UKGC defends National Lottery competition against Camelot’s High Court probe

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has stood by its management of the Fourth National Lottery Competition, that appointed Allwyn Entertainment as its Preferred Applicant to operate the National Lottery beginning 2024.

On Friday, the Commission was notified by National Lottery incumbent operator Camelot UK, that its handling of key phases of the competition would be appealed in the High Court.

Camelot Chief Executive Nigel Railton stated that the commission had ‘failed to provide a satisfactory response’ as to why it had rejected its bid that achieved the top appraisal during the competition’s scorecard phase.

Of concern to Camelot were disclosures that the Commission had changed the rules of its evaluation phase to favour Allwyn’s bid. According to reports, the UKGC originally placed a 15% risk factor into the assessment of the bids, but according to Camelot it was removed from the process.

Closing Friday, the Commission notified media that it had received Camelot’s legal proceedings in relation to the competition process.

“We regret Camelot’s decision to bring legal proceedings following the outcome of a highly successful competition for the fourth National Lottery licence,” read the UKGC’s statement

“The competition and our evaluation have been carried out fairly and lawfully in accordance with our statutory duties, and we are confident that a court would come to that conclusion.”

Standing by its management, the Commission outlined that from start-to-finish, it had applied every measure possible to ensure a level playing field for all competing parties.

Following its decision, the UKGC said it will work with Camelot to ensure a “seamless and timely transition to the next licence, for the benefit of participants and good causes”.

It ended the statement, saying: “These proceedings will not help that but we trust that Camelot will honour its obligations as the current licensee to cooperate in that transition, and we will continue to use the tools available to us to facilitate that process.

“In order to protect the integrity of the process, we will not be able to discuss the specifics until litigation has concluded.”

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