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National Lottery Update

Volume 710: debated on Tuesday 15 March 2022

The Gambling Commission has today announced the outcome of its competition to run the 4th National Lottery licence, covering the 10-year period from 2024 to 2034. In accordance with relevant legislation, this decision has been made by the Gambling Commission’s Board. DCMS and Ministers have not been involved in the decision-making process.

Today’s announcement marks an important moment in the history of the National Lottery, which has raised over £45 billion for good causes across the United Kingdom since its launch in 1994. The National Lottery has made over 660,000 individual grants to communities and to the arts, heritage and sports sectors. In recent years this included over £1.2 billion to support the UK’s Covid response and recovery.

The 4th National Lottery licence competition was launched by the Gambling Commission in August 2020. Following extensive market engagement, the Commission received four final applications to operate the licence—the highest number since the first licence was awarded in 1994. Following a thorough evaluation process, the Commission has chosen Allwyn Entertainment Ltd. as the preferred applicant to operate the licence and Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd. as the reserve applicant. Pending a legal standstill period, which will last for at least 10 days, Allwyn Entertainment Ltd. will be confirmed as the incoming licensee and will, following the signing of an enabling agreement, work with the Commission to ensure a smooth transition from the 3rd to the 4th licence, which will operate from 1 February 2024. The details of the Commission’s announcement can be found at: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk.

The award of the 4th National Lottery licence is made under provisions in the National Lottery etc. Act 1993. That legislation sets out the roles and responsibilities of the Government and the Gambling Commission and gives the Commission the power to award the licence to run the National Lottery. It also enshrines the principles underpinning the UK’s National Lottery: that it be run with due propriety, that the interests of all players be protected and that, within these parameters, returns to good causes are maximised. These principles are at the heart of the 4th licence, which will see operator profits more closely aligned with good causes than under the 3rd licence, while also continuing to hold the operator to account for protecting players and maintaining the highest standards of propriety.

This award does not change the principles governing the distribution of funding to good causes across the UK, which is the responsibility of 12 public bodies acting as National Lottery Distributors, as set out in legislation.

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