UKGC’s National Lottery License Decision Could Be Challenged

Updated On Mar 17, 2022 by Ella McDonald

The National Lottery (UK)Summary

  • UKGC awards national lottery license to Allwyn
  • Camelot unhappy with the decision and could mount legal challenge
  • Labour party calls for investigation into Allwyn owner

The race for the United Kingdom (UK)’s national lottery license has ended, with Czech firm Allwyn defeating noted operator Camelot. Other competitors in the race for the license included media tycoon Richard Desmond and Italian firm Sisal, later bought by Flutter Entertainment for £1.6 billion. Czech billionaire Karel Komarek owns the majority share of Allwyn.

Camelot has 10 days to plan its next move, after which the baton will pass to Allwyn. Camelot’s chairman, Sir Nigel Railton was dissatisfied with the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) decision. He hinted that Camelot might legally challenge the outcome. The operator’s future as well as that of its 1,000 strong staff in Watford seems hazy at the moment. It is expected that the latter would be transferred across to Allwyn.

Previously, the National Audit Office (NAO) reprimanded Camelot in 2017 for its consistently low contribution to good causes while its profits increased significantly. The operator also faced flak for failing to encourage responsible gambling in users by aping casino companies.

Allwyn’s victory is attributed to its strong team of Sir Keith Mills and Allwyn UK chairman Justin King. The UKGC was secretive about the selection process, but it is understood that Allwyn won because it prioritized stricter controls on extravagant spending on gambling and promised to pledge more than £30 billion during its first license term. Camelot pledged only £45 billion to good causes during its license term, despite raking in an annual profit of £95 million in the last two years.

Allwyn’s pitch included offering more super-national lotteries and its partnership with Vodafone to lure in more young players towards the lottery. The latter will enable customers to access scratchcards and other products through their phones which would help recover the sales lost to online games.

Labour Party Insists on Testing Komarek’s Integrity

The Labour Party said that the government must assess Czech billionaire Karel Komarek’s integrity before awarding the license to Allwyn. Komarek collaboration with the Czech government to nationalize his gas storage venture and his criticism of Putin’s involvement in the Ukrainian conflict could strengthen Allwyn’s viability for the license.

The decision reflects the government’s commitment to preventing gambling addiction and inculcating more social responsibility in the British gambling industry. The government would publish a white paper proposing gambling reforms in the coming weeks.

Ella McDonald Author

Worldwide gambling related news stories are what you will find being written by Ella, she has a keen interest however in UK and European based new stories relating to all gaming environments, and she is always prepared to ask the difficult questions many other journalists avoiding asking those in power.

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