Last week, the news surrounding the gambling industry in the UK was mainly focused on the new potential operator of the National Lottery. As the fourth licence holder of the National Lottery in the UK is soon to be announced, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), named one of the applicants as the Preferred Operator of the National Lottery.
Meanwhile, a survey on the gambling and lottery sector in the UK revealed that the industry was facing serious cyber security threats. As the gambling industry in the UK is going through serious changes, with a White Paper on the 2005 Gambling Act soon to be published, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) published a report dissecting the cyber security in the UK’s gambling and lottery industry.
Allwyn Selected as a Preferred Candidate for the National Lottery Licence
Last week, the UKGC named Allwyn Entertainment Ltd (t/a Allwyn) as the Preferred Applicant in the competition for the fourth National Lottery licence. The current licence for the operation of one of the biggest lotteries in the world will expire in 2024. Throughout the years the National Lottery has been properly regulated, it raised over £45 billion thanks to players’ contribution, helping 660,000 different good causes in the UK. Thanks to the funds that have been raised, the National Lottery helped the development of sectors like arts, sport, heritage, and communities.
Ever since the first licence for the operation of the National Lottery was awarded in 1994, there have not been that many applicants participating in the licence competition. Allwyn is one of the four final candidates that were chosen as potential operators that can receive the fourth National Lottery licence.
Allwyn is ready to be dedicated to the National Lottery by investing enough funds to help the development of the various products and channels governed by the National Lottery. This will help to further increase the organisation’s contribution to charities and good causes, which is a fundamental part of players and propriety protection.
According to the UKGC, all four candidates are fit to take on the position of National lottery operator. The regulator is also pleased that none of the applicants has been affected by the sanctions that came as an effect of the conflict in Ukraine.
In addition to Allwyn, the other three participants in the competition are Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd, Sisal Spa, and The New Lottery Company Ltd. The company which has earned the previous three operating licences, Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd, was named a Reserve Applicant.
As Allwyn was chosen as a Preferred Applicant by the UKGC, the standstill period of 10 days has begun. During that period all applicants will have time to review the results of the competition and evaluate their applications. An ‘award notification’ typically follows the standstill period, with the preferred applicant officially being confirmed as the new license holder. This starts the implementation period of 22 months, guaranteeing a smooth transition from the current license holder to the newly selected National Lottery operator.
NCSC Reveals Cyber Security Threats in Gambling and Lottery Sector in the UK
Last week, a report published by the NCSC showed that the gambling and lottery sector in the UK was facing some cyber security risks. The survey along with the information collected during interviews with the Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), as well as other cyber security senior executives, revealed that the gambling industry in the UK is facing familiar cyber security risks.
One of the cyber security threats the industry is facing includes protecting the supply chain, which is the process of making sure that there is enough visibility and verification for the cyber security of the company outside its boundaries. This means that security controls almost never include companies beyond related third parties. To manage such a threat, last year, the World Lottery Association implemented cyber security supply chain controls as a part of its Security Control Standard.
The most concerning issue with the supply chain arose from the protection of user data and the potential risk of cyber attacks that may result from cases when third parties related to operators have been compromised. Following recent cyber attacks on the software company SolarWinds, survey respondents acknowledged that major providers were rarely seen as suppliers and this was the reason they were not always investigated as thoroughly as smaller organisations might be.
The NCSC has provided enough resources available to operators who may wish to improve their cyber security, focusing on their supply chain. These resources are available on the official websites of the NCSC.