery that denies money going to good causes would be a disaster, particularly at a time when people are facing increasing hardship. It would be better for everyone if this matter was resolved quickly and the new lottery operator took over as soon as possible.”

While Camelot dropped its legal challenge in September, Camelot and its technology supplier International Game Technology (IGT) is pursuing financial damages of up to £600 million. Funds that would be taken from the National Lottery’s good causes budget.

These proceedings have led a cross-party group of MPs to conclude that the UK’s gambling regulator oversaw a “poorly managed” competition process. The committee has since called on the Gambling Commission to “review its licence competition design process”.

Two UK National Lottery ticket stands just inside the main entrance of the Tesco Extra superstore in Yarrow Road, Tower Park, Poole, Dorset, England. The lottery terminal is some way to the right, out of the picture.
Chris Downer/Wikimedia Commons
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