Not the Best of Weeks for Camelot

The battle between Allwyn UK and Camelot over the UK National Lottery licence rumbles on. This week saw the High Court lift the suspension that had been placed on Allwyn UK. This allows the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to begin the process of giving them the next licence.

That decision was made on June 29 and it hasn’t pleased current licence holders Camelot at all. They’ve been running the National Lottery since it began in 1994. Their 30th anniversary won’t be a happy one as Allwyn UK are due to take over February 2024.

Reacting to the latest High Court ruling, a Camelot spokesperson said they were disappointed but nowhere near the end of the road for the current licence holders. “The judgement on whether the Gambling Commission correctly and lawfully awarded preferred applicant status is being dealt with separately,” they said.

The spokesperson added that the company will “now take some time to consider our next steps.” They continue to feel that they have “a very strong legal case” to see the UKGC decision overturned.

The High Court ruling means that the UKGC can now sign an enabling agreement with Allwyn UK. However, the legal challenge that Camelot are making to the UKGC decision will continue. That led to the suspension in April and the High Court are yet to make a ruling on that challenge by Camelot

An important area of the challenge being made by Camelot is the scoring system and risk factor the UKGC employed when deciding who would receive the new licence. Initially, Camelot got the highest score but when a ‘risk discount’ was applied, it was Allwyn UK who overtook them. That looked at the possibility of a company failed to meet its targets for amounts received for good causes.

The UKGC believe they ran a “fair and robust competition” and their evaluations were carried out “fairly and lawfully” and there had been a level playing field for all those involved in the bidding process.

Allwyn UK are happy with the ruling made this week and it will allow them to take over the lottery in 2024. Their plans are to produce an enhanced games portfolio, new technology being used, safer play and a “substantial increase” in the amounts raised for good causes.

It had already been a disappointing week for Camelot. 2021/22 figures revealed a drop in ticket sales. They believe this is due to post-pandemic problems and the rise in the cost of living.

Ticket sales were £8.09 billion but that was down 2.5 per cent from the previous year’s £8.3 billion. Despite the fall, it’s only the second time that Camelot’s sales figures have exceeded £8 billion.