Gambling Commission Issues Update on UK National Lottery Licence Bid

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has issued an update on the National Lottery licence tender competition.  

national lottery gambling comission

In a statement published on Wednesday, the Commission announced that the selection of the winning bid in the ongoing fourth National Lottery competition would be delayed until February 2022.

Announced in August 2020, the evaluation process for the fourth licence was set to end in September 2021, which was the initial deadline for selecting a winner of the multi-billion lottery contract. However, after wrapping up the first phase of the tender, the Gambling Commission has resolved to extend the timetable of the competition by ten weeks.

According to the regulator, the application stage in Phase Two of the competition will last an additional four weeks to allow applicants to polish their proposals before submitting them to the Commission for evaluation. A further six weeks will be added to the vetting process.

‘’These changes will provide opportunity for applicants to further refine their proposals and for the Commission to evaluate,’’ read the regulator’s statement.

Camelot’s License Extended by Six Months

Consequently, the UKGC has announced that it has extended the permit of the current licensee, Camelot, by six months in order to facilitate the changes to the timetable and enable a smooth transition.

This means that the winning license will start operating in February 2024, although the regulator has warned that the timetable may change depending on the feedback from the market and challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following the announcement, a spokesperson from Camelot has said: ‘’We remain focussed on continuing to build on four years of successive growth, which has seen us achieve record sales and deliver even more money for good causes.’’

This is the second time the Gambling Commission is extending Camelot’s license within the last one year, having signed another six-month extension contract with the operator in June last year.

Currently, there are three applicants seeking to replace Camelot as the National Lottery operator following the withdrawal of Chennai-based Sugal & Damani Enterprises from the race. The company, which is known for pioneering the business of running government approved licenses across India, withdrew its bid from the contest last month.

The remaining contestants are Allwyn UK, a subsidiary of Czech gambling giant Sazka Group, Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell Limited, and Italian operator Sisal Group. The incumbent, Camelot, is also in the competition as it seeks to extend its contract with the UK Government and National Lottery by another 10 years.

GC Continues to Focus on Players and Good Causes in Evaluation Process

When announcing the start of the Fourth National Lottery competition last year, the Gambling Commission noted that the preferred licensee would be required to build on the National Lottery’s 27 years of success in transforming lives by raising money for good causes and contributing to sports, arts, heritage, and communities around the country.

As revealed by the regulator, the evaluation process for the tender will seek to establish the operator’s ability to maximise returns to good causes while also ensuring safe and fair play. Also, the Commission will evaluate each applicant’s incentive mechanism to establish whether it is aligned with returns to good causes. The winner would be further required to protect the National Lottery brand.

Reiterating its position in the Wednesday statement, the Gambling Commission noted that its goal is to run an open and fair competition to ensure a favorable outcome for players and good causes.

‘’Our Job is to run the best competition we possibly can – one that is open and fair and results in the best outcome for players and good causes. We want to appoint a licensee that can build on the National Lottery’s Legacy and find new opportunities for a sustainable and successful future,’’ said the Commission.

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