Gambling Commission criticised for cost of National Lottery tender

The Gambling Commission
The Gambling Commission

The British regulator has been attacked in the media for a jump in its admin costs for the tender.

UK. Britain’s Gambling Commission has come under fire in the press for awarding itself £155m from National Lottery ticket sales to cover the costs of the tender for the lottery’s next licence.

The Daily Mail blasted the British regulator on Saturday accusing it of making “a raid” on National Lottery funds to cover its admin costs, which were £50m over budget. The newspaper says the money should have been used “to support cash-starved charities and community groups”.

The newspaper revealed that in a letter to Dame Meg Hillier, chair of the UK House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, the interim chief executive office of the Gambling Commission, Andrew Rhodes, said the cost of licensing the lottery had increased to £154.8m from an initial budget of £102.9m.

He argued that the extra funds taken from National Lottery ticket sales represented just 0.7 per cent of the more than £14.5bn generated for good causes.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, vice-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling-Related Harm, also criticised the regulator. He said: “This is another example of the appalling way the lottery is run. The proportion of funds going to good causes has plummeted.”

The Gambling Commission said: “We have made every effort to keep costs low while ensuring that we fulfil our statutory duties and deliver the best possible outcome for the National Lottery.”

It said the £154.8m in costs “represents a reasonable investment” considering the £80bn in tickets sales the ten-year National Lottery contract is expected to generate.

The Czech lottery giant Allwyn won the tender for the new ten-year National Lottery contract to start in 2024, beating Camelot, which has run the lottery since its inception in 1994. Camelot has said it will take legal action to challenge the decision.

Allwyn has promised to breathe fresh life into the lottery with a plan to reduce ticket prices from £2 to £1, but Camelot claims it won a score-based assessment in the tender.

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