The UK Gambling Commission has named Allwyn, formerly known as the Sazka Group as the preferred applicant to run its fourth National License. Allwyn was one the four bids received for the operation of the National License.
It is reported that Allwyn is finalizing its agreement with the Commission and once concluded, will see them operating the National Lottery for 10 years; starting February, 2024.
Camelot, which has run the lottery since its inception in 1994, was named reserve applicant and would continue in its role as the lottery operator, should the Gambling Commission fail to finalise a deal with Allwyn.
According to the Gambling Commission’s chief executive Andrew Rhodes, the number of bidders for the National License, showed that the tender process was well run. He added that the National Lottery has raised more than £45bn for good causes since its inception and is rightly seen as a great national asset.
He went on to add that he is confident that the success of the competition for the license, will lead to a highly successful fourth licence , which will maximise returns to good causes, promote innovation, deliver against the Commission’s statutory duties, and ultimately protect the unique status of the National Lottery.
The Gambling Commission’s executive director and senior responsible owner for the license competition; John Tanner, stated that all four bids were impressive and that all four businesses were considered “fit and proper” to run the lottery, as noted by the regulator. He added that the Commission is grateful to all four applicants for their engagement in the competition.
The Gambling Commission noted that Allwyn, had committed to investing in the lottery, which would deliver growth and innovation across its products and channels, which will in turn, increase contributions to good causes,
Allwyn in its acceptance statement said that their proposal was judged by the Commission, to be the best way of growing returns to good causes, by revitalising the National Lottery in a safe and sustainable way.
With the preferred applicant selected, a “legal standstill period” now begins. In this period, all applicants may “consider the outcome of the competition and feedback on their application” before the Commission enters into a legal agreement with Allwyn.
When the Commission enters into a legal agreement with Allwyn, they will be considered the “incoming licensee” and the implementation period for the new licence will begin.
Nigel Railton; the chief executive of Camelot expressed his disappointment by the decision to select Allwyn as the new operator, but went on to state that his business would continue to work on delivering a strong product and raising money for good causes until the third licence expires in February, 2024.
Besides the new operator, the fourth National Lottery licence is poised to bring with it certain changes, including a new incentives model intended to ensure that the licensee’s profits are better aligned with the amount raised for good causes, and in addition, the new licensee will have more “flexibility” to adapt its offerings; if technology, regulation and consumer preferences change.
The previous licence, held by Camelot, was initially set to expire in August 2023 but was pushed back by six months last year. The bid chair was Sir Keith Mills and Gambling harm expert, Dr Mark Griffiths was also on the board that over saw the bid.