Last week, Camelot decided to take legal actions against the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) as the current licence holder suspected that the fourth National Lottery licence competition was not conducted in a fair manner. A few weeks back, the UKGC announced that Allwyn was the Preferred Applicant, while Camelot was the Reserve Applicant for the fourth National Lottery licence.
It was also last week that an MP assured that the white paper on the reformed 2005 Gambling Act was being finalised. Although he could not be specific with his statement, the MP alluded to affordability checks and single customer reviews being included in the new Gambling Act.
Camelot Takes Legal Actions Against UKGC Following Decision on New National Lottery Operator
A few weeks back, the UKGC announced that Allwyn is chosen as the Preferred Applicant for the fourth National Lottery licence. Meanwhile, Camelot, which has been the only licence holder until now, was announced as the Reserve Applicant. Camelot, however, did not agree with the results of the competition process, with Camelot’s chief executive, Nigel Railton, sharing that the UKGC made a “badly wrong” decision. This was the reason for Camelot taking legal actions against the regulator, claiming the competition was not conducted the proper way.
On its official website, the UKGC commented the case, ensuring that the competition for the fourth National Lottery licence was properly conducted and the decision was made fairly, by assessing all four candidates and their suitability for the operation of the National Lottery.
After the regulator announced its decision about Allwyn becoming the Preferred Applicant, the UKGC entered a standard standstill period. During this time, the applicants had time to reflect on the results of the competition and consider the feedback they were given by the UKGC.
During the standstill period, the UKGC received legal proceedings that were concerning the fourth National Lottery competition. The regulator informed that it was regretful that Camelot decided to take legal actions following the successful licence competition. The UKCG ensured that the whole contest was conducted in a fair way and in accordance with the law and the duties of the regulator.
The UKGC also confirmed that it has given the same opportunities to all four candidates during the competition and was fairly evaluating them. The regulator’s main goal for the National Lottery continues to be offering support for good causes in the UK. The UKGC ensured that it strived towards a smooth transition to the new operator of the National Lottery and hoped that Camelot would be compliant during the transition period.
UK Government Minister Informs White Paper on Gambling Act Review is Being Finalised
Last week, MP Nigel Huddleston addressed other MPs during a debate on gambling-related harm. The said event was led by Carolyn Harris. She is the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling-Related Harm (APPG) and was representing Swansea East. During the debate, Harris informed that the gambling industry in the UK is in dire need of legal reform. She added that she hopes such amendments will be introduced in the white paper which is one element of the ongoing Gambling Act review.
Huddleston responded by ensuring the white paper is about to be completed soon as the government is working on finalizing it. Although he could not specify the changes that will be implemented through the white paper, he said that the process of conducting the white paper is towards its finalisation.
Harris underlined the importance of affordability checks being implemented by a central body. MP Aaron Bell informed that currently, gambling operators are unable to conduct proper affordability checks due to the lack of access to sufficient information. Mr Bell asked if Huddleston would show support to operators who would like to obtain more information to be able to introduce affordability checks.
Huddleston responded by agreeing with the suggestion about the single-customer view that will allow operators to view the complete spending data shared by all of their customers. Huddleston acknowledged that this is a very reasonable measure as many online gamblers tend to have three accounts on average, with problem gamblers having even more.
Harris was also raising the issue of gambling-related ads, pointing out that the “whistle-to-whistle ban” was not effective and asked for a complete ban on gambling advertising instead. Huddleston, however, argued that such a drastic approach would not be effective as he believes gambling advertisements could help customers differentiate licensed operators from those operating illegally. He ensured that the Committee for Advertising Practice is working towards introducing tighter regulations and will soon provide more information on this issue.