The Gambling Commission has given its OK for Allwyn’s acquisition of Camelot UK
UK.- The British Gambling Commission has approved Allwyn’s acquisition of Camelot UK. The next National Lottery operator will acquire the incumbent, putting an end to a legal challenge against the regulator’s decision to award the licence to Allwyn.
Camelot UK has announced that its chief executive Nigel Railton, chairman Sir Hugh Robertson and executive director Matt Ridsdale will leave the business upon completion of the sale. Railton has been with Camelot for 24 years, spending the last five as CEO after passing through the roles of financial controller, group chief financial officer and strategy director.
Robertson, previously chair of the British Olympic Association, spent four-and-a-half years as Camelot UK’s independent non-executive chairman. The changes will take effect when Allwyn completes its acquisition of the company from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
Allwyn has named Clare Swindell and Neil Brocklehurst, both already at Camelot, as co-chief executives following Railton’s departure. Sir Keith Mills is expected to be appointed as chair. Camelot will continue to run the National Lottery separately from Allwyn UK until the end of its licence in January 2024.
Swindell joined Camelot as chief financial officer in 2017. She previously served as group CFO at Dunnhumby and worked in senior finance roles at Tesco. Brocklehurst has been at Camelot for 15 years and has served as commercial director since 2018.
The Gambling Commission awarded the fourth National Lottery licence to Allwyn in September 2022. The new licence begins in February of next year, bringing an end to Camelot’s three-decade stint as operator of the lottery since its inception in 1994.
Camelot attempted to challenge the decision in the courts, but Allwyn reached an agreement in December to acquire the outgoing operator for a reported £100m. It’s since reached a deal to also acquire the company’s US arm, Camelot Lottery Solutions.
Railton said: “I am so proud of what we at Camelot have achieved since launching the National Lottery and, in particular, the successes since I took over as CEO.
“I believe we can say with confidence that we delivered on the commitments we made at the time of the strategic review in 2017, and that the plan that we built and executed together has delivered far in excess of what we had forecast.
“The UK National Lottery is in its best-ever shape as we work on the transition to Allwyn UK and I would like to thank my colleagues at Camelot for all they have done, and will continue to do, to ensure the UK continues to have a thriving and healthy National Lottery.”
Robertson added: “It’s been an enormous privilege to have been Camelot’s Chairman. In the first six months of this financial year, Camelot reported the highest-ever first-half returns to good causes in the history of The National Lottery. This performance is the result of the commitment of each and every one of my colleagues, to whom I would like to give my heartfelt thanks.
“I would particularly like to thank Nigel for his amazing contribution to Camelot during his 24 years with the organisation and, in particular, for leading the UK business to deliver record performances during his time as CEO.”
A smooth transition for the National Lottery
Allwyn said its acquisition of Camelot would permit a smooth transition and create “greater clarity and certainty” for the National Lottery, for Camelot employees and for the good causes that it supports.
Allwyn Group chief executive and Allwyn UK interim CEO Robert Chvátal said: “This marks an important milestone in our journey to become the operator of the National Lottery; acquiring Camelot will help ensure a smooth transition from the third to the fourth licence, while bringing together the collective expertise and technical know-how of two highly experienced lottery operators.
“We are thrilled to welcome Camelot into the Allwyn family. We are united by our common passion: to protect and improve The National Lottery, and the good causes it supports.”
He added: “I would like to thank Sir Hugh and Nigel for their contribution to the success of the National Lottery. I am delighted to appoint Clare and Neil as co-chief executives, both of whom have enormous experience in the operation of Camelot and the National Lottery.”