The Gambling Commission has today (15 March 2022) appointed Allwyn Entertainment Ltd (“Allwyn”) as the preferred candidate for the fourth National Lottery License.
The National Lottery is one of the biggest lotteries in the world and the current third license is due to expire in 2024. Since its launch in 1994, National Lottery players have collectively raised over £45 billion for 660,000 good causes across the UK, transforming lives and contributing to arts, sport, heritage and communities.
Allwyn’s selection as the preferred candidate follows a fair, open and robust competition that received four final stage applications. This is the highest number of applications since the first National Lottery license was awarded in 1994.
Allwyn is committed to investing in the National Lottery which is expected to drive growth and innovation in National Lottery products and channels, which will result in increased contributions to good causes, subject to the protection of participants and the property.
The Gaming Commission is satisfied that all applicants are fit and suitable to operate the National Lottery. Recognizing our role as a responsible regulator, we also believe that no application is affected by sanctions related to the conflict in Ukraine.
Alongside Allwyn, the other contenders were Sisal Spa, Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd and The New Lottery Company Ltd. Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd has been named as a reserve candidate.
This milestone marks the first day of a legal standstill period, lasting at least 10 days, which will be followed by a 22-month transition to the fourth license.
Andrew Rhodes, Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, said:
“During its lifetime, the National Lottery has raised over £45billion for good causes and is rightly considered a great national asset.
“Our priority was to organize a competition that would attract a solid pool of candidates. Having received the most applications since 1994, it is clear that we have succeeded.
“I am confident that the success of the competition will lead to a very successful fourth license – a license that maximizes returns to good causes, promotes innovation, upholds our legal obligations and ultimately protects the unique status of the National Lottery.
“We look forward to working with all parties to ensure a smooth transfer.”
John Tanner, Executive Director of the Gambling Commission and main owner responsible for the competition, said:
“The Commission is grateful to the four candidates for their commitment to the competition. We were impressed with the overall level of applications, including the range and quality of innovations on offer, and the high level of confidence and ambition demonstrated for the National Lottery’s prospects under the fourth licence.
Note to Editors
- Statutory standstill period
following this announcement, there is a legal standstill period, lasting at least 10 days. This period allows all applicants to review the outcome of the competition and comments on their application, before the Commission enters into legal arrangements with the preferred applicant.
the standstill period is followed by the “award notification”. This is when the preferred candidate is confirmed as the “incoming licensee” and the implementation period begins.
during the legal standstill period – to protect the integrity of the process – neither the Commission nor competition applicants are able to comment on the details of an application
once the legal arrangements have been made, at the end of the status quo, the Preferred Applicant will begin preparations for the transition to the fourth license. During this period, there will be no change in the operations of the National Lottery.
- Preferred Candidate and Reserve Candidate Status
the preferred applicant, Allwyn Entertainment Ltd, is the organization with which the Commission intends to finalize the license
in addition, Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd has been selected as a reserve candidate. The reserve candidate is the candidate with whom the Commission intends to finalize the license, in the event that the finalization cannot be carried out with the privileged candidate.
the Gaming Commission was solely responsible for the decision to award a national lottery license. The decision is made independently by the Board of Commissioners of the Gaming Commission
the Gaming Commission is satisfied that all applicants are fit and suitable to operate the National Lottery
the government’s sanctions regime is a rapidly evolving situation. As the responsible regulator, we have performed due diligence to ensure that applicants are not affected by sanctions. The Board is satisfied that no claimants are currently affected.
- The fourth license of the National Lottery
The world has changed significantly since the National Lottery was granted its third license in 2009. To ensure that the National Lottery remains relevant to society at large and continues to provide meaningful benefits to good causes, the Gaming Commission has developed a new form of licensing. The license is designed to support innovation and maximize returns to good causes, while protecting the unique status of the National Lottery.
Key changes for the fourth license include:
a new incentive mechanism that ensures licensee incentives and delivery are better aligned with contributions to good causes. Under this mechanism, licensee profits will be more closely aligned with returns to good causes than ever before.
a move towards a results-based approach, in line with best practice and National Audit Office recommendations. This will give the licensee greater responsibility for meeting its obligations, while retaining the Commission’s power to intervene if it does not comply
greater flexibility for the licensee, allowing it to more quickly and efficiently adapt its offerings to reflect changing technology, regulation and consumer preferences, as long as it meets licensing obligations
a 10-year fixed license, giving the licensee a clear period for investment planning
a retail charter to ensure the next licensee proactively engages with retailers when the fourth license begins in February 2024.
- History of the National Lottery
There have been three competitions for the National Lottery since its inception in 1994. The current holder has applied and won on each of the three occasions.
the first licence: 1994 – 2002
the second licence: 2002 – 2009
the third license: 2009 – 2019 (Note: The National Lotteries Commission extended the third license in 2012, extending it to 2023. This was followed by two further 6-month extensions due to the global pandemic. The license current one now ends in February 2024)
The Office of National Lottery (OFLOT) organized the first licensing competition and the National Lottery Commission organized the second and third. The merger of the Gambling Commission and the National Lottery Commission took place in 2013.
- About the Gaming Commission
The Gambling Commission is the UK’s independent statutory body responsible for awarding the license to operate the National Lottery and responsible for regulating it to ensure safe and fair gambling. The current license is due to expire in 2024.
As part of our responsibility as a regulator, we have three primary legal obligations:
ensure that the National Lottery, and each lottery that is part of it, is properly managed and promoted
to ensure that the interests of each participant in a lottery are protected
subject to the above two duties, do our best to ensure that the net proceeds of the National Lottery are as high as possible.
While the Gaming Commission is responsible for managing competition and regulating the National Lottery, the distribution of the funds it generates is separate. This is ensured by independent broadcasters, under the supervision of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports and decentralized administrations.
- About the National Lottery
Since its launch in 1994, National Lottery players have collectively raised over £45 billion for 660,000 good causes across the UK, transforming lives and contributing to the arts, sport, heritage and communities .
Over 6,300 new millionaires have been created and National Lottery players raise over £30million every week for good causes.
For more information, please visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk (opens in a new tab)
- Calendar of competitions
- competition launched – August 2020
- Invitation to apply issued – October 2020
- final application deadline – October 2021
- notification of results – March 2022
- award notification – March 2022
- start of the fourth license – February 2024
For all media enquiries, please contact the Gambling Commission press office.
Last update: March 15, 2022