Allwyn, the Czech-based firm that’s set to take over the UK Nationwide Lottery, has agreed to purchase the present operator Camelot in a deal which can ease the handover of the lottery licence and finish authorized wrangling over the procurement course of.
The deal is predicted to shut early subsequent yr, pending approval from the Playing Fee, the UK’s gaming regulator. Allwyn purchased Camelot from the Ontario Lecturers’ Pension Plan, which has owned the enterprise for 12 years, for round £100mn, based on an individual aware of the matter.
Allwyn received the contract to function the subsequent Nationwide Lottery licence in March, changing into the primary operator to switch Camelot within the lottery’s 28-year historical past. However the handover course of was placed on maintain due to a authorized problem introduced by Camelot towards the Playing Fee, which was ultimately dropped in September.
Robert Chvátal, Allwyn’s chief govt, mentioned the acquisition “strengthens the transition course of and helps assist Allwyn in attaining its imaginative and prescient for the Nationwide Lottery” following months of delay to the handover of the lottery operations.
The Playing Fee had argued in court docket that the delayed handover may have harmed fundraising for good causes.
Camelot nonetheless deliberate to pursue monetary damages over the best way wherein the Playing Fee dealt with the bidding course of in a Excessive Court docket case scheduled for early subsequent yr, however the authorized problem might be withdrawn following the takeover.
Chvátal mentioned the deal would “make sure the profitable supply” of the Nationwide Lottery each subsequent yr and when Allwyn, Europe’s largest lottery operator, takes over the operating of the lottery in February 2024.
Camelot will proceed to be run individually, however most of Camelot’s 900 employees have been already set to switch to Allwyn as a part of the handover of the lottery licence.
The lottery is likely one of the UK authorities’s most profitable procurement contracts and the 10-year licence is projected to generate as much as £100bn in gross sales for Allwyn. Within the yr to the top of March, Camelot reported gross sales price £8.1bn.
Since its inception in 1994 the lottery has generated £46bn for good causes, together with UK Sport, which helps athletes making ready for the Olympic and Paralympic Video games, the Arts Council and the British Movie Institute.
As a part of its successful bid, Allwyn which modified its title from Sazka Group in the course of the bidding course of, pledged to halve ticket costs to £1, double the amount of cash generated for good causes and make investments closely in new digital merchandise.
In September, Allwyn, which is owned by Czech billionaire Karel Komárek, referred to as off plans to drift on the New York Inventory Alternate through a clean cheque firm run by Gary Cohn due to unfavourable market situations.