THE National Lottery’s new operator plans to slash ticket prices from £2 to £1 and have two Saturday night draws.
Allwyn, owned by Czech billionaire Karel Komarek, is also expected to double payouts for good causes to £38billion over ten years.
The company was chosen yesterday by the Gambling Commission to replace Camelot, les loterie Nationale operator since its launch in 1994.
It promised to “breathe fresh life” into the draw, which has seen player numbers slide by eight million since 2012.
But industry insiders yesterday said it was a major gamble to pick Allwyn, whose owner is scrambling to sever links with Russian energy giant Gazprom in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Camelot was one of four applicants for the ten-year licence which runs from 2024 and is worth an estimated £80billion.
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It may now challenge the Gambling Commission’s decision.
Allwyn, whose chairman is former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King, mentionné: “Our proposal was judged to be the best way of growing returns to good causes by revitalising the National Lottery in a safe and sustainable way.”
Dans 2013, Komarek — whose business activities span lotteries, oil and gas — signed a joint venture with the Kremlin-owned Gazprom to build an underground storage facility in the Czech region of Moravia.
He is now in talks with the Czech government to nationalise the gas facility and remove Gazprom’s ownership after condemning Russia’s “senseless act of aggression” against Ukraine.
The Gambling Commission said yesterday that it was “satisfied that no application is impacted by sanctions related to the conflict in Ukraine”.
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Il a ajouté: “The selection of Allwyn as preferred applicant follows a fair, open and robust competition which received four applications at the final stage.”
But Labour’s shadow minister for gambling Alex Davies-Jones warned it was a “big change for a valued British institution”.
She urged the Government to “set out that they are satisfied this company does not have links to the Russian regime”.
The firm, recently rebranded from its Czech name Sazka, had pulled together a team of City grandees and executives involved in the London 2012 Olympics to run its bid.
It fought off competition from Camelot, Italy’s Sisal and British tycoon Richard Desmond.
Julian Knight, chair of the House of Commons culture committee, yesterday called the decision to appoint Allwyn “a turn-up for the books”.
Il continua: “Camelot has had this now over two decades and done a pretty good job in the main.
“But there were some real concerns during the last lottery licence that they veered toward games that didn’t return as much to good causes.”
Camelot, which is backed by Canadian pension funds, now has ten days to decide whether to mount a judicial review to yesterday’s decision.
Many expect it to challenge it.
Declaring his disappointment, Camelot’s chief executive Nigel Railton said yesterday: “We’re now carefully reviewing the Gambling Commission’s evaluation before deciding on our next steps.”
Camelot raised the price of a lottery ticket to £2 in 2013.
Politicians had been concerned about the proportion of its revenues which go to good causes.
Profits have soared from £29million in 2010 to £78million in 2020, thanks in part to more emphasis on scratchcards and instant-win games online.
But an average of 10p in every pound spent on scratchcards goes to charities, compared with 30p in the pound from draws.
10 of the most famous events in Lotto history
Plus que 20 million people watched Noel Edmonds host the first UK lottery — for a £5.8million jackpot.
Dans le 28 years since, plus que 6,300 players have become millionaires — but only one in ten of them has gone public.
Here are ten memorable tales from the game which has paid out a huge £83billion-plus in prizes.
Callie Rogers – £1.8M 2003
CALLIE Rogers was just 16 when she became the youngest jackpot winner to date, scooping £1.8million in 2003.
The former £3.60-an-hour shop girl from Cockermouth, Cumbrie, is now a mum of four and the money has long gone.
Callie, à présent 35, blew it on three breast enhancement surgeries, parties and £300,000 of designer clothes.
She also gave about £500,000 to friends and family.
Mukthar Mohidin – £17.9M 1994
FRENZY greeted the first big roll-over jackpot which reached £17.9million just weeks after the launch.
Winner Mukhtar Mohidin, a 42-year-old factory worker from Blackburn, Lancs, was shunned by some in his Muslim community who disagreed with gambling.
His marriage fell apart and he ended up becoming a womanising playboy.
Il mourut en 2017.
Lee Ryan – £6.5M 1995
BAD boy Lee Ryan became the first Lotto Lag.
He was awaiting trial for stealing cars when he won £6.5million in 1995.
He blew the lot on high living — a £1million mansion, a £225,000 helicopter and a fleet of supercars.
For a while Lee, from Leicester, ended up living on the streets.
Il a dit: “I’m not ashamed that I was homeless. I met some fantastic people.”
Angel of the North – £584,000 1998
THE National Lottery has raised more than £45billion for good causes — including the arts.
A £1million donation from lottery good causes helped pay for Sir Antony Gormley’s giant Angel of the North statue which overlooks the A1 near Gateshead.
The 66-foot tall angel with 177-foot wingspan is seen by an estimated 33million motorists each year.
Michael Carroll – £9.7M 2002
THUG Michael Carroll was still wearing an electronic tag when he bought a £9.7million winning ticket in 2002.
Vieilli 19 he squandered it all on drugs, biberonner, brothels, sex parties and fast cars.
Dubbed the Lotto Lout, the now coalman, 38, admitted: “The dealer who introduced me to crack has more of my Lotto money than I do. But I don’t regret any of it.”
Iorworth Hoare – £7.2M 2004
IORWORTH Hoare won £7.2million in 2004 despite serving a life sentence for attempted rape.
Maintenant 69, he had been jailed in 1989 for the daylight attack and bought the ticket while on weekend leave.
Victim Shirley Woodman, who died last month aged 92, successfully campaigned for the law to be changed so she could sue him for damages.
Edward Putman – FRAUD 2009
CAMELOT was fined £3million for accepting a fraudulent £2.5million claim by convicted rapist Edward Putman.
The former bricklayer conspired with Giles Knibbs, a security worker who worked for the company, to forge an unclaimed ticket in 2009.
He collected the cash while on leave from an open prison, and bought a £700,000 house in Hertfordshire.
London Olympics – £264M 2012
AFTER a disastrous performance at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the lottery began funding Britain’s athletes.
Depuis, plus que 100 competitors backed by the Lotto have won Olympic gold.
They include British cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, who won six Olympic golds over his career.
Each week the Lottery raises £30million for good causes including our elite sportsmen and women.
Adrian & Gillian Bayford – £148M 2012
THE largest jackpot of £170,221,000 was won by a mystery punter in 2019 — and 12 of the biggest 20 winners have never gone public.
But Adrian and Gillian Bayford, from Haverhill, Suffolk, were happy to celebrate their £148million win in 2012.
Within a year they had split though and last year their son, 13, was badly injured in a quad bike accident at home in Blairgowrie, Écosse.
Lottie a dit à ses fans qu'elle était en cure de désintoxication le mois dernier et a partagé la nouvelle sur TikTok
Frances Connolly – £115M 2019
FRANCES Connolly moved from Northern Ireland to Co Durham after winning £115million on EuroMillions in 2019.
The 55-year-old is still happily married to husband Patrick and has given away more than half her win to family, friends and charity.
Elle a dit: “That’s £60million of love. And every single person we gave money to has passed some of it on to others.”