Court reverses OK for UK National Lottery transition

The High Court had allowed the Gambling Commission to begin the process of transferring the lottery.
The High Court had allowed the Gambling Commission to begin the process of transferring the lottery.

The Court of Appeal’s decision could delay transfer of the National Lottery to Allwyn.

UK.- The Court of Appeal has reversed a decision that allowed the Gambling Commission to move ahead with the transfer of the British National Lottery to Allwyn. The Czech lottery giant has been chosen to run the National Lottery from 2024, but Camelot has mounted a legal challenge against the results of the Gambling Commission’s tender.

At the end of June, the High Court had granted the Gambling Commission permission to go ahead with its enabling agreement for the transfer of the National Lottery to Allwyn. The decision supported the Gambling Commission’s request to ensure that Camelot’s legal challenge did not delay the process.

However, the Court of Appeal has now reversed that decision, potentially holding up the technical arrangements for Allwyn to take over the franchise. It has given Camelot and tech supplier IGT permission to appeal against the Gambling Commission’s enabling agreement as part of their legal action.

This means that the previous automatic suspension on the transfer of the lottery will remain active until the appeal is heard. A hearing has been scheduled for the second week of September.

The Gambling Commission said: “Throughout the litigation process, we have been clear that disrupting the implementation of Allwyn’s plans would present potentially severe consequences for the National Lottery and good causes. It also risks the National Lottery not operating to its full potential at the start of the fourth licence.”

It said that the Court of Appeal’s decision will “generate challenges for the transition to the fourth licence and further delay the award of the licence to Allwyn”.

Allwyn’s UK chairman Justin King said: “We are obviously disappointed by today’s decision. It creates the likelihood of further delay as the appeal will not be held until September. It is common ground that this delay will damage the introduction of the benefits the fourth licence brings for good causes.

“As the court ruled, Camelot and IGT must now provide an undertaking for damages by 4pm Friday. We call on them to either ensure that undertaking includes good causes, or instead in the interests of the good causes and the National Lottery, to gracefully accept the ruling of Mrs Justice O’Farrell.

“This would allow the suspension to be lifted and the Gambling Commission to move forward with awarding the fourth licence to Allwyn.”

See also: Camelot: cost of living crisis has impacted on National Lottery sales

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Camelot Gambling Commission