Northern & Shell has challenged the UK Gambling Commission’s decision to name Allwyn as preferred bidder of the fourth National Lottery licence, according to the Financial Times.
Announced last month, the Czech-based company is set to break the 30-year incumbency period of Camelot when the current licence concludes in 2024.
However, as reported by the FT, Northern & Shell and its subsidiary, the New Lottery Company, have now joined Camelot in launching high court actions in an attempt to overturn the commission’s decision.
Northern & Shell is owned by billionaire Richard Desmond, a former porn baron, who had not previously made public his bid for the highly lucrative national lottery contract.
But according to a high court filing dated April 13, legal action has commenced against Allwyn by Northern & Shell, which owns the Health Lottery.
Allwyn has also recently courted criticism over alleged links between its chairman, Karel Komarek, and Russian energy supplier Gazprom, amid Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine.
Defending itself against Camelot’s legal appeal earlier this month, a UKGC statement read: “The competition and our evaluation have been carried out fairly and lawfully in accordance with our statutory duties, and we are confident that a court would come to that conclusion.”
According to the Financial Times, the UKGC has not responded to requests for comment on the legal action launched by Northern & Shell.