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The competition process

The UK National Lottery is one of the biggest lotteries in the world and the current licence is due to expire in 2024.

In its first quarter of a century, the National Lottery has raised more than £45 billion for 660,000 good causes, transforming lives through its contribution to the arts, sport, heritage and communities up and down the UK.

The role of the Gambling Commission is to run the fourth National Lottery licence competition and, subsequently, regulate the next licence. The decision to award the licence is made independently by the Gambling Commission’s Board of Commissioners.

Prior to launching the fourth National Lottery licence competition, we conducted an extensive programme of global market engagement through which we spoke to many interested parties to help us develop our thinking on the fourth licence.

The next licence will see changes to how the National Lottery is licensed and regulated. It has been designed to enable the next licensee to continually develop and adapt its operations in a safe and responsible way, to meet the needs of players in 2024 and beyond.

The fourth National Lottery licence competition was launched in August 2020 and we are pleased to have four credible applicants. This is the highest number of final applications received since the first licence was awarded in 1994.

We will be announcing the Preferred Applicant in March. Following announcement there is a 10-day standstill period.

A smooth and successful transition from one licence period to the next will ensure continuity of the National Lottery, while also minimising disruption to participants and good causes. The fourth licence will commence in early 2024.

We have a strong track record of safeguarding the National Lottery and ensuring that it is run with integrity, protects players and maximises contributions to good causes. We want to build on the tremendous success of the National Lottery and are confident that we have run a fair and transparent competition process that provides opportunities for innovation and creativity while protecting the unique status of the National Lottery.

If you would like to find out more about the competition, please contact our team.

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