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IGT drops legal challenge over fourth National Lottery licence

| By Robert Fletcher
International Game Technology (IGT) has withdrawn its legal challenge over the decision to award the fourth UK National Lottery licence to Allwyn.
IGT National Lottery

The case dates back to July 2022 when the Court of Appeal granted IGT permission to challenge the selection. The Gambling Commission named Allwyn as the successful bidder for the National Lottery licence in March 2022.

In July 2023, the Court said IGT did not have legal standing for a claim for damages against the Commission. IGT appealed this ruling in September but this week asked the Court to dismiss the appeal. The tech giant will no longer pursue the damages claim.

“We remain resolute that we have run a fair and robust competition and that our evaluation has been carried out fairly and lawfully in accordance with our statutory duties,” the Commission said.

“Our priority is to continue to work to implement our decision for the benefit of participants and good causes. The fourth National Lottery Licence is due to be granted on 1 February 2024.

“Allwyn has committed to investment in the National Lottery that is expected to deliver growth and innovation across the National Lottery’s products and channels, resulting in increased contributions to good causes, subject to the protection of participants and propriety.”

IGT follows Camelot in withdrawing 

IGT was not the only party to challenge the decision. Camelot Group, which has operated the National Lottery since its launch in 1994, also sought a legal route to block the move. 

Camelot was among the parties bidding for the licence alongside Allwyn. Also involved was The New Lottery Company, owned by Health Lottery operator Northern and Shell and Italy’s Sisal.

In April 2022, Camelot launched a High Court challenge, regarding whether the Commission lawfully awarded the licence to Allwyn. This led to the formal issuing of the lottery licence to Allwyn being suspended.

The High Court lifted the suspension in June 2022. However, the legal challenge continued, with Camelot and IGT approaching the Court of Appeal in July 2022. Like IGT, Camelot was given permission to appeal.

The challenge ultimately came to nothing, with Camelot dropping the legal bid in September 2022. In response, Allwyn agreed to waive all claims for costs or damages against Camelot.

Conflict eases as Allwyn acquires Camelot businesses

While Allwyn and Camelot were once at loggerheads over the issue, the two companies have become much closer since the legal challenge ended.

Camelot will be stepping aside as the lottery’s operator in a few weeks but will retain links to the games it has run since the mid-1990s. This is through a series of acquisition deals struck by its successor.

Allwyn acquired Camelot UK, current operator of the National Lottery in February 2023. It also acquired Camelot Lottery Solutions (Camelot LS) earlier in 2023. The US-facing business has since been rebranded as Allwyn North America to reflect the purchase. 

The impact of the acquisitions has already been felt by Allwyn, both in the first half and Q3 of 2023. During Q3, Allwyn announced a 98% rise in consolidated total revenue. This, it said, was driven by the double Camelot acquisition.

Other stand-out figures include consolidated gross gaming revenue rising 98%. As for geographical performance, the UK is now the core market for Allwyn, with total revenue in the UK in Q3 at €956.5m (£822.3m/$1.05bn).

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