The Gambling Commission has awarded Allwyn Entertainment Ltd as the preferred applicant for the fourth National Lottery licence.
According to the Gambling Commission, “Allwyn has committed to investment in the National Lottery that is expected to deliver growth and innovation across the National Lottery’s products and channels, resulting in increased contributions to good causes, subject to the protection of participants and propriety”. Allwyn runs lotteries in the Czech Republic, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, and Austria.
The other applicants were Sisal Spa, Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd, and The New Lottery Company Ltd. This is the highest number of applications since the first National Lottery licence was awarded in 1994.
Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd has been named Reserve Applicant. Camelot will continue to run the National Lottery until its licence runs out in February 2024, having run it since 1994.
Explaining the decision to award Allwyn the licence, Gambling Commission chief executive officer, Andrew Rhodes said: “In its lifetime, the National Lottery has raised more than £45 billion for good causes and is rightly seen as a great national asset.
“Our priority was to run a competition that would attract a strong field of candidates. Having received the most applications since 1994, it is clear that we’ve achieved just that.
“I am confident that the success of the competition will lead to a highly successful fourth licence – one that maximises returns to good causes, promotes innovation, delivers against our statutory duties, and which ultimately protects the unique status of the National Lottery. We look forward to working with all parties to ensure a smooth handover.”
In a statement following the announcement, Allwyn said: “We welcome today’s statement by the Gambling Commission that we have been selected as the Preferred Applicant for the Fourth National Lottery Licence.
“Our proposal was judged to be the best way of growing returns to good causes by revitalising The National Lottery in a safe and sustainable way. The appointment of Allwyn will breathe fresh life into The National Lottery. In Allwyn, the Gambling Commission has selected a strong team with an impressive track record of improving lotteries. We will immediately work to deliver our comprehensive transition plan and look forward to transforming The National Lottery, making it better for everyone.”
In response to losing the National Lottery licence, Camelot CEO Nigel Railton said: “I’m incredibly disappointed by today’s announcement, but we still have a critical job to do – as our current licence runs until February 2024. We’re now carefully reviewing the Gambling Commission’s evaluation before deciding on our next steps.
“I’m enormously grateful to our 1,000-plus employees who have been unwavering in delivering record-breaking results during the current licence. And I know they remain absolutely determined to build on our four and a half years of successive sales growth – which has seen us achieve record sales in each of the last two years, resulting in the best-ever returns to Good Causes from ticket sales last year.”
Federation of Independent Retailers national president Narinder Randhawa said: “We have always had a great partnership with Camelot, so we are disappointed for them to lose the licence after almost 30 years.
“During this time, a huge amount of positive work has been done to help local communities and good causes. We thank Camelot for their continued support and we will carry on working together over the next two years. Thousands of our members have lottery terminals in their stores and have played a major part in the success of the National Lottery since it was launched in 1994.
“We are confident we can establish a good working relationship with Allwyn to continue the support for independent retailers in the future and look forward to a seamless transition.”