Allwyn promises to “rekindle” UK National Lottery

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Allwyn Entertainment said it will “rekindle” the meaning of the UK National Lottery, after being selected as the Gambling Commission’s preferred applicant to operate the lottery licence.
Danske Spil GGR

Allwyn was selected by the Commission earlier today, meaning it will become the first non-Camelot operator of the National Lottery when the new licence begins in February 2024.

It said that the Gambling Commission had selected its bid because it “was judged to be the best way of growing returns to good causes by revitalising the National Lottery in a safe and sustainable way”.

“The National Lottery is a national treasure and we are honoured to have been chosen as its future custodian,” said Sir Keith Mills, chair of Allwyn’s bid. “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.”

Allwyn UK chair Justin King added that the regulator had focused on the “challenges” the lottery currently faced when evaluating bids.

“I’m delighted that Allwyn’s proposal has been deemed the strongest to grow good causes in the safest and most sustainable way possible,” King said. “The Gambling Commission has run a lengthy and detailed process and I’ve been extremely impressed by the attention they have paid to the challenges facing the National Lottery over the coming decades. 

“The National Lottery is a vital British institution and we’re focused on ensuring it plays an even bigger part in society by increasing participation, improving safeguards and giving back more to good causes.”

Meanwhile, Allwyn Entertainment group chief executive Robert Chvátal said that the business looked forward to building on its track record of operating lotteries elsewhere – such as Austria and its home nation of the Czech Republic.

“Allwyn Entertainment is a global lottery operator, so we’re thrilled by the opportunity to become the steward of the world’s finest lottery institution,” he said. “We’ve grown rapidly across Europe since 2012 by investing in lotteries and making them better and we intend to build on this phenomenal track record in the UK once Allwyn takes control of day-to-day operations in 2024. I’d like to thank everyone who has worked on our bid and the Gambling Commission for running a fair and competitive competition.”

The operator – formerly known as the Sazka Group – also promised a “smooth transition” from the end of Camelot’s term to the start of its own.

Camelot chief executive Nigel Railton said he was disappointed by the decision to select Allwyn, but that his business would continue to work on delivering a strong product and raising money for good causes until the third licence expires.

“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, he said. “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.”

Railton added that Camelot’s unsuccessful bid comes despite impressive results in the previous two years.

“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 selection follows a competitive tender process that also involved The New Lottery Company – owned by Health Lottery operator Northern and Shell – and Italy’s Sisal, as well as Camelot. Reports last month claimed that the regulator had already decided on Camelot, but the Commission quickly dismissed the claims as “inaccurate”.

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