The British gambling regulator has denied reports that it has chosen to give Camelot control of the National Lottery for the fourth time.
UK.- Camelot Group, the lottery operator owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, has run the UK’s National Lottery since its inception in 1994, with several controversial licence competitions along the way.
With the next licensee due to be announced this month, one newspaper claims the Gambling Commission has already made a decision and will stick with Camelot for a fourth term.
The Daily Telegraph claims that Camelot had been awarded “preferred bidder” status from the Gambling Commission, signifying the regulator’s endorsement of its bid over those of the three other contenders: Allwyn (formerly Sazka), Sisal (which is in the process of being acquired by Flutter) and Health Lottery operator Northern & Shell.
The Telegraph claims Camelot has scored highest on the criteria used to assess the bids and that the result has already been passed to UK culture secretary Nadine Dorries. The Gambling Commission has said that the report is inaccurate.
It said in a statement: “We are still in the process of evaluation and today’s Daily Telegraph piece is simply based on false and inaccurate information,” it said. “We have asked them to remove the article in its current form from the newspaper’s website.
“Our job is to run the best competition we possibly can – one that is fair and open, and results in the best outcome for players and good causes. The board of commissioners make the final decision and will inform the government when the final decision is made.”
The winner of the National Lottery tender was due to be announced in September 2021, but the decision was delayed and is now expected this month. Camelot’s current licence was also extended another time, with the new, fourth licence period now to start in February 2024.
Last week, it emerged that Flutter had written to the Gambling Commission insisting on the importance of the lottery being run by a UK-listed company.