Published: June 9, 2024

UKGC defends handling of the National Lottery licence competition in court

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is facing another day in court this week over its handling of the National Lottery licence competition.

With a view to seek a reported £20m in damages, the legal action has been filed by Northern & Shell PLC against the gaming regulator.

The Case Management Conference for the lawsuit is scheduled for Wednesday, June 5, at 10:30am at the Rolls Building, Fetter Lane, London. Representing Northern & Shell is QC Michael Bowsher from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP), while QC Sarah Hannaford from Hogan Lovells will represent the Gambling Commission. Allwyn, the current licence holder for the National Lottery, will be represented by Quinn Emanuel.

A statement confirming the timing and nature of the case said: “Northern & Shell PLC, owned by media mogul Richard Desmond, has initiated legal proceedings against the Gambling Commission. This action targets the Commission’s handling of the National Lottery licence competition.”

Northern & Shell, along with its subsidiary the New Lottery Company, presenting its case before the Technology and Construction Court (TCC), said the lawsuit follows the “contentious 2022 procurement process where Allwyn Entertainment won the new National Lottery licence, replacing Camelot Group”.

The Gambling Commission has already successfully defended one legal challenge from Camelot and IGT over the licensing tender back in 2022. Both parties challenged the decision but later withdrew their appeals before going to court. 

Later in the year, IGT filed a fresh claim against the regulator and Allwyn which was dismissed by the court. It concluded that the firm did not have the necessary standing to mount a procurement challenge.

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