Camelot has issued legal action against the Gambling Commission’s decision to award Allwyn the National Lottery licence.
Allwyn was announced as the preferred applicant for the National Lottery last month (March) following a lengthy decision process which saw four different bidders. Allwyn will take over the running of the National Lottery from February 2024. However, as part of the decision process, there was a legal standstill period to allow all applicants to consider the outcome, leading to Camelot announcing it was taking legal action on the decision.
Commenting on the legal action, Camelot CEO Nigel Railton said: “We are launching a legal challenge today in our capacity as an applicant for the Fourth Licence because we firmly believe that the Gambling Commission has got this decision badly wrong. When we received the result, we were shocked by aspects of the decision.
“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.”
In response to Camelot’s decision to pursue legal action, the Gambling Commission 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.”
It went on to say that it believes it has run a “fair and robust competition” for the National Lottery licence.
“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 that Camelot will honour its obligations as the current licensee to cooperate in that transition, and we will continue to use the tools available to us to facilitate that process.”