The British Gambling Commission has delayed the announcement of the next National Lottery operator until February 2022.
UK.- The Gambling Commission has put back the date for a decision on which operator will win the fourth National Lottery licence.
The British regulator was due to announce its selection next month, but has put the date back to February 2022 to give it more time to evaluate bids. It’s also extended current operator Camelot’s licence for another six months to February 2024 to allow time for a “smooth transition” having already extended its licence until August 2023.
Operators that are known to be competing in the tender are Sazka’s Allwyn – the Czech operator’s new identity in the UK – along with Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell and Italy’s Sisal. Camelot, which has run the National Lottery since its inception, regaining the licence three times, is assumed to be competing, while India’s Sugal & Damani is reported to have withdrawn.
The Gambling Commission announced the National Lottery tender in August 2020, already behind schedule due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With the first phase of the bidding process complete, the regulator has chosen to extend the second phase by four weeks and add a further six weeks to evaluate the bids.
It said: “These changes will provide opportunity for applicants to further refine their proposals and for the Commission to evaluate.”
It added: “Our job is to run the best competition we possibly can – one that is open and fair and results in the best outcome for players and good causes. We want to appoint a licensee that can build on the National Lottery’s legacy and find new opportunities for a sustainable and successful future.
“We remain encouraged by the number of applications received and we look forward to evaluating phase two proposals as part of a robust process.”
A Camelot spokesperson said: “We have received notice in writing from the Gambling Commission of its intention to extend the third licence to run The National Lottery by six months, with the fourth licence beginning in February 2024.
“We remain focused on continuing to build on four years of successive growth, which has seen us achieve record sales, and delivering even more money for good causes – funding which is vitally important as the UK continues to recover from the Covid-19 crisis.”
This week, the Gambling Commission released data on the amount of National Lottery revenue given to good causes in the quarter ending June 30. The lottery raised £420.7m, up 10 per cent year-on-year but down from the three previous quarters.
The Gambling Commission said that decrease was largely because of a lower number of big rollover Euromillions jackpots. Euromillions sales fell by 30 per cent.
Allwyn aims to be first zero-carbon lottery company
Earlier this week, Allwyn announced that it intended to become the first net-zero lottery company with a commitment to generate zero carbon by 2030. It has entered the Planet Mark sustainability certification’s Zero Carbon Commitment and will also join the UN Race to Zero campaign.
The company plans to develop a net-zero supply chain and will ensure that all new sites operate with zero emissions from day one.