The Gambling Commission can proceed with the award of the fourth licence to operate the National Lottery after a High Court judge lifted the automatic suspension which arose on the issue of two procurement challenges.
On its website, the Gambling Commission wrote:
On 15 March, the Gambling Commission announced Allwyn Entertainment UK (“Allwyn”) as Preferred Applicant for the fourth National Lottery licence.
The Commission subsequently received legal proceedings in relation to the competition process, placing an automatic suspension on our ability to formally award the licence to Allwyn. That is why, in May, we asked the High Court to lift the suspension. We made clear that disrupting the implementation of Allwyn’s plans would present potentially severe consequences for the National Lottery and good causes. It also risked the National Lottery not operating to its full potential at the start of the fourth licence.
Today – 29 June – the court agreed to lift the suspension. We will, therefore, begin the important work of formally awarding the licence to Allwyn. Our priority is to continue to work to implement our decision and ensure a seamless and timely transition to the next licence, for the benefit of participants and good causes.
We will also now be preparing for trial of the various claims. We remain resolute that we have run a fair and robust competition, and that our evaluation has been carried out fairly and lawfully in accordance with our statutory duties. We have taken every step possible to ensure a level playing field for all interested parties, to enable us to appoint a licensee who will engage and protect players, run the National Lottery with integrity and ensure the National Lottery maximises support for good causes and its contribution to society through further innovation and investment.
In order to protect the integrity of the process, we will not be able to discuss the specifics until litigation has concluded.