National Lottery

The Fed (Federation of Independent Retailers) has called for continuity between independent retailers and Allwyn Entertainment, after Allwyn was named as the preferred bidder to take over the running of the UK’s National Lottery.

Other final applicants were Sisal Spa, The New Lottery Company Ltd and Camelot UK, which has held the license since 1994.

The Gambling Commission insists it was a fair competition, and that it received the most applications since 1994.

“I am confident that the success of the competition will lead to a highly successful fourth licence – one that maximises returns to good causes, promotes innovation, delivers against our statutory duties, and which ultimately protects the unique status of the National Lottery,” said Gambling Commission chief executive officer, Andrew Rhodes.

“We look forward to working with all parties to ensure a smooth handover.”

Allwyn is due to takeover the National Lottery in 2024.

The Fed’s national president Narinder Randhawa said: “We have always had a great partnership with Camelot, so we are disappointed for them to lose the licence after almost 30 years.

“During this time, a huge amount of positive work has been done to help local communities and good causes. We thank Camelot for their continued support and we will carry on working together over the next two years.

“Thousands of our members have lottery terminals in their stores and have played a major part in the success of the National Lottery since it was launched in 1994.

“We are confident we can establish a good working relationship with Allwyn to continue the support for independent retailers in the future and look forward to a seamless transition.”

Nigel Railton, Camelot CEO, expressed his disappointment in a statement on the company’s website: “I’m incredibly disappointed by today’s announcement, but we still have a critical job to do – as our current licence runs until February 2024. We’re now carefully reviewing the Gambling Commission’s evaluation before deciding on our next steps.

“I’m enormously grateful to our 1,000-plus employees who have been unwavering in delivering record-breaking results during the current licence. And I know they remain absolutely determined to build on our four and a half years of successive sales growth – which has seen us achieve record sales in each of the last two years, resulting in the best-ever returns to Good Causes from ticket sales last year.”

Allwyn’s bid chairman Sir Keith Mills commented: “The National Lottery is a national treasure and we are honoured to have been chosen as its future custodian. With the Gambling Commission having put its trust in us, we can immediately start to enact our exciting plans to deliver The National Lottery back to the heart of our country. We will do this by rekindling the meaning The National Lottery has for each of us, whether as individuals or as part of the communities we live in; whether we play The National Lottery or not.”

The company stated the UK branch has worked closely with Allwyn’s lottery brands across Europe to learn and share best practice in lottery operations with a particular focus on how to improve draw-based games.