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A summary of who is involved, the fourth National Lottery competition background and related organisations
Published: 25 August 2021
Last updated: 8 November 2022
This version was printed or saved on: 21 September 2023
Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/4nlc/guide/4nlc-about-us
Overview: The Gambling Commission is the UK's independent statutory body responsible for awarding licences to run the National Lottery and tasked with regulating it to ensure safe and fair play.
As part of our responsibility as a regulator, we have three overriding statutory duties which underpin the fourth licence competition:
While the Gambling Commission is responsible for managing the competition and regulating the National Lottery, the distribution of funds will continue to be separate. It is undertaken by independent distribution bodies overseen by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), our sponsoring department.
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.
The fourth National Lottery is made up of a senior team and a committee.
The senior team is made up of the programme director and a commercial director.
The fourth National Lottery Competition Committee is made up of both Gambling Commission board members and senior leadership.
For information about how the National Lottery is run, draw results, queries and complaints.
Telephone: 0370 737 3983 (Calls to 0370 numbers from a BT land line are charged at your calling plan’s standard network rate. Mobile and other providers’ charges may vary)
To apply for National Lottery funding or information about Lottery grants.
Telephone: 0289 568 0143 (Calls to 0289 numbers from a BT land line are charged at your calling plan’s standard network rate. Mobile and other providers’ charges may vary)
To find out about projects which have received National Lottery funding, and for information about National Lottery Awards.
Government policy on the National Lottery and other types of gambling.