Allwyn, the UK arm of Czech gambling conglomerate SAZKA Group, hopes to use Vodafone UK’s customer base to promote the UK National Lottery (UKNL)

The UKNL was first established in 1994 and since that time has been controlled by Camelot Group, with the Group winning the licence from the Gambling Commission three times in a row, most recently in 2009. This licence, however, expires in 2023, and there appears to be growing competition for the next iteration, set to be auctioned later this year. 

One such challenger comes in the form of SAZKA Group, the Czech-based gambling group that operates lotteries in Czech Republic, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, and Austria. 

Yesterday, Allwyn, SAZKA Group’s UK arm, announced that it has partnered with Vodafone UK, hoping to use the operator’s customer base to help promote the lottery, as well as making use of their technical expertise when it comes to retail options and security. The Group specifically cited Vodafone’s experience in 5G and the IoT as helping to make the lottery more exciting for customers. 

“We are delighted to be selected as the connectivity partner for Allwyn’s bid for the fourth National Lottery Licence,” said Anne Sheehan, Business Director, Vodafone UK. “We have provided market-leading and highly reliable connectivity in the UK for more than 30 years, and we understand the cutting-edge technologies that enable the best, most engaging experiences.”

The UKNL itself has been declining in value in recent years, with increasing prices and reduced odds of winning translating to a loss of 8.5 million players since 2012. The gambling industry is also coming under stronger regulatory scrutiny of late and the lottery, which currently enjoys separate regulation, is under pressure to be regulated in line with all other forms of gambling; for example, raising the minimum age of ticket purchase to 18, not 16.

But despite these headaches, Camelot seem keen to retain the licence, reportedly doubling their market spend in the last calendar year. 

The licence will be fixed for a ten-year period. 


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