The UK’s National Lottery is a state-owned franchise that is operated under licence by a private company.
This means that the Government actually owns the National Lottery, but allows a private company to run and manage the license to generate profit, whilst fulfilling state obligations.
Ever the Lottery started back in 1994, Camelot Group have operated the licence. This group was a consortium originally comprising of the following five companies:
- Cadbury Schweppes
- De La Rue
- Fujitsu Services
- ICL (now a part of Fujitsu)
- Racal (later becoming part of Thales)
However, since then, the ownership of the Camelot Group has changed. In 2010, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) from Canada acquired Camelot for £389 million, positioning the pension plan as the sole owner of the group. OTPP’s acquisition marked the beginning of an era where the stewardship of the UK National Lottery was held overseas.
Future Operations of The National Lottery
Since 1994, the Camelot Group has been always been successful in renewing the National Lottery licensing agreement, and has been in control ever since the launch of the lottery.
However, in the last renewal of the franchise, Allwyn Entertainment Ltd won the rights to manage the National Lottery, becoming the first operator other than Camelot to run the National Lottery.
On the 1st February 2024, they will take over from Camelot, which is likely to result in a wide range of changes – hopefully for the better!