Camelot Loses Legal Battle for UK National Lottery, Opening Door to Allwyn

  • A judge has lifted a suspension barring the UKGC from inking a lottery contract with Allwyn
  • Camelot said that it expects to seek damages of up to £500m ($606m) over the licensing 
  • IGT and Camelot triggered the suspension claiming the bidding process was illegal
  • A trial in October could give the Canadian firm another chance of regaining control
National Lottery sign
Allwyn Entertainment can now start preparing for 2024 after a UK judge gave it the right to ink the contract for the fourth UK National Lottery license. [Image:]

A disappointing end

A High Court judge has likely ended Camelot’s chances of clawing back future control of the UK National Lottery.

the green light to take control of the lottery in 2024

The court lifted an automatic suspension on Wednesday, giving Allwyn Entertainment the green light to take control of the lottery in 2024. Brick Lane Chambers, the UK law firm that represented Allwyn, took to Twitter to share the news:

The court’s judgment came after claims made by Camelot and its co-owners, gambling firm International Game Technology (IGT). They disputed the lawfulness of the tendering competition over the license.

On Wednesday, Mrs Justice O’Farrell gave the UK Gambling Commission the legal nod to hand over the license to Allwyn. According to news reports, Camelot pronounced the decision “disappointing,” adding that it expects to seek damages of up to £500m ($606m) because of the licensing issues.

No more delays

The decision follows a UKGC announcement in March that declared Allwyn its preferred choice to operate the lottery under the terms of the fourth National Lottery license. Within two weeks of this announcement, Camelot and IGT had issued legal challenges.

barred the UKGC from signing the contracts

According to a news release by Allwyn’s law firm on Thursday, the legal challenges “triggered an automatic suspension on the procurement process under the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016.” This effectively barred the UKGC from signing the contracts with Allwyn necessary to start the handover.

In her concluding note about the lifting of the suspension, Judge O’Farrell affirmed that public interest was a “strong factor.” Delays to launch of the fourth license would, ultimately, give “rise to (amongst other things) reduced contributions to good causes,” the law firm cited.

Another chance?

Another trial in October might give Ontario-based Camelot hope of still regaining control. According to The Times, industry insiders spoke of “a small chance” the UKGC could overturn its decision if the trial goes in Camelot’s favor.

Allwyn, meanwhile, labeled the ruling “good news” for the lottery, adding that it looked forward to Camelot “working constructively with us to ensure a smooth handover for the benefit of players and good causes alike.”

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