The race to secure the contract to operate the UK National Lottery draws will reach its conclusion within the next few months.
The UK Gambling Commission has been weighing up the runners and riders that have thrown their hat into the ring, and they are expected to contact the government with their nomination in the first quarter of 2022.
The successful party will then take the reins of the lotto draws from 2024 onwards, with the next contract due to expire in 2034.
A number of parties are thought to be in the mix, and the Daily Telegraph newspaper has reported that Camelot – the current incumbents – have been chosen to carry on in the position they have held since the National Lottery’s inception in 1994.
The article, headlined ‘Camelot Hits National Lottery Jackpot’, claims that the Commission has already recommended Camelot to the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport Nadine Dorries, with the operator finishing top of a secret scorecard system.
However, the Commission has hit back, publishing a statement calling the Telegraph’s piece ‘false’ and ‘inaccurate’.
“Our job is to run the best competition we possibly can – one that is fair and open, and results in the best outcome for players and good causes,” it read.
“The Board of Commissioners make the final decision, and will inform the Government when the final decision is made.
“We are still in the process of evaluation, and today’s Daily Telegraph piece is simply based on false and inaccurate information. We have asked them to remove the article in its current form from the newspaper’s website.”
Flutter Confirms Lotto Ticket
Whether Camelot have got the National Lottery contract remains to be seen, but Flutter certainly aren’t giving up without a fight.
The firm, which runs Sky Vegas, Sky Casino and PokerStars amongst a raft of bookmakers, threw their hat into the ring to take over from Camelot when they splashed £1.6 billion on Italian outfit Sisal, who had already applied for the lottery licence.
Flutter chief Peter Jackson has this week written to the Commission, claiming that it’s of paramount importance that the National Lottery licence remains in the hands of a UK-based firm.
Jackson told the regulator that there should be ‘no doubt as to Flutter’s commitment through Sisal to the future success of the lottery.’
One of Flutter and Camelot’s rivals in the bidding process are Allwyn, a Czech-based outfit formerly known as Sazka Entertainment. They already run a number of lottery draws across Europe, and they possess Seb Coe – a member of the House of Lords – on their advisory board.
He has since quit from his duties in the House, and while sources have suggested that he resigned for reasons not connected to the National Lottery, it is thought he did not want the public to think there were any shenanigans going on and a potential abuse of power.
Throw into the mix the bid put forward by newspaper empresario and operator of the UK Health Lottery, Richard Desmond, and it’s fair to say that the Commission has some job on their hands finding a clear winner.