As reported by The Daily Telegraph, National Lottery licence holder Camelot Group will be granted a six-month contract extension, as regulators are looking to temporarily suspend the tender for the rights to run the contest.
According to chief executive of the operator, Nigel Railton, the official decision of Camelot ‘s licence extension is now expected to be formally announced by the UKGC within the coming weeks.
A Gambling Commission spokesperson said: “The extended timetable is designed to enable potential applicants to make adequate preparations for a fair, open and robust competition.”
The six-month extension of rights is now the latest stalemate in the search for the new licence holder of the competition following a two-month delay in the bidding process announced back in February as the UKGC failed to provide vital procurement provisions for its tenderers.
Camelot ‘s decision, which has run the National Lottery since its establishment in 1994, is likely to frustrate its competitors including Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and the Czech gaming company Sazka Group, owned by oil billionaire Karel Komarek, who are keen to take over the contests.
Sazka made the following declaration: “We continue to review the draft invitation to apply issued by the Gambling Commission to determine our response and are monitoring the situation closely.”
Richard Desmond, former owner of the Express newspapers and media mogul, has also expressed a desire to take over from Camelot in 2023, with the search for the next operator of the National Lottery now coming close to hitting the year mark.