Ousted National Lottery firm Camelot has decided to end their legal challenge to have the decision to remove them as the lotto operator overturned.
It paves the way for the company selected as their replacement, the Allwyn Group, to take over as planned in February 2024.
But hell hath no fury like a lottery operator scorned, and Camelot WILL proceed with their legal action against the UK Gambling Commission, whose decision ultimately saw their 30-year monopoly on the various lotto draws brought to an end.
Allwyn, who had launched their own lawsuit against Camelot to battle back against its perceived ‘delaying tactics’, has confirmed that they too will stand down their lawyers now that the embattled current licence holder has given up on its court bid.
A spokesperson for Camelot revealed that the legal quest was ‘too great a commercial risk, stating:
“By pursuing the opportunity to be awarded the fourth licence, Camelot has sought to limit the risk that good causes or the Exchequer would have to meet damages if the licence award was found by a court to have been unlawful.
“However, it has become clear that the potential damages covered by the undertakings needed for the appeal to proceed would have been too large, and involved too great a commercial risk, for it to be reasonable to provide them.”
Camelot have already dragged Allwyn and the Gambling Commission through the courts, claiming the latter got their decision to award the lottery licence to the European firm ‘badly wrong’.
After attending the High Court, a block was put on the transfer of the licence – threatening delays and the potential that charities and other good causes wouldn’t receive funding from lottery profits.
But Camelot have now removed their appeal, confirming that they will ‘co-operate’ with Allwyn during the upcoming transition period.
However, Camelot are preparing to battle the Gambling Commission for damages that could be worth up to £500 million, claiming that a ‘risk factor’ score given to Allwyn was too low, given that their business plan involves slicing the price of tickets to £1 while promising more money will be given to charity.
The regulator, meanwhile, has hit back and asserted once again that they ran a ‘fair and robust’ competition for the fourth National Lottery licence since the draw’s inception in 1994.
Doing Plenty of Good
Since its establishment nearly 30 years ago, the National Lottery has pumped a whopping £46 billion back into local communities through donations, while also funding the efforts of Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
They also hand money to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, who help to protect the UK’s landmarks and countryside, and the National Lottery Community Fund, which helps some of the poorest towns and cities to set up and run food banks, amongst other things.
The fear was that any delay to the licence handover would see much-needed funds withheld from towns and cities and charitable projects, with the shortfall made up by an already-stretched Exchequer.
So Camelot’s decision to stand down is a good one from that standpoint, and ends fears that as much as £1 billion in charitable funding could be waylaid while the appeals process went through the courts.