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The company that currently runs the National Lottery is taking legal action after losing out on the next licence.
Camelot has started legal proceedings against the Gambling Commission after rival Allwyn was selected as the preferred applicant for the lottery’s next licence beginning in 2024.
Camelot’s boss said it believed the regulator had “got this decision badly wrong”.
It was named as the “reserve applicant” after four firms applied.
The National Lottery is one of the world’s largest lotteries and has raised more than £45bn for 660,000 causes across the UK.
It has also played a part in funding training and facilities over the past three decades for Great Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
Allwyn Entertainment Ltd is a UK-based subsidiary of Europe’s largest lottery operator Sazka, which is owned by Czech oil and gas tycoon Karel Komarek.
Nigel Railton, Camelot’s chief executive, said: “When we received the result, we were shocked by aspects of the decision.”
He accused the Gambling Commission of failing “to provide a satisfactory response” when the move was challenged.
“We are therefore left with no choice but to ask the court to establish what happened,” he said.