Posted on: December 4, 2023, 07:28h.
Last updated on: December 4, 2023, 07:28h.
Billionaire media magnate Richard Desmond has turned to European Union law in his ongoing legal battle against the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) over the National Lottery concession.
Desmond’s company Northern & Shell’s New Lottery Company lost the bid for the 10-year contract to operate the lottery, with Allwyn set to take over the contract from Camelot next year.
Desmond has initiated legal action against the UKGC, seeking £200 million (US$253.32 million) in damages, claiming unfair treatment in the selection process.
Camelot and Allwyn received significantly higher scores of 85.7% and 87.2%, respectively, while Desmond’s company lagged behind at 57.5%. One of the biggest issues was allegedly the stingy, but unspecified, amount of money the New Lottery Company was willing to give charities.
In the unlikely event that Desmond’s legal pursuit proves successful, the payout would be sourced from lottery revenue, potentially diverting funds earmarked for charitable causes.
EU Law Violations
Desmond claims that the UKGC’s actions may violate the UK’s 2018 EU Withdrawal Act, which played a crucial role in facilitating the country’s departure from the European Union (EU).
The Act aimed to ensure a smooth transition by converting existing EU laws into domestic legislation, preventing legal vacuums post-Brexit and maintaining legal certainty for businesses and Brits.
Desmond asserts that the regulator didn’t conduct a transparent bidding process, nor did it allow for fair competition.