The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued an update on the Fourth National Lottery licence competition, announcing that it will be pushed back a further six months.
Following a consultation with the applicants in Phase One, four weeks will be added to the Phase Two application stage and a further six weeks for evaluation.
To ensure the transition into the fourth term is as smooth as possible, the UKGC will extend the third National Lottery licence by six months. The preferred operator will be announced in February 2022 with the fourth licence term beginning in February 2024.
UKGC said in a statement that the extension will ‘provide opportunity for applicants to further refine their proposals and for the Commission to evaluate.’
The Fourth National Lottery licence competition will see current incumbents, Camelot, go up against Italy’s Sisal, India’s Sugal & Damani and Sazka Group, under its UK identity, Allwyn.
The extension comes after the Department of Culture, Media and Sport announced it will launch an inquiry into the competition following criticism of current operators Camelot.
In a statement, the UKGC added: “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 want to appoint a licensee that can build on the National Lottery’s legacy and find new opportunities for a sustainable and successful future.
“We remain encouraged by the number of applications received and we look forward to evaluating Phase Two proposals as part of a robust process.”