Camelot ‘Incredibly Disappointed’ After UKGC Selects Rival to Run National Lottery

  • Camelot has operated the National Lottery since the game first began in 1994
  • Allwyn will take over full lottery operations by February 2024 on a ten-year license
  • The KKCG-owned firm said it “will breathe fresh life into The National Lottery”
  • The UKGC deemed an Allwyn-operated lottery “the best way of growing returns”
Camelot UK HQ in Watford
The UKGC has named Allwyn the new operator of the UK’s National Lottery starting 2024, meaning Camelot will lose the job after 28 years. [Image:]

Household name since 1994

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has left Camelot UK Lotteries, a household name in the UK since 1994, “incredibly disappointed” by naming rival Allwyn Entertainment as the new operator of the region’s National Lottery.

will lose one of the world’s largest lotteries after 28 years

The Canadian firm will lose one of the world’s largest lotteries after 28 years of operating the game, beginning when it first launched in 1994. Allwyn’s owner KKCG, which is owned by Czech oil, gas, technology, and entertainment billionaire Karel Komarek, congratulated its subsidiary on Tuesday via Twitter:

Allwyn will take over full operations of the National Lottery by February 2024, the date Camelot’s license expires. Allwyn’s license is the fourth to be awarded over the lottery’s history and will run until 2034.

According to a UKGC news release on Tuesday, the selection of Allwyn followed a “fair, open and robust competition.” Applicants also included Sisal Spa and The New Lottery Company. The four bids marked the highest number of applicants since Camelot won the first license in the mid-90s.

Allwyn said it plans to “breathe fresh life into The National Lottery.”

Saying the goodbyes

Expressing his disappointment in a company statement, Camelot CEO Nigel Railton sought to rally his troops. He said the firm still has “a critical job to do” up until 2024, also stating that he is “enormously grateful” to Camelot’s 1,000+ workers.

the best-ever returns to Good Causes.”

Railton also noted that 2021’s ticket sales resulted in “the best-ever returns to Good Causes.”

On Twitter, business correspondent for Sky News, Paul Kelso, said that Allwyn’s winning pitch focused on increasing “declining participation in draws:”

Allwyn ready for the job

Allwyn, which changed its name from SAZKA Entertainment in 2021, confirmed the supposed reasons behind its selection in a statement. The firm said the UKGC deemed its proposal “the best way of growing returns to good causes by revitalising The National Lottery.”

UKGC CEO Andrew Rhodes said that over its history, the National Lottery has raised more than £45bn ($58.7bn) for good causes. Rhodes expressed his confidence in Allwyn to innovate, maximize returns to good causes, meet statutory requirements, and ultimately safeguard the “unique status of the National Lottery.”

Signifying the end of the Camelot era, Allwyn’s statement concluded: “We […] look forward to transforming The National Lottery, making it better for everyone.”

The fall of Camelot is perhaps a harbinger of Draconian changes widely expected to come for the UK gambling industry, with the government poised to publish its white paper review of the UK Gambling Act 2005.

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