National Lottery

The Gambling Commission has said the selection of Allwyn followed ‘a fair, open and robust competition’

Camelot is taking the Gambling Commission to court over its decision to name Allwyn as the preferred applicant for the fourth National Lottery licence.

It launched the high court challenge today, being “shocked by aspects of the decision” and feeling the Gambling Commission got its verdict “badly wrong”.

“We are launching a legal challenge today in our capacity as an applicant for the fourth licence,” said Camelot CEO Nigel Railton. “Despite lengthy correspondence, the Commission has failed to provide a satisfactory response. We are therefore left with no choice but to ask the court to establish what happened.

“Irrespective of Camelot’s dual roles as current operator and applicant for the next National Lottery licence, the competition is one of the largest UK government-sponsored procurements and the process deserves independent scrutiny. Separately, more than 1,000 Camelot employees work tirelessly to successfully operate the National Lottery under the current licence and, at the very least, they are owed a proper explanation.”

The Gambling Commission has said the selection of Allwyn followed “a fair, open and robust competition”.

In a statement, it said: “We regret Camelot’s decision to bring legal proceedings following the outcome of a highly successful competition for the fourth National Lottery licence. The competition and our evaluation have been carried out fairly and lawfully in accordance with our statutory duties, and we are confident that a court would come to that conclusion.

“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 continues to support good causes and their contribution to society.

“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. These proceedings will not help that, but we trust Camelot will honour its obligations as the current licensee to co-operate in that transition, and we will continue to use the tools available to us to facilitate that process.”

Czech-owned Allwyn Entertainment is due to take over from Camelot in February 2024, after beating the 30-year incumbent in a four-way battle alongside Sisal Spa and Richard Desmond’s Health Lottery. Allwyn and the Commission have previously stated that the Camelot employees would be cover by TUPE rules and thus transfer over to the new operator with the licence.