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Tech Firms Urged to Apply for Fourth National Lottery Licence

"The next licence will enable and incentivise the licensee to adapt, in a safe and responsible way, according to technological advancements"

By claudia glover

Tech firms have been urged to throw their hats into the ring to run the UK’s National Lottery: a contract potentially worth over £6 billion.

After an initial 2018 market engagement, the National Lottery is now going ahead with procurement for an operator of the the fourth national lottery licence, effective 2023, and technology firms are expected to apply. 

The market launch of the competition is now underway and applications will be accepted until October 2, 2020, the Gambling Commission said. 

Tech Firms to Apply for Lottery Contract

According to the tender, the winning organisation will be expected to provide innovative updates for the lottery machines, lotto games, lottery formulas, banking and investment services and information technology services.

The original information notice, released in 2018, reveals the technological nature of the competition and the gambling commission’s plans to “explore opportunities for innovation and flexibility for the fourth licence, as technology based products and services have been widely introduced and continue to change rapidly”.

The commission went on to emphasise that it would “new entrants, businesses and investors interested in the National Lottery, which could include end-to-end solution operators and/or finance or technology providers”. 

The licence will be for a fixed term of 10 years, so that the new licensee has a clear period for investment planning.

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A report released by regulators The Gambling Commission, guided by the Department of Media, Health and Sport, earlier this year explained the forethought behind introducing technology firms into the competition for the 2023 licence:

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“Recognising that the world is likely to be very different by the time the fourth licence concludes in 2033, the next licence will enable and incentivise the licensee to adapt, in a safe and responsible way, according to technological advancements, new opportunities, and changes in consumer preferences”.

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission Chief Executive, added in a recent release“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”.

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