The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued a statement to dismiss reports claiming that Camelot Group is its ‘preferred bidder’ to win the Fourth National Lottery Licence Competition.
The response was issued in light of an article published yesterday by The Daily Telegraph title “Camelot hits National Lottery jackpot” – that claimed the commission had recommended to PM Boris Johnson that Camelot be maintained as the operating company of the National Lottery.
UKGC has maintained throughout the process that the competition would be run ‘in absolute secrecy to protect its integrity’.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Camelot scored highest on a scorecard designed to judge the merits of the bids and had informed DCMS Secretary Nadine Dorries of its assessment.
This morning the Commission, issued a director response stating that the Daily Telegraph’s article was inaccurate and that its claims of favouring Camelot were dismissed as false.
Updating stakeholders, UKGC stated: “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.
“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.”
The result of the competition is expected to be announced later this month, however DCMS has established no formal date for the announced.
It faces fierce competition from the European lottery conglomerate Allwyn, Italian gambling group Sisal – who are finalising a £2bn takeover by FTSE100 Flutter Entertainment – and Richard Desmond’s Northern-&-Shell.
Stepping up in its preparations for success, Allwyn has pre-emptively appointed former Sainsbury’s plc Chief Justin King as its lottery operations lead, contingent on winning the National Lottery licence. King has been working as an advisor to the firm throughout the bidding process.
Earlier this week, Flutter’s CEO Peter Jackson made a last-minute attempt to gain support for Sisal’s bid, encouraging the Commission to bring the National Lottery under British control.
“The Gambling Commission should have no doubt as to Flutter’s commitment through Sisal to the future success of the lottery,” he wrote in his letter to the Commission.