Desmond-owned Northern & Shell launches legal battle against Gambling Commission

UK publisher is due to challenge the regulator in court today over lottery licensing dispute
The post Desmond-owned Northern & Shell launches legal battle against Gambling Commission first appeared on EGR Intel.  

British publishing group Northern & Shell, alongside its subsidiary the New Lottery Company, has today, 5 June, launched a legal challenge against the Gambling Commission (GC) over its handling of The fourth National Lottery licence competition.

The company, owned by media tycoon Richard Desmond, has enlisted the services of UK/US law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) to present its case to the specialist Technology and Construction Court (TCC).  

Northern & Shell will be represented by Michael Bowsher from BCLP, Sarah Hannaford from Hogan Lovells will defend the GC, and Allwyn, the current licence holder for the UK National Lottery, will also be represented by Quinn Emanuel.

The dispute harks back to the GC awarding the 10-year UK National Lottery licence to Allwyn back in 2022, taking the rights away from Camelot for the first time since 1994.

After a series of legal challenges, including from Camelot and its tech partner IGT, Allwyn finally began running the National Lottery on 1 February 2024.

Desmond alleged that the GC miscalculated its scores during the competition for the licence, which resulted in Allwyn being placed higher in the bidding process than both Northern & Shell and Camelot.  

Camelot’s technology partner IGT subsequently launched a legal challenge against the GC, which was rejected by the High Court.

The session in court today comes after reports from December suggested Desmond is seeking £17.5m to cover the cost of Northern & Shell’s bid.

While Northern & Shell and the GC go toe to toe, Allwyn’s billionaire owner Karel Komárek is set to sever any ties with Russia’s state-owned company Gazprom – as per a report in the Guardian.  

Komárek’s Swiss-based holding company KKCG, which owns Allwyn, is set to acquire the remaining 3% of shares in Moravia Gas Storage (MGS) that was previously owned by Gazprom. KKCG will complete the transaction via Komárek’s Czech company MND. 

MGS had been a 50/50 partner with Gazprom – which is prohibited from operating in the UK – until earlier this year. 

The post Desmond-owned Northern & Shell launches legal battle against Gambling Commission first appeared on EGR Intel.

 

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