Camelot Withdraws Appeal of Legal Ruling Regarding the UK National Lottery Operating Licence amid Fears of Good Causes’ Potential Losses

Daniel Williams

Camelot UK has dropped its appeal against the legal ruling regarding the procedure of handing over the operating licence for the UK National Lottery to its competitor Allwyn.

The incumbent operator of the National Lottery has run it since the official launch of the service in 1994. Camelot has now decided to withdraw its legal challenge against the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) that would have resulted in the lawsuit going to the court of appeal in the week to follow. The company shared that it would cooperate with the gambling regulator and the new holder of the National Lottery’s operating permit to facilitate a smooth transition to the fourth licence.

The company had a change of heart regarding the appeal after information that over £1 billion that should go to good causes could be lost as a result of its legal action emerged. Several local media hubs revealed that the delayed handover of the contract, which is estimated at £6.4 billion, could lead to a serious loss of money for local good causes. The UK Gambling Commission had also warned that a shortfall of payment to good causes worth no less than £1 billion could be expected in case the legal challenge proceeds further in court.

On September 6th, a spokesperson for the incumbent National Lottery operator said that the company had been willing to limit the potential risk that the Exchequer or good causes would have to face certain damages in case the licence award was found to have been illegal by a court.

Camelot’s Technology Partner Still Pursuing Legal Ruling’s Appeal, UKGC Says

The decision of Camelot to drop the legal challenge against the regulator and not to pursue any damages was confirmed by the UKGC. The company revealed that it was no longer seeking to prevent the regulatory body from handing the operating permit to Allwyn and enabling the agreement that was being signed prior to the procurement trial.

This has helped the Czech Republic-based Allwyn move a step closer to taking hold over the UK National Lottery in February 2024.

A couple of months ago, in late June, the UK High Court agreed to lift the suspension preventing the UKGC from initiating the beginning of the licence transfer. Camelot, however, appealed this decision.

Furthermore, it became clear that International Game Technology – the tech partner of Camelot UK – had not changed its position on the appeal. A representative of the Gambling Commission said that IGT had not informed the regulator about whether there was a change in its position, so the suspension would continue until that matter was resolved. The appeal’s resolution would allow the gambling industry’s watchdog to proceed with the work associated with formally awarding the operating permit.

Camelot, however, has not withdrawn its legal claims against the decision of the UK Gambling Commission to grant the National Lottery operating permit to Allwyn after accusing the industry watchdog of getting its decision wrong. As previously revealed, Camelot and its technology partner IGT are expected to seek damages of £400 million and £200 million, respectively, if their legal action is successful.

The still ongoing controversy, which has been the biggest one in the National Lottery’s history so far, has threatened the transfer of the operating licence to an extent that it could have seen the operation of the lottery suspended for the first time since it was launched in 1994. As Casino Guardian reported at the time, the money that should be received by good causes could be seriously affected in the process.

Olivia Cole

Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.

Daniel Williams

Author: Dale Alvarez