The company International Game Technology (IGT) has dropped its lawsuit against the decision to give Allwyn the fourth UK National Lottery licence. The tech giant is giving up on the damages claim.
The court case began in July of two years ago, in 2022. At that point, the Court of Appeal let IGT appeal the ruling. Following a bidding process, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) picked Allwyn as the lucky winner of the licence in March of that year. In July of the previous year, the Court said that IGT doesn’t have the legal right to sue the above-named authority for damages. During September, the IGT also made a case against the ruling.
It has asked the Court to throw out the above appeal this week, which means it has chosen to stop looking for compensation. The official press release from the Commission said this about this topic: “We remain resolute that we have run a fair and robust competition and that our evaluation has been carried out fairly and legally in line with our statutory duties.” Our main goal is to keep working to make our choice work for the good of the participants and good causes. The fourth National Lottery Licence is set to be given out on February 1, 2024. It also said, “Allwyn has promised to invest in the National Lottery, which is expected to bring growth and innovation to the National Lottery’s products and channels, leading to more donations to good causes, as long as participants are protected and proper behaviour is maintained.”
IGT follows Camelot in withdrawing
Aside from IGT, other groups also spoke out against the move. The National Lottery has been run by Camelot Group since its start in 1994. They also tried to stop the move legally. Along with Allwyn, Camelot was one of the companies that bid for the licence. The New Lottery Company, which is owned by Northern, which runs the Health Lottery, Shell, and Sisal from Italy were also involved. In April 2022, Camelot went to the High Court to ask if the Commission had the right to give the licence to Allwyn. Because of this, the official process of giving Allwyn the lottery licence was put on hold.
In June 2022, the High Court lifted the ban. But the court battle went on, and in July 2022, Camelot and IGT went to the Court of Appeal. Camelot was also given the chance to appeal. In the end, the challenge didn’t work out because Camelot dropped the court bid in September 2022. Allwyn replied that he would give up any claims against Camelot for costs or damages.
Conflict eases as Allwyn acquires Camelot businesses
Allwyn and Camelot used to be at odds with each other over the problem, but since the legal battle ended, the two companies have become much closer. In a few weeks, Camelot will no longer run the lottery, but it will still have ties to the games it has run since the mid-1990s. This is because its replacement made a number of deals to buy other companies. In February 2023, Allwyn bought Camelot UK, which runs the National Lottery. It also bought Camelot Lottery Solutions (Camelot LS) at the beginning of 2023. Since the purchase, the business that deals with people in the US has changed its name to Allwyn North America. Allwyn has already felt the effects of the purchases in both the first half and third quarter of 2023. During the third quarter, Allwyn reported that its overall revenue had grown by 98%. It said that this was because of the purchase of two Camelots. The consolidated gross gaming income going up by 98% is another number that stands out. Allwyn’s biggest market is now the UK, where the company made a total of €956.5m (£822.3m/$1.05bn) in sales in the third quarter.
Still some trouble brewing
Richard Desmond was another upset bidder. He was trying to get a ten-year licence for his company, Northern & Shell. That was at the end of last year. He sued the UKGC and is asking for up to £200m ($255m) in damages. The media mogul says that his failed lottery bid cost £22 million, and he thinks that he could have saved this much money if the regulator had told him early on in the selection process. Desmond has doubts about the choice process and believes his idea wasn’t given a fair chance. Andrew Rhodes, CEO of the UKGC, said that any costs or damages that came up because of this case would probably have to be paid for by money that goes to good causes.
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