In the United Kingdom and Camelot Group is reportedly soon set to launch a legal challenge against the Gambling Commission’s recent decision not to award it with the ten-year National Lottery operating license.
According to a Saturday report from The Daily Telegraph newspaper, the Watford-headquartered firm has been responsible for the National Lottery ever since the service launched in 1994 while it was in the running for the lucrative new license that would have taken this term up to February of 2034. However, the source detailed that the Gambling Commission regulator confounded many earlier this month by granting the next operating authorization to the Allwyn UK subordinate of European lotteries giant Sazka Group.
Upset at losing out on the National Lottery contract and Camelot Group is now reportedly intending to initiate a High Court challenge and call for a judicial review into the entire procurement process. The disgruntled lottery operator will purportedly contend that the Gambling Commission changed the rules after it had finished above Allwyn UK in a scoring system designed to measure bids.
Camelot Group will reportedly argue that the Gambling Commission incorrectly applied a 15% ‘risk factor’ discount to the financial projections contained within the bid from Allwyn UK. The plaintiff is to purportedly also allege that this mistake made the challenger’s tender more attractive than its own owing to a forecast that the fresh operator would bring in some £38 billion ($49 billion) for a range of charitable causes.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Gambling Commission’s incorrect application of the ‘risk factor’ discount had even prompted Sazka Group, which is run by billionaire Czech businessman Karel Komarek (pictured), to file legal proceedings of its own. But this action was purportedly immediately scrubbed after Allwyn UK was selected as the ‘preferred bidder’ for the next National Lottery operating license on March 15.
A lengthy legal battle could reportedly prevent Allwyn UK from officially signing the contract to run the National Lottery while Komarek himself is now being subjected to increased scrutiny due to the fact that one of his other enterprises runs a large natural gas storage facility in the Czech Republic via a joint venture with Russian energy giant Gazprom. This latter facet purportedly prompted the government minister in charge of overseeing the ongoing review into the British gambling industry, Chris Philp, to seek fresh assurances from the Gambling Commission.
Philp reportedly stated…
“I have asked the Gambling Commission to assure me that it has conducted thorough inquiries to establish that the provisional licence awardee meets the test and it has given me that assurance. There are also arrangements for the proposed licence holder to undergo the United Kingdom’s secure vetting process and that work will begin shortly.”
Komarek has an estimated net worth of £5.9 billion ($7.8 billion) and he is reportedly holding talks with the Czech government about how to oust Gazprom from his gas storage joint venture. The 53-year-old has a vast range of business interests that furthermore run to stakes in Greek lottery and sportsbetting firm OPAP in addition to European casino operator Casinos Austria International and he purportedly reacted to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month by denouncing ‘the barbarism of Vladimir Putin’s regime.’