GC appoints managers to lead National Lottery tender

23 July 2019

The GB Gambling Commission has appointed a pair of executives to oversee the tender process to award the fourth National Lottery licence, with investment bank Rothschild & Co also named lead financial advisor.

Existing National Lottery operator Camelot's licence expires in 2023, and the Gambling Commission, the body responsible for designing and managing the tender, has been working on the process since November 2018.

It is set to launch early in 2020, and will be led by John Tanner, who will serve as executive director and senior responsible officer (SRO). Tanner joins from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, where he has managed a number of high-profile programmes and projects.

“I’m delighted to be leading the team that is working on this vitally important project,” Tanner said. “We have already set firm foundations for the competition and I am looking forward to working with prospective bidders, stakeholders and all the members of our team as we build on those foundations to prepare for the formal launch of the competition at the end of March next year.”

Tanner will be supported by Andrew Wilson, who has been named commercial director for the tender process. In this role Wilson also work closely with the team of project's advisors to ensure a fair and competitive process for bidders.

“The National Lottery is a national asset,” Neil McArthur, the chief executive of the Gambling Commission, said. “We want to build on the tremendous success of the National Lottery and we are determined to run a fair and transparent competition process that maximises the opportunities for innovation and creativity whilst protecting the special status of the National Lottery.”

Financial services giant Rothschild & Co will also assist the Gambling Commission in the tender process, serving as lead financial advisors. 

“The National Lottery is one of the largest and most successful lotteries globally and is of significant national importance,” Edward Duckett, managing director at Rothschild & Co said. “The competition for the 4th National Lottery licence is one which has the potential to generate interest from a wide range of national and international operators. We are delighted to have been entrusted by the Gambling Commission as their lead adviser to assist in delivering a successful competition for the fourth licence.”

Camelot has operated the lottery since its founding, winning tenders in 1994, 2001 and 2007, and having its deal extended in 2012. During the fiscal year ending on 31 March 2019, Camelot reported a 4% increase in sales to £7.21bn for the financial year ending on 31 March 2019, including record digital revenues.

The market engagement work undertaken so far has also included consulting with interested parties about key policy themes that will inform the design of the next licence. At the launch of the bidding process, McArthur said he hoped to see a focus on technological innovation during this bidding cycle.

Ernst & Young will also support the process, advising on the commercial and competition design, while Deloitte will support the policy development and licence design and Hogan Lovell will act as the Commission’s external legal advisors.