Bidding Now In Progress For National Lottery License

The National Lottery launched in 1994, and has since raised over £40b for chosen causes along with over £59b in prize money. Camelot, a Canadian-owned company has run the lottery since the beginning, winning all three licenses in 1994, 2000 and 2006.Since its inception, the National Lottery has played a vital part in the funding of UK causes with revenue reaching £2.2b to help stage the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London.

Fresh Interest

With the latest agreement coming to an end in 2023, the licenses are now open for bidding with a strong interest shown from French operator, Française des jeux (FDJ).A spokesman for Camelot told Gambling Insider, they are interested in making a new bid for the license and the lottery is “in it’s best shape ever”, although the lottery responded well in 2019, previous years have seen performance down.In 2016/17 ticket sales dropped forcing Camelot to rethink their strategies for following years. Camelot attributed the drop down to competition from other lottery products including online Lottoland.Although the initial sales dropped during this period, the review of strategies has since seen tickets sales increase year on year with record sales online. In 2019, Camelot announced sales of tickets were up by 14%, with digital sales rocketing by 40%.

UKGC Troubles

It’s been a turbulent time for Camelot with wrangles during the current agreement with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). In 2012, Camelot brought proceedings against the UKGC over claims it failed to take action against the Health Lottery, claiming it compromised their operations.More recently, the UKGC issued a fine of £1.2m to Camelot for controls-related failures, with all this in mind, the UKGC may decide a fresh face would make for a better relationship.FDJ became privatised this year and have already been in talks with Rothschild, an investment bank who lead the search for a New National Lottery Operator. FDJ are no strangers to lottery as Euromillions and Lotto account for 20% of the operator’s stake. This could become a favourable point in the decision making as to whether Camelot remain operators for the National Lottery or is it time for change?

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