Camelot Drop Appeal against National Lottery Licence Decision

Camelot Drop Appeal against National Lottery Licence Decision

Allwyn Entertainment UK have taken another step towards running the National Lottery. Current licence holders Camelot have told the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) they are withdrawing their appeal against the decision not to award them a new licence.

Camelot is the only company that has ever held the National Lottery licence having done so since 1994. Earlier this year though, the UKGC announced their decision to name Allwyn Entertainment UK as their preferred applicant for the new licence. That’s due to begin in 2024 but the decision did not go down well with the current licence holders.

While Camelot have announced they won’t now be appealing against the decision, the uncertainty over the new licence holders isn’t over. IGT also applied to be the next licence holder and are continuing with their appeal against the UKGC decision. They are yet to make a comment but will need to do so soon as their court action is due to begin next week.

A Camelot spokesperson said that it had “become clear” to them that “the potential damages covered by the undertakings needed for the appeal to proceed would have been too large.” There would also be “too great a commercial risk.” Therefore Camelot will not attempt to prevent the enabling agreement being signed before a procurement trial due to take place in either January or February 2023.

All of this is delaying the process that is required for Allwyn Entertainment UK to take over as licence holders in 2024. When both Camelot and IGT began their appeal, a temporary suspension of the enabling agreement came into operation.

That was lifted by the High Court but the two companies then went to the Court of Appeal who gave Camelot and IGT permission to appeal the High Court ruling and again the licence was suspended pending the upcoming court hearing.

Camelot may not be continuing with their appeal but the issue is not yet over for them. They now want to receive compensation for them not being awarded the new National Lottery licence.

The UKGC have issued a statement on this latest development. They say that their 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.”

Their statement added that the UKGC remains “resolute” that a “fair and robust competition” had been run to decide who the preferred applicants would be. That included an evaluation that they say was “carried out fairly and lawfully in accordance with our statutory rules.”