Camelot UK CEO to exit amid management changes

| By Robert Fletcher
Camelot UK Lotteries has announced a number of changes to its board and management, including the departure of chief executive Nigel Railton and chairman Sir Hugh Robertson.

The changes come following the Great Britain Gaming Commission’s decision to award the fourth National Lottery licence to Allwyn in September 2022, ending Camelot’s 28-year tenure as operator.

Railton will leave Camelot after 24 years with the business, including the last five as its CEO. Prior to this, he also served as Camelot’s financial controller, group chief financial officer and strategy director, while he built and led the Camelot Global international business.

Robertson will also step down after four and a half years as independent non-executive chairman. He was previously chair of the British Olympic Association, having also served as Olympics minister during the 2012 summer Olympic Games in London.

Executive director Matt Ridsdale will also leave the business.

Acquisition approval

Camelot said that the changes to its board and management would take effect from when Allwyn completes its acquisition of Camelot UK, having in October last year announced it was in advanced talks to purchase the business from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

The Gambling Commission this week gave its approval for the deal to proceed.

Allwyn this month also finalised a deal to acquire the US-facing Camelot Lottery Solutions unit of companies from Ontario Teachers.

“I am so proud of what we at Camelot have achieved since launching the National Lottery and, in particular, the successes since I took over as CEO,” Railton said. “I believe we can say with confidence that we delivered on the commitments we made at the time of the strategic review in 2017, and that the plan that we built and executed together has delivered far in excess of what we had forecast.

“The UK National Lottery is in its best-ever shape as we work on the transition to Allwyn UK and I would like to thank my colleagues at Camelot for all they have done, and will continue to do, to ensure the UK continues to have a thriving and healthy National Lottery.”

Robertson added: “It’s been an enormous privilege to have been Camelot’s chairman. In the first six months of this financial year, Camelot reported the highest-ever first-half returns to good causes in the history of The National Lottery. This performance is the result of the commitment of each and every one of my colleagues, to whom I would like to give my heartfelt thanks.

“I would particularly like to thank Nigel for his amazing contribution to Camelot during his 24 years with the organisation and, in particular, for leading the UK business to deliver record performances during his time as CEO.”

Allwyn appointments

Meanwhile, Allwyn announced that it will appoint Clare Swindell and Neil Brocklehurst, currently chief financial officer and commercial director, respectively, at Camelot, as co-chief executives to lead Camelot.

Camelot will continue to operate the National Lottery separately from Allwyn UK through to the end of the third licence in January 2024, with Allwyn scheduled to assume control on 1 February next year. 

In addition, Sir Keith Mills is expected to be appointed as the new chair at closing of the transaction, subject to regulatory approvals. At the same time, Camelot will continue to work to assist Allwyn UK on the transition to the fourth lottery licence.

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