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Camelot bought by lottery successor Allwyn for £100m

Winner: Tycoon Karel Komarek and his wife Stepanka

Camelot bought by lottery successor Allwyn for £100million in a move that is set to end a bitter legal row

Winner: Tycoon Karel Komarek and his wife Stepanka

Winner: Tycoon Karel Komarek and his wife Stepanka

The next National Lottery operator has signed up rival Camelot UK – in a move that is set to end a bitter legal row.

Allwyn Entertainment bought the group from its owner, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, in a deal believed to be worth £100 million.

This ends months of litigation over the Gambling Commission’s decision in March to hand over the national lottery license – held by Camelot since the draw began in 1994 – to Czech company Allwyn from February 2024 .

Camelot UK appealed in April but dropped the challenge in September after the Gambling Commission warned the action could delay the transfer and could have ‘serious consequences for the National Lottery and good causes’ .

Camelot UK planned to sue regulators for hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation – although that decision is now expected to be dropped. The deal still needs to be approved by the Gambling Commission, but is expected to be finalized early next year.

Camelot UK will continue to be managed separately. But most of its 900 staff were already due to transfer to Allwyn when the license changes in 2024.

Allwyn’s successful bid was to halve ticket prices from £2 to the original £1 fare.

The company is owned by Czech billionaire Karel Komarek, 53.

Its 10-year UK license is expected to generate up to £100bn in sales for Allwyn, which also runs lotteries in other European countries.

Watford-based Camelot UK said sales exceeded £8billion in the year to March. It also has lottery businesses in the United States and Ireland.

Allwyn said the takeover would help ease the transition. Chief executive Robert Chvatal said Allwyn and Camelot share a common goal to “improve the UK National Lottery and the good causes it celebrates”.

He said Allwyn is committed to improving the UK lottery and “raising more for good causes”.

Since the start of the UK lottery in 1994, £46 billion has been donated to 670,000 good causes.

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