Cabinet reshuffle points to a National Lottery tender delay

Foreign and domestic bidding parties seeking to compete in the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) 2020 National Lottery tender have been frustrated following news reports of likely delays.

This week, the Financial Times reported that the UKGC had not issued its ‘procurement questionnaire’ to bidding parties, a key tender procedure which was meant to be sanctioned at the start of February.

In its report, the Financial Times details that the UKGC’s National Lottery tender schedule will likely be delayed by two-to-three months, frustrating bidding parties seeking to challenge Camelot UK’s position as lead operator of the National Lottery.

Meanwhile, iNewspaper (inews.co.uk) cites that PM Boris Johnson is rethinking responsibilities with regards to which government department should oversee the management of the National Lottery tender.

PM Johnson is reported to be considering shifting National Lottery tender oversight responsibilities from the Department of Culture, Digital, Media and Sport (DCMS) to a ‘beefed up’ business department or the Cabinet Office.

A delay is further anticipated as PM Boris Johnson restructures his senior cabinet this week in which department leaders will be awaiting the publication of the government’s Spring Budget.

Of further note, the PM will likely seek to lessen the demands placed on DCMS during a busy 2020, in which the department has been tasked with carrying out a review of the BBC’s licensing fee requirements and the UK’s digital standards.

The UKGC has maintained that dates in its timetable ‘were only indicative’ and that all bidding parties will be placed on an equal footing when the tender is sanctioned.

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