Outgoing UK National Lottery tech supplier in stand-off with new operator 

The outgoing know-how provider to the UK’s Nationwide Lottery is in a stand-off with the brand new operator, in a dispute highlighting the fraught course of surrounding the primary change of licensee within the lottery’s 29-year historical past.

Worldwide Sport Know-how is demanding a multimillion-pound cost to facilitate the switch of operations to Allwyn and its accomplice Scientific Video games, arguing it has restricted contractual obligations to assist, in line with a number of folks near the method. The group has equipped the software program and {hardware} underpinning the 30,000-plus lottery terminals utilized in retailers to incumbent operator Camelot since 1994.

Allwyn — which in March final 12 months gained the tender for one of many UK’s most profitable procurement contracts — is now dashing to arrange for the launch of the newly minted lottery in February subsequent 12 months after a authorized struggle with rival Camelot delayed the handover by six months.

New York-listed IGT — which final 12 months generated a big share of its $618mn “remainder of world” revenues within the UK, its fourth-biggest market — has up to now shared solely a proposal about how switching from its Altura lottery terminal to the system utilized by Scientific Video games would work, the folks stated.

However the changeover of software program, which IGT estimates may take as much as six months to be accomplished, has but to start as IGT is demanding cost from the Czech-based group earlier than it deploys further employees and sources to work on the mission.

Folks near the lottery transition stated that they had issues that delays may frustrate the method of making an attempt at hand over to a brand new know-how provider.

Camelot and IGT, and Allywn and Scientific Video games, are holding conferences each day, overseen by the regulator. One individual acquainted with the method stated IGT was making the handover “a nightmare”, including: “They do what’s technically required of them and never an oz. extra.”

The stand-off highlights the problem offered by the first-ever switch of operations of the lottery, whose 10-year contract working from 2024 onwards may generate as much as £100bn in gross sales, in line with official estimates.

There may be precedent for handovers between the 2 know-how suppliers in query: Scientific Video games succeeded IGT as lead know-how provider for Denmark’s Danske Spil state lottery in 2016, though the transition was delayed for a 12 months.

As a part of its successful bid, Allwyn pledged to speculate closely in new digital merchandise, reduce ticket costs and enhance cash generated for good causes. If IGT stayed on as know-how supplier, Playing Fee insiders worry it may put in danger Allwyn’s plan to overtake the providing of on-line lottery merchandise.

In November final 12 months, Allwyn purchased Camelot from the Ontario Academics’ Pension Plan, a Canadian pension fund, for £120mn, after beforehand having competed with Camelot within the battle for the Nationwide Lottery contact. On account of the acquisition, Camelot dropped its estimated £600mn declare for damages towards the Playing Fee over the procurement choice for the UK Nationwide Lottery.

However IGT continues to be pursuing a declare towards the regulator over what it argues was a shoddily run procurement course of. IGT’s declare additionally runs into the tons of of tens of millions of kilos however the actual quantity shouldn’t be identified and, if profitable, must be paid for by both taxpayers or from the lottery’s good causes fund.

IGT stated it “continues its co-operation” with the Playing Fee on the transition however declined to touch upon authorized motion.

Allwyn stated it had been “working assiduously” on the transition, including: “However the continuing authorized case, we’re assured IGT recognize their tasks to do what’s finest for the Nationwide Lottery.”

Scientific Video games didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Further reporting by Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe in London

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