National Lottery License Competition in the UK Delayed Again

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The Gambling Commission extends its time period for National Lottery license competition for the second time, which could result in more earnings for Camelot. 

UK’s National Lottery License Delayed for the Second Time

The Gambling Commission has extended the timeline after “representation” from bidders. The National Lottery license competition has been delayed for the second time, leading to a potential profit for Camelot, its official licensed operator, which is already under scrutiny for its earnings.

MPs on the digital culture, media and sport (DCMS) selected a committee responsible for the inquiry of the lottery license competition last month, including the process’ management. The committee said it was criticized because the money for worthy causes didn’t increase at the same rate as the official operator’s profits.

In March, Camelot raised APPG’s eyebrows and was asked to explain why it put advertisements in the parliamentary magazine “The House.” MPs then sent an official letter asking the operator to explain how this action could help the National Lottery raise funds for worthy causes.

This delay means the license will begin six months later than initially planned, now on February 1, 2024. Besides Camelot, the bidders are Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell, Sazka Group, a Czech-owned company and the Italian Sisal, which works with BT. The winner of the 10-year license and the future official operator of the National Lottery will be announced in February next year.

The commission asserts, “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. 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.”

All the bidders are happy with the day since there is a more complex back-and-forth process for proposal submission to the Gambling Commission. At least one of the bidders asked for a delay because of COVID-19-related international travel restrictions.

UK’s National Lottery Saw Record Sales in the Last Year 

Camelot showed resilience during the pandemic crisis and recovered its sales for the first six months of the 2020/2021 financial year. A Camelot spokesperson said that it is focused on building four years of successive growth, which has helped them break sale records and deliver more revenue for worthy causes.

National Lottery sales saw a record of $11.64 billion in revenue through the 12-month period ending this past March. Most of the money went to the winners and was spent on worthy causes. Camelot argued that its profits total to about 1% of the revenue from the weekly draws and online instant-win games and scratchcards, in line with $58 million in extra profit before the licensing begins if the sales rate continues to be the same.

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