Camelot keeps faith in ‘strong legal case’ despite High Court ruling
Following yesterday’s decision by the High Court of England and Wales ruling in favour of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), Camelot has stated that it will ‘consider its next steps’.
Issuing a statement this morning, the group stated it remained confident in its legal case regarding the UKGC’s decision to award the next National Lottery licence to Czech multinational lottery operator Allwyn Entertainment.
Camelot focused on the fact that the High Court’s ruling related to a separate UKGC case seeking assurance that the ‘enabling agreement’ with Allwyn could commence, allowing the firm to begin transferring into National Lottery management duties.
The Commission launched its case in response to Camelot’s plea, with John Tanner, Executive Director of the Fourth National Lottery Licence Competition, stating that Allwyn required a minimum two-year period to assume its new role.
“While disappointing, this judgement only addresses whether or not the Enabling Agreement can be signed while our case is heard,” Camelot’s statement read.
“The judgement on whether the Gambling Commission correctly and lawfully awarded Preferred Applicant status is being dealt with separately. We will take some time to consider our next steps and continue to believe that we have a very strong legal case.
“In the meantime, we remain dedicated to maximising returns to Good Causes, building on our record performance over the past two years.”
Publishing its trading figures for 2021/22 (April-March), Camelot revealed that Good Causes funding hit £1,911.8m, an increase of £24.3 million on the 2020/21 figures, equating to £36 million a week. Good Causes allocations were a key area of evaluation during the Licence contest.
The operator’s claim against the UKGC accuses the authority of changing the rules and conditions regarding evaluation of participant bids in favour of Allwyn’s submission.
Additionally, the Watford-based firm has argued that the Commission provided no viable explanation as to why its 28-year tenure as Lottery steward should end, pointing to its top placement in the ‘scorecard results’ during the evaluation period.
In response, the UKGC has stated confidence in its own legal case, maintaining that it will successfully refute Camelot’s claims against it.
“We remain resolute that we have run a fair and robust competition, and that our evaluation has been carried out fairly and lawfully in accordance with our statutory duties,” a Commission statement read.
“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 maximises support for good causes and its contribution to society through further innovation and investment.”