The UK Gambling Commission is now receiving bids from potential operators for the National Lottery as the current license is expected to end in 2023. The commission said that it is seeking the “best ideas, innovations and experiences” to create a lottery operation that is fit for the future. It also wants the next operator to “maximize returns to good causes” and work on building the 38 billion pounds raised since 1994.
Since the inception of the National Lottery, Camelot has been the sole operator in this sector. Their profits have risen from 39 million pounds to 71 million pounds between 2009-10 and 2016-17. However, their contributions to charitable causes increased by just 2 percent in the same period. Last year, the lottery sold tickets worth 6.9 billion pounds as over 14 million people played the draw-based game every month.
Now, other operators are also bidding for their spot. Public Accounts Committee MPs said earlier this year that they are looking for a fair return on good causes. This means that the next lottery operator will need to have a clear plan about the kind and extent of attention they will pay to these causes.
The MPs also commented on the length and rigidity of the current license, saying that it makes changes difficult, especially following a steep decline in ticket sales. This eventually causes a slump in the lottery’s income.
The Gambling Commission’s Chief executive Neil McArthur said that there is some significant untapped potential for the growth, which could be achieved while following the fair, safe and responsible principles. The Commission will be meeting interested parties in the next few months to ensure that there is healthy competition in this sector and that the UK National Lottery enters a new era.
Camelot was provided a four-year extension to its contract in 2012, after being bought for a whopping 389 million pounds by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, one of the biggest pension funds in Canada, in 2010.
The National Lottery has made 4,600 people millionaires as it has awarded over 63 billion pounds in prize money. It also increased the price of the National Lottery Lotto ticket to 2 pounds in 2013, its first increase since 1994.