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Gambling Commission approves Allwyn’s acquisition of Camelot UK

| By Robert Fletcher
The Great Britain Gambling Commission has given approval for Allwyn to proceed with its planned acquisition of Camelot UK Lotteries.
Allwyn National Lottery

In October last year, Allwyn announced it was in advanced talks to purchase the business from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) in a deal reportedly worth approximately £100.0m (€113.9m/$124.0m).

The agreement covers all Camelot’s UK operations, including the current rights to operate the National Lottery until February 2024, when Allwyn will take over after it was awarded the fourth National Lottery licence to Allwyn in September 2022, ending Camelot’s 28-year tenure as operator.

Allwyn said the acquisition would help facilitate a smooth transition of operations, as well as produce “greater clarity and certainty” for the future of the National Lottery, the good causes that it funds and for the employees of both Camelot and Allwyn.

The acquisition remains subject to certain other regulatory conditions.

“This marks an important milestone in our journey to become the operator of the National Lottery; acquiring Camelot will help ensure a smooth transition from the third to the fourth licence, while bringing together the collective expertise and technical know-how of two highly experienced lottery operators,” Allwyn Group chief executive and Allwyn UK interim CEO Robert Chvátal said.

“We are thrilled to welcome Camelot into the Allwyn family. We are united by our common passion: to protect and improve The National Lottery, and the good causes it supports.”

New leadership

In connection with the deal, Allwyn announced a series of changes to Camelot’s board and management team. Clare Swindell, currently the chief financial officer of Camelot, and Neil Brocklehurst, Camelot’s commercial director, will become co-chief executives of Camelot and lead the business through to the end of the fourth licence in January next year.

Swindell joined Camelot in 2017 as chief financial officer and was appointed to the board in September 2019. Prior to her time with Camelot, Swindell was group CFO at Dunnhumby and held a number of senior finance roles at Tesco.

Brocklehurst has worked for Camelot in a series of senior roles for 15 years, most recently as commercial director since 2018. His lottery experience includes working in the UK, Ireland and North America within Camelot Global, including as interim managing director.

Camelot departures

Incidentally, Camelot’s current chairman Sir Hugh Robertson and CEO Nigel Railton will step down from their roles and the board. Allwyn said it expects Sir Keith Mills to be appointed as the new chair at closing of the transaction, subject to regulatory approvals.

“I would like to thank Sir Hugh and Nigel for their contribution to the success of the National Lottery,” Chvátal said. “I am delighted to appoint Clare and Neil as co-chief executives, both of whom have enormous experience in the operation of Camelot and the National Lottery.”

Confirmation of the approval and management changes comes after Allwyn this month also finalised a deal to acquire the US-facing Camelot Lottery Solutions unit of companies from Ontario Teachers.

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