In 2007 when Camelot won the licence to operate the UK’s National Lottery, the incumbent had just one competitor, India’s Sugal & Damani.
Camelot has been operating the National Lottery for 24 years. The company is owned by a Canadian pension fund,which bought it for £389 million in 2010.
Although Camelot’s contract will not end until 2023, regulator the Gambling Commission is keen to see a more competitive tender.
National Lottery Licence: Draw Your Balls
“The context for the National Lottery has changed since the third licence was awarded,” the Gambling Commission said.
“For example, technology based products and services have been widely introduced and continue to change rapidly.”
“We would like to hear from existing lottery operators, 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 regulator, which is overseen by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, made the comments in a notice posted on a European tenders page.
The Commission typically chooses the firm that it thinks will make most money for good causes: the National Lottery allocates funds to a range of causes, including distributing over £500 million across the UK annual via the Big Lottery Fund.
Camelot has been under attack from both the National Audit Office and Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over the past year, as its profits soar but returns for good causes tumble by a significant amount.
A contract renewal in 2012 saw it secure a deal that allows it to retain 70p of every £1 in efficiency savings it made in its operations, with 30p going to good causes. MPs have turned on the deal.
New Games, Prizes Starting Today
The announcement comes as Saturday (November 17) marked the last day the game operated in the format UK players have come to know, following a sweeping shakeup by Camelot in part triggered by the criticism .
The first draw with the new format will take place today Wednesday (November 21).
Players will now get £1 million for matching five numbers and the bonus ball and there will also be fixed prizes of £30 for three numbers. Prizes for matching four and five numbers alone have also increased.
Camelot told PAC earlier this year that it is looking to grow sales by about £400 million over next two years, and that it will generate between £60 million and £80 million extra for good causes.
The Gambling Commission said: “We want to look globally for the best ideas, innovations and experiences to create a National Lottery that is fit for the future. To do that we want to talk to potential operators and supply chain partners who might want to participate in the next competition.
Featured image, credit: “Pittaya” https://www.flickr.com/people/pittaya/