The Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) has started an inquiry aimed at examining and evaluating the way it manages the competition process for the operating licence of the UK National Lottery.
The “Fourth National Lottery Competition” was officially given a start on August 28th, 2020 despite the country’s gambling sector has been facing some difficulties because of the coronavirus pandemic and the closures associated with it. The process is being monitored by the UK gambling regulatory body and its advisory panel.
The competition process for the National Lottery’s operating permit, which has been estimated at billions of pounds, is set to end up with awarding the next licence of the NL for 10 more years after the current holding of Camelot UK expires.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) gave the start to the competition process in order to make sure that the National Lottery boosts the benefits for both good causes and players in the country and maximises the creativity and innovation that is normally associated with the NL.
The DCMS sticks to its competition schedule and the chosen candidate is set to be officially revealed in September. After that, a 2-year transition period for the big change in the National Lottery licence holder.
The Next National Lottery Licence Holder to Be Announced in September
As revealed by the authorities, the competition process requires scrutiny, especially considering the concerns that with the current operator of the National Lottery – Camelot UK – the returns for good causes had not experienced the same growth rate as the company’s profits.
To address these concerns the Department of Culture, Media and Sports confirmed there will be changes to the operation of the licence this time, in order for the new licence holder to guarantee that contributions to good causes will increase in a similar proportion to the operator’s profit. As part of the inquiry, DCMS has required stakeholder feedback on a number of issues, including the effectiveness of the Fourth Competition; further factors that need to be taken into mind when determining the success of the competition process and its effects on the UK gambling sector and the society; ways to ensure a smooth transition between the current and the following licence periods; as well as calculation of the returns for good causes under the holder of the fourth National Lottery licence.
The Fourth Competition process has attracted the interest of several companies, including Sazka’s Allwyn, Sisal, Northern & Shell Group and Sugal & Damani, which has decided to retire from the bidding process. The companies have channelled their efforts into replacing Camelot UK as the operator of the National Lottery for the next ten years, while the country’s authorities are trying to get the best of it and raise more money for good causes.
As confirmed by Julian Knight MP, Chair of the DCMS Committee, so far a total of £43 billion have been raised by the National Lottery for good causes since it was established in 1994. And the Government is hoping more of that will come after the new licence holder is selected.