Camelot has issued legal proceedings against the Gambling Commission after the fourth licence to run the National Lottery was awarded to another organisation.
Last month the licence to run the National Lottery from 2024 was awarded to Allwyn.
Camelot has held the licence for 28 years and is now challenging the Gambling Commission’s decision at the High Court.
The Gambling Commission believes its process was “fair, open and robust”.
Camelot: ‘We believe that the Gambling Commission has got this badly wrong’
Camelot said it hopes the legal challenge will help to establish what happened.
Nigel Railton, chief executive of Camelot, said: “We are launching a legal challenge today in our capacity as an applicant for the Fourth Licence because we firmly believe that the Gambling Commission has got this decision badly wrong. When we received the result, we were shocked by aspects of the decision.
“Despite lengthy correspondence, the Commission has failed to provide a satisfactory response. We are therefore left with no choice but to ask the court to establish what happened.”
He added that the process should be subject to independent scrutiny.
Railton said: “Irrespective of Camelot's dual roles as current operator and applicant for the next National Lottery licence, the competition is one of the largest UK government-sponsored procurements and the process deserves independent scrutiny.
“Separately, more than 1,000 Camelot employees work tirelessly to successfully operate The National Lottery under the current licence and, at the very least, they are owed a proper explanation.”
Gambling Commission: ‘Open and robust competition’
In a statement, the Gambling Commission said its process was “fair, open and robust”.
It added: “The Commission has subsequently received legal proceedings in relation to the competition process. We regret Camelot’s decision to bring legal proceedings following the outcome of a highly successful competition for the fourth National Lottery licence.
“The competition and our evaluation have been carried out fairly and lawfully in accordance with our statutory duties, and we are confident that a court would come to that conclusion.
“We are confident that we have run a fair and robust competition. We have taken every step possible to ensure a level playing field for all interested parties, to enable us to appoint a licensee who will engage and protect players, run the National Lottery with integrity and ensure the National Lottery continues to support good causes and their contribution to society.”