On January 28, it was learned that Tabcorp has thrown their hat into the ring looking to run the United Kingdom’s National Lottery. This is a big step as the bidding for a license to run the operations moves to the next round in the process.
The Australian-based company has been wanting to establish its presence in the U.K., and this could be the perfect way in. Their bid for the 2023 National Lottery operating contract moves to the next level, as they had been in discussions with the investment bank Rothschild, one of the four advisors who have been tasked with the evaluation process.
They face some stiff competition for this license. Besides Tabcorp, there have been some other high-profile names bantered about seeking the license, including the incumbent Camelot Group, media mogul Richard Desmond, Sir Richard Branson and European lottery operators Francaise des Jeux, Sazka and Novamedia.
Those wishing to bid on the license were required to provide a response by January 22 on how they would operate the National Lottery. Now, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) will review these offers to make a determination on who will be the next National Lottery operator.
While there are several big-name companies seeking the license, there is a growing concern among many of these bidders as to exactly how the post-Brexit situation will impact the lottery. This starts with questions about if the lottery will be a priority for the department charged with gambling in the U.K. It is expected that the new business department or the cabinet office will likely be assigned the task of handling all gambling matters in the country.
Despite these growing concerns, this is a big opportunity for the winner of the bidding. The applicant who is chosen will hold a monopoly over the National Lottery for a term that is expected to be somewhere between seven and 10 years.
Currently, Camelot is running the UK National Lottery. This company has been in charge of the lottery since 1994, the year the lottery was launched.
Tabcorp is hoping this will be a golden opportunity to buoy the confidence of investors. Many have strongly criticized the company after failing to deliver significant value after the AUS $11 billion merger with Tatts Group. But the company is not allowing this impact 2020, and winning the lottery bid would only help to strengthen their position.