The Court of Appeal has given permission to the Camelot Group and International Game Technology (IGT) to appeal the decision to grant the fourth UK National Lottery license to Allwyn Entertainment.
The Gambling Commission in March named Allwyn as its preferred candidate for the license, a decision that would end Camelot’s 28-year tenure as the UK’s lottery operator.
Camelot, which has run the lottery since its inception in 1994, was named a reserve candidate and would continue in its role if the Gambling Commission did not complete a deal with Allwyn.
In April, Camelot launched an appeal to the Supreme Court against the decision. This led to the suspension of the formal issuance of the lottery license to Allwyn.
The Supreme Court lifted the suspension in June, although legal challenge continued, with Camelot and IGT also launching a legal challenge against the decision.
The Court of Appeal has now granted permission to appeal, which means that the automatic suspension will take effect again, pending the outcome of the appeal process. The appeal hearing is likely to take place the week of September 12.
A process that delays the granting of a National Lottery license and operation
“Throughout the litigation process, it became clear that disrupting the implementation of Allwyn’s plans would have potentially serious consequences for the National Lottery,” the Gambling Commission said. “It also risks the National Lottery not operating to its full potential at the start of the fourth license.”
“We are obviously disappointed with this outcome, but we respect the court’s decision. The appeals process will create challenges for transitioning to the fourth license and further delays in granting the license to Allwyn.”
“We regret the decision of third parties to institute legal proceedings following the result of a highly successful competition for the Fourth License of the National Lottery, actions that could impact the transition to the Fourth License and, ultimately, the funding of good causes.”
“However, it remains our priority to ensure a seamless transition between the third and fourth National Lottery licenses so that players can continue to play the lottery fairly, securely and claim their winnings, and for the National Lottery to continue to offer for good causes in every corner of the UK”, the commission concluded.
Allwyn’s selection followed a tender process that also involved The New Lottery Company – owned by lottery operator Northern Health and Shell – and Italy’s Sisal, as well as Camelot.
In response, Allwyn President Justin King said the decision risked undermining the lottery’s ability to distribute funds to good causes.
As a result, he asked Camelot and IGT to include good causes in their venture – a promise to pay affected parties for damages caused by the injunction.
“We are obviously disappointed with the decision,” he said. “This creates the likelihood of further delays, as the appeal won’t be made until September. Often this delay hinders the introduction of the benefits that the fourth license brings to good causes.”
“As the court has ruled, Camelot and IGT must now provide an indemnity pledge. We invite you to ensure that the venture includes good causes, or, instead, in the interests of good causes and the National Lottery, to graciously accept Justice Mrs. O’Farrell’s decision”.
“This would allow the suspension to be lifted and the Gambling Commission to move forward with granting the Fourth License to Allwyn,” concluded King.