Post-Camelot National Lottery must focus on good causes and protecting players

New national lottery operator Allwyn needs to do more to protect players from gambling harm while “restoring the link between buying a ticket and supporting charity,” MPs said.

A lack of awareness could lead to public calls for prizes to be raised at the expense of returns to charity and raise “existential questions about the future of the lottery,” the Committee on Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) report warned.

The committee also called on Allwyn to become more financially involved with the GambleAware charity to support those at risk from gambling, while lottery products should label support services.

In recent years, Camelot’s increasingly for-profit approach has pocketed good causes and pushed players into potentially more harmful forms of gamblingJulian Knight, Chair of the DCMS Committee

The recommendations follow an investigation into the Gaming Commission’s competition for the award of the next operating license.

The Gambling Commission confirmed in September that Allwyn Entertainment, which operates lotteries in Austria, the Czech Republic and Greece, will receive the latest national lottery license from February 2024.

In March, the regulator initially announced that it would hand over the license to Allwyn and drop Camelot after 30 years.

Camelot launched legal proceedings against the decision a month later, claiming that the Commission had made the decision “seriously wrong”.

The commission asked the High Court to overturn the automatic surrender order based on the litigation, warning of the disruption it could cause to the lottery.

In late June, the court agreed to lift the suspension preventing it from beginning license transfer, but Camelot appealed

However, Camelot and rival IGT later confirmed that they had dropped their case before the Court of Appeal.


Exiting British lottery operator Camelot (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The DCMS panel’s report concludes that the competition was “poorly managed” and notes that it was concerned at reports that up to £600million was out of budget as a result of Camelot’s decision to take legal action could be diverted to charity.

Camelot was said to have faced increasing criticism in recent years, with National Lottery draw-based ticket sales and charitable donations falling as profits soared.

The report states that the National Lottery’s “stagnant return on charity appears to be the result of decisions made by Camelot, which has prioritized games that allow it to retain a higher percentage of sales as profits.”

Camelot did not make himself available during the investigation, the committee said.

The Gambling Commission and new operator Allwyn now have an opportunity to work together to reconnect the public between buying a ticket and supporting charities and projects in their local communitiesJulian Knight, Chair of the DCMS Committee

DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight said: “While the National Lottery has become an integral part of British life and millions enjoy its games every week, Camelot’s increasingly profit-oriented approach has bagged worthy causes in recent years and pushed gamblers into potentially more harmful forms of gambling.

“The next licensing period got off to an unfavorable start, with perceived flaws in the competitive process leading to a claim for compensation that could ultimately lose out to charities and other good causes that rely on lottery funding. The deficiencies must be remedied for the future.

“The Gambling Commission and new operator Allwyn now have an opportunity to work together to reconnect the public between buying a ticket and supporting charities and projects in their local communities. At the same time, there must be a reasonable financial commitment to support those at risk of gambling harm.

We remain determined that we have competed fairly and robustlyGambling Commission spokesman

“Without a significant departure from the outgoing regime’s approach, one doesn’t have to be Mystic Meg to foresee a future where the clamor for big cash jackpots takes precedence over the lottery’s original purpose of raising money for good causes while attracting more players.” are being pushed towards gambling products that can seriously harm health and well-being.”

A Camelot spokesman said: “The report is incorrect in claiming that charity proceeds are declining. In each of the last two years, Camelot has generated the highest charity revenue from ticket sales in the history of the National Lottery, with annual charity revenue now being £530m more than when the National Lottery’s third lottery license began in 2009.

“We have written to the committee to confirm that we would like to appear once the competition – and then the subsequent litigation – is concluded.”

A Gambling Commission spokesman said: “We remain determined that we have competed fairly and robustly and that our evaluation was conducted fairly and lawfully in accordance with our legal obligations. To protect the integrity of the process, we cannot discuss the details until the litigation is resolved.

“We trust that the committee will be pleased to note that we have already committed to vigilant monitoring of the Fourth License and its proceeds to good causes, as well as a full review of our licensing competition design process, which we will keep the committee informed of will hold in the future.”

Allwyn said in a statement: “Allwyn is committed to reinvigorating the National Lottery under the Fourth License, refocusing on safer draw games and ultimately ensuring there is a far stronger connection between players, causes and local communities.

“Allwyn will be focused on growing charitable returns in a safe and sustainable manner over the course of the 10-year license.

“We want to show that the National Lottery can be a benchmark for the entire gaming industry on how best to protect entrants in today’s digital world.” Post-Camelot National Lottery must focus on good causes and protecting players

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