The UK Gambling Commission launched the fourth licence competition for the National Lottery, seeking a framework that maximises opportunities for players to benefit from good causes.
As a result, interested parties are invited to participate in the first formal stage of the competition, with applicants passing by receiving a ‘Invitation to Apply’ and supporting documents to begin the preparation of their complete application.
The move comes as the regulator seeks bids to challenge Camelot UK, who has been operating the lottery since it was founded in 1994, as the current licence is nearing expiry in 2023.
Winning new contracts in 2001 and 2007, Camelot ‘s third and current ten-year licence started in 2009 and was later extended in March 2012 by four years. September 2021 shall be announced to the preferred applicant.
Sports, tourism, and heritage minister Nigel Huddleston said: “The National Lottery has a positive impact on communities right across the UK, supporting thousands of good causes as well as the sectors that brighten up our lives including the arts, culture, heritage and sport.
“The fourth licence competition will secure the National Lottery’s future combining safe play with life-changing prizes. Most importantly it will help raise billions more pounds to benefit people’s lives in villages, towns and cities throughout the country.”
The regulator has proposed a range of key reforms for the fourth licence, including a fixed ten-year period, emphasis on results and an incentive system to ensure that the benefits and distribution of the licensee are closely associated with returns to good causes.
In addition, the licensee would be expected to cultivate stronger relationships with the National Lottery funding distributors to further reinforce the bond between the brand, players and good causes.
Neil McArthur, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, explained: “Today, the competition for the fourth National Lottery licence begins. Over the last quarter of a century, it has made an unprecedented contribution to communities across the UK and has made a difference to the lives of millions.
“The National Lottery is a national treasure. It has a reputation for providing enjoyable games and a high degree of player protection, as well as a rich history of prize giving and returns to good causes. We are determined to protect and build on the reputation of the National Lottery.
“For the fourth licence, we will be evolving our approach to regulation to build on the National Lottery’s huge successes. In line with our outcomes-focused approach to regulation, we want the next licensee to have greater autonomy to meet the needs of players in 2023 and beyond, whilst ensuring there is clear accountability for the performance of the National Lottery.
“Throughout our market engagement, we have been encouraged by a healthy level of interest from a range of different parties and we look forward to running a competitive process.”
Players have collectively raised more than £41bn for 565,000 good causes around the UK since its launch in 1994, contributing to the arts , culture, heritage and communities.
Dawn Austwick, the National Lottery Community Fund’s chief executive and chair of The National Lottery Forum commented: “The National Lottery has been at the cornerstone of communities across the UK for 25 years. In this time, National Lottery players have raised £41bn for good causes, supporting arts, sport, heritage and communities and transforming people’s lives. We welcome a strong competition to ensure this success continues for years to come.”