September 7th, 2022: There’s a new operator of the National Lottery in the United Kingdom, and the stage is all set for its full operations. Allwyn UK’s parent company, the Allwyn Entertainment AG, has announced that the Camelot Group has withdrawn its appeal of enabling rights from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission to Allwyn UK.
The appeal was part of Camelot’s and IGT Plc’s legal challenge to the decision of the Gambling Commission to award the license to Allwyn as its preferred application to operate the National Lottery. In June 2022, the High Court ruled that the Gambling Commission could pass control of the lottery to a new operator, Allwyn Entertainment. The High Court’s decision marked the end of Camelot’s three decades of experience of in running the National Lottery.
Allwyn Starts Preparation
The UK Gambling Commission announced a new operator of the National Lottery in March, and Allwyn has promptly started its transition duties to become the next steward of the National Lottery starting January 2024. After the announcement, Camelot immediately exercised its legal options and appealed to suspend the enabling rights for the Fourth License. And on June 29th, the Court of Appeal ruled in favor of Camelot to suspend the enabling rights, thus preventing the Gambling Commission from entering into a transition process with the new operator until the High Court challenge is over.
The Gambling Commission stated that enabling rights should be upheld and argued that a transition process requires a minimum of two years, including a technical process that starts no later than July 2022. It added that a delay in the transition may lead to the suspension of the operations of the National Lottery in 2024, thus potentially compromising the funding for good causes.
Camelot Withdraws the Appeal
In a statement this week, Camelot has decided to drop the appeal that could have resulted in a court battle. The company added that it will now cooperate with the Gambling Commission and Allwyn to facilitate the orderly transfer of operations. Camelot decided not to pursue the appeal after reports emerged that more than £1bn in good causes funds may be lost due to the expected legal action or if the transition to Allwyn is delayed. In addition, the Gambling Commission has also warned about the potential ‘shortfall of the payment for good causes’.
Allwyn Now Ready for the Transition
After receiving the news about Camelot’s move, Allwyn has also announced that it has dropped its counter-claim suit. In a statement, the company announced that Allwyn is excited to be the new operator of the UK’s National Lottery, arguably Europe’s biggest lottery. The National Lottery is one of the country’s biggest and most lucrative government contracts, and it’s understandable that many joined the bidding process. In 2020 alone, the National Lottery generated over $10bn in revenues, and a good portion goes to good causes.
With a clear road ahead, Allwyn, owned by billionaire Czech entrepreneur Karel Komárek, will run the National Lottery starting in 2024. As part of its preparations, the company has also announced that the company is ready for a $9.3bn listing on the New York Stock Exchange which coincides with its plans to expand in the US.