UK Nationwide Lottery awarded to Czech group Allwyn

The UK’s Nationwide Lottery is to be awarded to the Czech operator Allwyn following one of the crucial hotly contested battles to win the licence within the scheme’s 28-year historical past.

The Playing Fee stated on Tuesday that Allwyn, which was beforehand often known as Sazka and rebranded with a Saxon identify throughout the course of, had been designated as “most popular applicant” to run the lottery when the present licence expires in 2024.

It’s the first time that the lottery is not going to be run by the incumbent Camelot.

Different candidates included Camelot, the Italian lottery operator Sisal and the media tycoon Richard Desmond, with the competitors attracting essentially the most ever candidates.

Each Camelot and Allwyn have been lining up legal professionals to contest the choice ought to it not go their means. Camelot would be the reserve applicant ought to Allwyn be unable to take up the contract, the fee stated on Tuesday.

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“Our precedence was to run a contest that will appeal to a robust subject of candidates. Having obtained essentially the most functions since 1994, it’s clear that we’ve achieved simply that,” stated Andrew Rhodes, the fee’s chief govt.

The fee additionally famous that it was “glad that no utility is impacted by sanctions associated to the battle in Ukraine” after it emerged that the Sazka’s proprietor, Czech businessman Karel Komarek, ran a gasoline three way partnership with the Russian vitality group Gazprom. Komarek was in talks with the Czech authorities to nationalise the ability, Allwyn stated.

The Nationwide Lottery is among the most profitable authorities contracts on provide within the UK and one of many largest lotteries on the earth. Within the yr to March 2021, Camelot made £8.3bn in gross sales and raised £1.9bn for charities.

Allwyn and Camelot couldn’t be instantly reached for remark.

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