The UK Gambling Commission has dismissed a newspaper report that claimed it had already chosen Camelot as its preferred bidder in the Fourth National Lottery licence competition.
Responding to an article published in the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday that reported UKGC recommended that Camelot be awarded “preferred bidder” status, the Commission stated that it is currently ‘processing evaluations’, dismissing the claims as ‘inaccurate’.
UKGC has maintained throughout the process that the competition would be run in absolute secrecy to protect its integrity.
After the Daily Telegraph reported that Camelot scored highest on a scorecard designed to judge the merits of the bids, the Commission took to its website to rubbish the claims and label the report as ‘false’.
Updating stakeholders, UKGC stated: “Our job is to run the best competition we possibly can – one that is fair and open, and results in the best outcome for players and good causes.
“The Board of Commissioners make the final decision and will inform the Government when the final decision is made.
“We are still in the process of evaluation and today’s Daily Telegraph piece is simply based on false and inaccurate information. We have asked them to remove the article in its current form from the newspaper’s website.”
The result of the competition is expected later this month, with Camelot the ever-present incumbents the favourites to retain the contract it has held since 1994.
It faces fierce competition from the Czech Republic’s Allwyn, Italy’s Sisal – which is subject to a nearly £2bn takeover from the British betting firm Flutter – and Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell.
Earlier this week, Flutter’s CEO Peter Jackson made a last-minute attempt to gain support for Sisal’s bid for the National Lottery licence, encouraging the Commission to bring the National Lottery under British control.