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Scott Benton MP congratulates the Gambling Commission on their announcement that Allwyn Entertainment Ltd

Westminster, London: Today, the Chair of the Parliamentary All Party Betting & Gaming Group (APBGG), Scott Benton MP publicly congratulated the Gambling Commission on yesterday’s announcement that Allwyn Entertainment Ltd. are their preferred applicant for the fourth National Lottery Licence.

The Group has been aware for some time of a number of concerns raised about how Camelot has been operating the National Lottery. One concern is that they have appeared to be more focussed on selling their instant win games then the Lotto draws and these provide a smaller proportion of revenue to good causes.

Linked to this is a serious concern that the proportion of National Lottery sales towards good causes had fallen from 28% in 2012/13 to 21% in 2020/21.

There is also a worry that at a time of heightened regulation, some would say over-regulation, on gambling advertising, the National Lottery appears to be allowed to get away with messages such as “Set For Life”, “Dream Big Play Small” and “The fun starts here”. Why do they not have to follow the admirable example of the gambling industry and broadcast socially responsible gambling adverts, like ‘When the fun stops, stop’ and ‘Tap Out, Take A Moment, Avoid Bet Regret’?

The Parliamentary All Party Betting & Gaming Group had also raised its concerns about the Gambling Commission’s licensing process for the fourth licence. According to press stories, the Commission had risk profiled all applicants and had scored down competitors to Camelot simply on the basis of them not being the incumbent. This had led many applicants to consider seeking Judicial Review. The Group is fully aware of the Gambling Commission’s bizarre approach to risk, as even though HM Treasury & Home Office’s National risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing 2020 finds Gambling a low risk of money laundering and terrorist financing, the Commission consider it a high risk mostly due to nothing more than the bad PR it would receive if an incident occurred.

Scott Benton MP, Co-Chair of the Parliamentary All Party Betting & Gaming Group said:

‘As Co-Chair of the All Party Betting and Gaming Group, I am happy to finally congratulate the Gambling Commission on something and that is finally choosing an alternative to Camelot to run the National Lottery. It would appear that Camelot has decided to take advantage of its position as the country’s guardian of good causes to become just another gambling operator, exploiting the benefits that its licence provides in terms of advertising and access. We wish Allwyn Entertainment the very best of luck in its endeavours for the next decade and hope that it will bring some very much needed innovation to Britain’s most loved gambling product.’

The Parliamentary All-Party Betting & Gaming Group was set up by a group of Parliamentarians, who had taken part in the numerous debates on what would become the Gambling Act 2005. They wished to continue their interest in the British gambling industry and have over the years become respected as some of the most knowledgeable Parliamentarians on the subject.

Members of the Group are often the main contributors to any gambling debate in either House and their views are highly regarded in Westminster, Whitehall and Downing Street. The Group maintains a view that gambling should be legal and well-regulated but beyond that, encompasses a wide spectrum of beliefs into the extent and scope of gambling provision that should be allowed. Above all the Group wishes to engage with the stakeholders in the UK gambling industry, learn from them to educate the debate, while maintaining an independence of views.