UKGC To Maintain Fourth National Lottery Despite COVID-19

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has explained, in the midst of rapidly changing patterns in COVID-19, that it will maintain its timetable of competition for the fourth National Lottery.

In view of UK COVID-19 disturbances, foreign and domestic suitors had extensive questions regarding the Commission’s extension or postponement of the National Lottery tender.

The Gambling Commission released a statement that read: “We are carefully monitoring the advice of Public Health England and as an organisation, we will respond appropriately to their advice, as it develops. At this stage, the programme timeline is unaffected and we remain on track to launch the competition in the first half of 2020.”

At the beginning of the year the UKGC started its tender process, seeking bids to challenge incumbent Camelot UK for the exclusive right to operate the National Lottery from 2023.

Nevertheless, the procurement process has faced a number of interruptions since its launch, with media questioning whether the UKGC can meet its timetable for bidding.

High-profile suitors protested last February that bidding parties were not approved with a’ procurement questionnaire,’ a main tender practise supposed to be approved by the Commission’s tendering advisory.

The delay saw UK media speculate that PM Boris Johnson would transfer tender oversight responsibilities away from DCMS into a Cabinet Office-led special business unit.

In addition, senior advisors to Johnson had been stated to want DCMS to concentrate on undertaking a study of the BBC’s licencing fee and UK digital standards.

The UKGC released its COVID-19 guidelines Thursday, addressing industry concerns, following Public Health England advice in establishing a detailed business continuity plan.

The Commission warned licence holders in its guidance that it expects incumbents to ‘continue to act responsibly, especially with regards to individual customer affordability and increased social responsibility interactions.’