International Game Technology PLC (IGT), a major player in the gaming industry, has officially withdrawn its appeal in the ongoing legal saga surrounding the Fourth National Lottery licence. This development follows a series of legal challenges and disputes that have captured public attention over the past year.
On 21 September, IGT took a significant step by applying for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. This move aimed to overturn the High Court’s decision from 28 July 2023, which ruled that IGT lacked legal standing to pursue a claim for damages against the Gambling Commission. The controversy centered on the awarding of the Fourth National Lottery licence to Allwyn Entertainment UK Limited (“Allwyn”), a decision that IGT had vehemently contested.
However, in a surprising turn of events, the Court of Appeal, on 9 January 2024, acceded to IGT’s request to dismiss its own appeal. This decision came shortly after IGT announced its intention not to continue its claim for damages against the Gambling Commission, marking a significant shift in the company’s strategy.
The Gambling Commission has remained steadfast throughout this process, maintaining that their conduct in the competition for the Fourth National Lottery Licence was both fair and lawful. According to a spokesperson from the Commission, their focus has been on upholding their statutory duties and ensuring a robust competition process.
With this legal hurdle now out of the way, the Commission’s priority shifts towards implementing its decision for the Fourth National Lottery Licence, set to be granted on 1 February 2024.
We remain resolute that we have run a fair and robust competition, and that our evaluation has been carried out fairly and lawfully in accordance with our statutory duties. Our priority is to continue to work to implement our decision for the benefit of participants and good causes. The Fourth National Lottery Licence is due to be granted on 1 February 2024.
Gambling Commission’s statement.
This step is critical for the future of the National Lottery, which is among the world’s largest and has been a cornerstone of charitable funding in the UK since its inception in 1994. National Lottery players have raised over £48 billion for more than 685,000 good causes across the country, significantly impacting arts, sports, heritage, and community projects.
Allwyn, the new licence holder, has pledged substantial investment in the National Lottery. This commitment is expected to foster growth and innovation across various Lottery products and channels. Importantly, these advancements will aim to increase contributions to Good Causes, while ensuring the protection and propriety of participants.
As this chapter in the National Lottery’s history concludes, the Gambling Commission has stated that it does not intend to comment further at this stage. The focus now shifts to the future, where new opportunities and challenges await under the stewardship of Allwyn in the ever-evolving landscape of the National Lottery.