Tabcorp Enters Race to Run the UK National Lottery

  • Largest lottery company in Australia bids to run the UK National Lottery from 2023
  • Sir Richard Branson is among the other names in the running for this lucrative license
  • Successful candidate will hold a monopoly over the market for at least seven years
National Lottery website displayed on smartphone hidden in jeans pocket
Tabcorp, the largest lottery company in Australia, has entered the race to secure the new license to operate the UK National Lottery from 2023. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Aussie firm confirms interest

Australian gambling giant Tabcorp has entered the race to operate the UK National Lottery from 2023. This announcement arrives as the bidding process for the coveted new license advances to the next stage.

entered the race to operate the UK National Lottery from 2023

Tabcorp, the largest lottery company in Australia and former co-owner of Sun Bets, which ceased trading in July 2018 after heavy losses, is valued at £5bn ($6.53bn) on the stock market.

Stiff competition for new license

A number of other notable gambling operators are also vying for this license. Rothschild investment bank has been tasked with vetting the applicants and choosing a new operator for the UK National Lottery.

Tabcorp’s competition includes Camelot, Sir Richard Branson, Novamedia, Richard Desmond, the Dutch operator of the People’s Postcode Lottery’s, as well as European lottery companies Francaise des Jeux and Sazka.

Application process now closed

The deadline for applications was January 22. Each tender request will have their applications reviewed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). A rules-of-engagement-style document will then be issued. 

Post-Brexit uncertainty is one of the main concerns for bidders. Indications are that the issue of gambling is set to be moved away from the remit of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport following Brexit.

Post-Brexit uncertainty is one of the main concerns for bidders

As a result, lottery license applicants are unsure about how much of a priority the lottery will be for whatever department will then be in charge of gambling. It has been speculated that the new business department or the Cabinet Office could be tasked with handling gambling matters.

Monopoly for successful applicant

All applicants will be keeping a close eye on developments during the next stage of the process. The successful applicant will hold a monopoly in the market, with the license remaining active for between seven and ten years. 

Camelot is the current operator of the UK National Lottery. This Canadian-owned lottery company has been in charge of operating the lottery since it launched in 1994.