Dame Dianne Thompson, former CEO of Camelot, has advised the UK Gambling Commission to delay the handover of the fourth National Lottery licence to Allwyn.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Thompson has warned that a legal dispute between Camelot and the UKGC could leave a £1bn-sized hole in funds set aside for good causes.
Last month, Camelot CEO Nigel Railton announced that the current 28-year incumbents would be taking the Commission to High Court for the ‘badly wrong’ decision to award the licence to the Czech-based operator Allwyn.
It has been alleged that the UKGC ‘changed the rules’ after Camelot reportedly finished first in a scoring system assessing the bids.
The case between Camelot and the UKGC is set to be heard in October.
However, in a letter to the Commission, seen by the Mail on Sunday, Thompson has warned that potential damages, which could be drawn from the good causes fund, may equate to up to a decade’s worth of Camelot’s profits – the equivalent to the full term of the next licence.
Thompson suggests the UKGC should wait until the case is concluded before going ahead with the transfer to Allwyn.
“No one – least of all the Gambling Commission – would wish to risk taking up to one billion pounds from good causes, particularly during a cost of living crisis,’ said Thompson, CEO of Camelot from 2000 to 2014.
The Gambling Commission said: ‘We are confident that we have run a fair and robust competition. A delay to the implementation of the [next] licence poses a significant risk which could diminish funds going to these causes.’
Last year, the National Lottery issued £1.8bn to good causes in the UK, including £493.4m in the fourth quarter.