IGT Loses Lawsuit Over Loss of National Lottery Bid in the UK

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Posted on: August 1, 2023, 08:18h. 

Last updated on: August 1, 2023, 08:18h.

International Game Technology (IGT) deserves credit for its stubbornness, but won’t claim victory in its fight against the UK and the National Lottery. The global gambling technology company has tried to fight the UK’s decision to turn the Lottery over to Allwyn several times, losing each time.

A UK National Lottery sign hangs over a vendor's store
A UK National Lottery sign hangs over a vendor’s store. IGT has lost a lawsuit that challenged the decision to award the National Lottery license to Allwyn. (Image: Reuters)

Camelot UK and IGT, the entities behind the National Lottery, had both lodged an appeal challenging the UKGC’s choice of Allwyn as the fourth NL licensee in September 2021. Camelot later backed off, but IGT, its technology partner, wasn’t willing to go down without a fight.

In a blow to IGT’s hopes of continuing to be part of the National Lottery, the High Court of England and Wales has rejected its latest legal attack. Following this verdict, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) expressed its commitment to ensuring a seamless and timely transition, and to closing yet another chapter of its book on lottery litigation.

Long Road to Nowhere

In September 2022, the initial set of accusations was dropped; in September 2022, Camelot withdrew its claim against the UKGC. However, IGT didn’t give up and again took legal action against the Gaming Commission’s ruling in January 2023.

It tried a new approach, accusing the regulator of human rights violations. It based its argument on the fact that the turnover of the lottery cost the company as much as £600 million (US$713.52 million).

Following the High Court decision, this second case IGT initiated has now been dismissed. The justices determined that the company lacked the necessary standing to take legal action against the UKGC. Consequently, the case has been dismissed, thereby forfeiting IGT’s opportunity to seek compensation for harm it feels the decision caused the company.

This isn’t necessarily the end of the legal issues over the decision to give Allwyn control of the National Lottery. There’s still one more in play involving The New Lottery Company (TNLC), an entity created by billionaire Richard Desmond specifically to compete for the license. It, too, has fought the decision to award Allwyn the license.

UKGC Promises To Be Fair

Now that it has put several lottery lawsuits to rest, the UKGC has reaffirmed that it has consistently ensured fair play in the tender process. It emphasized that its thorough investigation into the licensees was conducted diligently and in full compliance with legal regulations.

By granting the regulator the authority to appoint a capable operator, and safeguarding the interests of consumers, a balanced environment has been achieved. To reach that level of professional oversight, though, the regulator allegedly felt it necessary to take £155 million (US$198.71 million) from lottery ticket sales to cover the expense.

Furthermore, the UKGC emphasized its commitment to ensuring the efficient management of the National Lottery. It promises a strong focus on optimizing its assistance to worthy causes and its social impact through innovative fundraising endeavors.

Next February, Allwyn is poised to take over operation of the National Lottery for a decade, effectively concluding Camelot UK’s tenure. By acquiring Camelot Lottery Systems, Allwyn has triumphantly met all the obligatory legal and regulatory prerequisites that allow it to assume the reins of the former operator.

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