UK Lottery Set To Switch from Camelot to Allwyn In 2024 –
Camelot has had the necessary licence to operate the lottery system within the UK since its inception in 1994. However, this is set to change in the next licensing period beginning in 2024 where Allwyn Entertainment Ltd has been chosen as their successor. All is not necessarily lost for Camelot however, as they have been named as the reserve applicant, should there be any issues with the implementation of the Allwyn plan.
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The national lottery in the UK is one of the largest global lotteries available, with charitable donations totalling an approximate £45 billion for over 650,000 different causes across the span of the last 18 years of operations. A great part of this has been the GB Olympic and Paralympic athletes funds, of which the lottery has been a great contributor. The effectiveness of this funding in developing the London games in 2012 and the associated medal successes is a key example of the great work the lottery funding can achieve.
In contrast to Camelot, Allwyn is not in fact a British owned company. It is a UK based subsidiary of the EU lottery operator Sazka, which in turn is owned by a Czech oil and gas tycoon named Karel Komarek. On the Allwyn board are former members of the London 2012 games including Lord Coe and entrepreneur Sir Keith Mills.
Camelot CEO Nigel Railton released a statement in which he stated he was “Incredibly disappointed by the announcement”. He stated that they would be reviewing the report issued by the Gambling Commission on the decision taken before looking at “next steps”.
There have been concerns raised around any potential conflict of interest surrounding the impact of sanctions placed on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine this year. This is primarily due to the nature of the ownership behind the Allwyn bid and their relation to the gas and oil industries – an area which is deeply embroiled within funding of the Russian regime. However, the regulatory demands are deemed to have been met (by the GC) and so, the new bid is set to run from 2024 onwards. Andrew Rhodes of the GC said “Our priority was to run a competition that would attract a strong field of candidates… it is clear that we’ve achieved just that” and went on to reiterate the aims of the national lottery project were to promote and gather sustainable charitable investment in a plethora of worthy causes.
The decision will come as somewhat of a surprise to some within the industry and further afield, but nonetheless – Camelot’s reign is over and Allwyn Entertainment are set to carry the gauntlet forth in years to come.