National Lottery could be suspended for first time in 30-year history

The National Lottery could face suspension for the first time in its 30-year history due to a legal dispute between opposing operators.

Lottery group, Camelot has run the state-franchised staple since the early 1990s but the Gambling Commission confirmed plans to transfer the licence to rival operator, Allwyn Entertainment.

The commission, which is responsible for regulating the betting industry, has said in papers submitted to the High Court that Camelot has launched legal action opposing the move.

Camelot was due to transfer ownership of the National Lottery over to Allwyn Entertainment on February 1, 2024, but legal proceedings mean the timetable could be delayed.

Players of the game could potentially miss out on millions of pounds, with Camelot claiming the commission got it "badly wrong" when giving the licence to Allwyn.

Camelot added that the move could put them out of business.

John Tanner, the commission's chief executive director, said in evidence given to court that the delay means the lottery cannot "operate to its full potential" or may face a period where it "does not operate at all".

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Camelot claims that the National Lottery raises more than £30million for good causes each week, as well as generating a huge prize winner.

The National Lottery's current iteration has been running since 1994, with Camelot having the licence for the game granted to it on three separate occasions since its conception, The Independent reports.

The game, which could be moving ownership from Camelot to Allwyn Entertainment, is twinned with the Euromillions, which allows EU countries such as France, Spain, Ireland and Portugal to participate in the game.

Earlier this month a couple from Gloucestershire bagged themselves the UK's largest-ever jackpot in the Euromillions.

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