Camelot to challenge loss of National Lottery operating contract

Camelot UK is set to launch a High Court legal challenge to the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) decision to name Allwyn as the ‘preferred applicant’ for the fourth National Lottery licence.

As reported this weekend by The Daily Telegraph, the ever-present officeholder will announce its intentions to take the Commission to court later this week, claiming it ‘broke the law’ when awarding the Czech-based operator the licence.

Camelot’s claim is rooted in allegations that UKGC ‘changed the rules’of the competition after it reportedly finished first in a scoring system assessing the bids.

The Telegraph reports that the UKGC originally placed a 15% risk factor into the assessment of the bids, however, according to Camelot, it was removed from the process. With Allwyn’s substantial commitment to good causes allegedly going unscrutinised, Camelot is seeking to overturn the decision.

Announcing Allwyn’s victorious bid, the UKGC stated that the process was a ‘fair, open and robust’ competition and that the Czech operator’s bid was awarded on merit.

The regulator stated: “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.”

In 2000, Richard Branson’s Virgin was initially announced as the preferred applicant before an appeal from Camelot saw the Ontario-owned firm retain the licence. Camelot’s legal challenge also comes amid scrutiny about Allwyn founder Czech billionaire Karel Komárek, and his former ties to Russian state-owned energy supplier Gazprom.

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