Camelot withdraws appeal against Court of Appeal judgment suspending the UKGC’s ability to award the 4th National Lottery licence to Allwyn

On 30 June 2022, we reported on the High Court judgment that lifted suspension of the Gambling Commission’s ability to formally award the 4th National Lottery licence to Allwyn Entertainment Limited (‘Allwyn’).

On 14 July 2022, we reported that the Court of Appeal had granted permission to Camelot and IGT to appeal that judgment, as a result of which the automatic suspension remained in place pending the outcome of that appeal.

Last night (5 September 2022), the Gambling Commission announced that Camelot intends to withdraw its appeal and pursue its claim against the Commission in damages alone. It remains to be seen whether IGT will do likewise, meaning that the above-mentioned suspension remains in place until that is resolved. However, we would be surprised if IGT do not follow the same line as that adopted by Camelot.

The Commission’s announcement reads as follows:

Update on fourth National Lottery licence: Camelot withdraw appeal

On 14 July, the Court of Appeal granted Camelot and IGT permission to appeal the High Court’s decision to lift the automatic suspension that prevented the Gambling Commission from formally awarding the fourth National Lottery licence to Allwyn Entertainment UK (“Allwyn”).

As a result of permission to appeal being granted, the automatic suspension remained in place.

Tonight – Monday 5 September 2022 – we received correspondence from Camelot indicating that they intend to withdraw their appeal and pursue their claim in damages only. We are not aware that IGT’s position has changed and therefore the IGT appeal and the suspension will continue until that is resolved. Resolution of the appeal would allow us to proceed with the important work of formally awarding the licence to Allwyn.

Our priority is to continue to work to implement our decision and ensure a seamless and timely transition to the next licence, for the benefit of participants and good causes.

We remain resolute that we have run a fair and robust competition, and that our evaluation has been carried out fairly and lawfully in accordance with our statutory duties.

We do not intend to comment further at this stage.

At the time of posting this update, a public statement from Camelot is still awaited.


NOTE:

In terms of further relevant background information in relation to the above litigation, see our following website postings:


UPDATES:

1. Commenting on the above Development, Allwyn has confirmed that it has agreed to waive all claims for costs or damages against Camelot. Its full statement reads as follows:

As previously announced, in March 2022 the UK Gambling Commission selected Allwyn Entertainment Ltd, a subsidiary of Allwyn Entertainment AG (“Allwyn”), as its Preferred Applicant for the Fourth Licence to operate the UK National Lottery.  The award of the license has been contested in a legal challenge.

On June 29, 2022, the court ruled to lift the automatic suspension preventing the UK Gambling Commission from entering into agreements with Allwyn Entertainment Ltd to commence the transition process. That ruling was appealed by Camelot UK Lotteries Limited (the incumbent operator of the UK National Lottery) and Camelot Global Lottery Solutions Limited (together, the “Camelot Entities” and the “Camelot Appeal”) and International Game Technology plc, resulting in the suspension continuing.

Today, Allwyn announced that the Camelot Entities have decided to withdraw the Camelot Appeal, and Allwyn Entertainment Ltd and Allwyn International A.S. have agreed to waive all claims for costs or damages against the Camelot Entities. Allwyn very much welcomes this decision and looks forward to cooperating with Camelot and the Gambling Commission on the transition process. Allwyn is excited at the prospect of becoming the custodian of Europe’s biggest lottery.

2. On 20 September 2022, following withdrawal by both Camelot and IGT of their respective appeals, the Gambling Commission formally awarded the fourth National Lottery licence to Allwyn (as subsequently reported by us here).