Gambling Commission gets OK to begin National Lottery transition to Allwyn

Camelot claims the Gambling Commission changed the rules of its tender.
Camelot claims the Gambling Commission changed the rules of its tender.

The UK High Court has ruled that work towards the National Lottery transition can begin despite Camerlot’s legal challenge.

UK.- The British Gambling Commission has received a favourable decision from the High Court in its bid to press ahead with the transition of the National Lottery to Allwyn, the former Sazka. 

The Gambling Commission chose the Czech lottery giant as its preferred bidder in the tender to run the National Lottery from 2024, but Camelot, which has operated the lottery since its inception in 1994, has mounted a legal challenge to that decision.

Concerned that the legal action could delay the handover of the lottery, the Gambling Commission asked the High Court for assurance that it could enter its enabling agreement with Allwyn to start work on the transition. John Tanner,  the regulator’s executive director for the Fourth National Lottery Competition, said Allwyn needed a two-year window to take steps to begin running National Lottery.

The court has now said that it will place no restrictions on the work needed for Allwyn to take over the operations. 

The Gambling Commission said in a statement: “Our priority is to continue to work to implement our decision and ensure a seamless and timely transition to the next licence, for the benefit of participants and good causes.”

The regulator intends to refute Camelot’s claims about how it managed the licence competition. Camelot claims that its bid achieved the highest scorecard in the evaluation phase of the tender and the Gambling Commission changed the rules dropping a risk score from its evaluation.

The regulator said: “We remain resolute that we have run a fair and robust competition, and that our evaluation has been carried out fairly and lawfully in accordance with our statutory duties,” the Commission responded.

“We have taken every step possible to ensure a level playing field for all interested parties, to enable us to appoint a licensee who will engage and protect players, run the National Lottery with integrity and ensure the National Lottery maximises support for good causes and its contribution to society through further innovation and investment.”

Camelot said it was disappointed by the High Court’s decision. 

It said in a statement: While disappointing, this judgement only addresses whether or not the Enabling Agreement can be signed while our case is heard. The judgment on whether the Gambling Commission correctly and lawfully awarded Preferred Applicant status is being dealt with separately.

“We will take some time to consider our next steps and continue to believe that we have a very strong legal case. In the meantime, we remain dedicated to maximising returns to Good Causes, building on our record performance over the past two years.”

Drop in National Lottery sales

Earlier this week, Camelot reported that the cost of living crisis has led to a decline in National Lottery sales. Sales fell by 3 per cent to £8.1bn for the year ending March 31.

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Allwyn Gambling Commission