Although the first phase of the UK National Lottery bidding process was scheduled to end in August, the regulator opted to add a further four weeks to the schedule, plus six further weeks to evaluate bids. Current licensee Camelot’s licence was also extended for six more months to February 2024 as part of the extension. The Commission now hope to announce a preferred applicant in early 2022.
“We are delighted by the final number of applications we have received, which is unprecedented since the start of the National Lottery,” said Fourth National Lottery Licence Competition (4NLC) Executive Director, John Tanner. “Our job is to run the best competition we possibly can, one that is open and fair and results in the best outcome for players and good causes. We look forward to appointing a licensee that will build on the National Lottery’s legacy and maximise the opportunities for innovation and creativity whilst protecting the special status of the National Lottery.”
The Commission has not disclosed the identities of applicants, but it is known that Italian lottery operator Sisal, pan-European lottery and gaming giant Sazka and India’s largest lottery operator Sugal & Damani have all applied. Camelot completed the selection questionnaire in October 2020 but has not yet publicly confirmed that it is bidding. Sisal have also announced a new advisory board to support its bid, with Baroness Karren Brady serving as Chair the board. The Chair of Social Enterprise UK and Chair and Founder of Collaborate, Lord Victor Adebowale, will also serve on this new board, alongside former Asda Chief Executive and non-executive Chairman Andy Clarke. Other members include experienced international operator Gary Hughes, UK Creative Industries leader MT Rainey and former Minister for Culture Lord Ed Vaizey. Telecommunications giant BT and children’s charity Barnardo’s are also supporting the Sisal application.