THE NATIONAL LOTTERY LICENCE BID PROCESS
1 April 1999the National Lottery Commission
took office to replace the Director General of the National Lottery
23 November 1999Robin Squire, one of
the original commissioners resigned.
30 November 1999the National Lottery
Commission (following consultation including the prior issuing
of a draft invitation to apply) publishes its ITAthe invitation
to apply for bidders to apply for the next seven-year lottery
licence, based on open and fair competition.
30 November 1999Following the publication
of the ITA, Camelot and The Post Office announce they will be
bidding together for the next National Lottery franchise.
29 February 2000Deadline for bids to
run the next licence to be submitted.
17 May 2000the National Lottery Commission
informs Camelot about a fault in the UK lottery software that
was found by GTech in June 1998. Camelot was not aware before
this date that there had been a problem.
23 June 2000the National Lottery Commission
extends the bid timetable to allow both bidders to improve their
proposals. It says the preferred bidder will be announced by the
end of August. The NLC goes on record to say the delay is not
due to the GTech issues: ". . . The Commission insists that
the problems with GTech have no bearing on the decision to extend
the timetable and says it is doing it for the good of the consumer"
(Source: Sunday Business, page 5, 25 June 2000).
6 July 2000GTech announces that it has
accepted the resignations of Bill O'Connor, the company's chairman
and chief executive officer and Steve Nowick, its president and
chief operating officer. GTech says that the pair resigned for
a number of factors, including the handling of the software issue.
17 July 2000Deadline for improvements
to be made to bids. Camelot has no further discussions on bid-related
issues with the National Lottery Commission.
28 July 2000Camelot's Chairman, Sir George
Russell, receives a letter from Dame Helena Shovelton, the Chair
of the National Lottery Commission, which says the Commission
will no longer pursue the issue of GTech not being "fit and
The letter states: "The Commission has
decided, in the light of the representations made to it by Camelot
Group plc and GTech, not to proceed further with a determination
that the GTech corporation is not a fit and proper person to manage
part of the business of running the National Lottery."
23 August 2000Nearly six months after
the two bids were submitted the Chair of the National Lottery
Commission, Dame Helena Shovelton announces at a lunchtime press
conference that neither of the bidders' plans met the "statutory
criteria for granting a licence".
Dame Helena said the competition for the next
licence was now at an end but that it would proceed on a new process
with one bidder onlyThe People's Lottery. They hoped to
reach a solution within a one-month deadline, but said if the
negotiations failed they would ask the Government to "take
such steps that will keep the lottery running".
The Commission said that because of the GTech
software glitch it could not be satisfied in granting Camelot
a seven-year licence. However, later in the day Dame Helena admitted
they could not rule Camelot out of the running. Press reports
quoted her as saying: "If for some reason the negotiations
with The People's Lottery fail in the course of the next month,
then at that stage we will discuss with the Government what steps
to take next. I will rule nothing out, Camelot is not ruled out."
(Source: Press Association, PA NewsFile, 23 August, 2000, 14:10).
25 August 2000Camelot's Chief Executive
Designate, Dianne Thompson, announces the company is going to
challenge the National Lottery Commission's decision in court.
29 August 2000Camelot takes its case
to the High Court where the Judge grants permission for judicial
review, although the court allows negotiations between The National
Lottery Commission and The People's Lottery to continue.
Camelot's Chief Executive Designate Dianne Thompson
says the company "welcomes" the court decision.
Dianne also revealed that Camelot had put forward
to the Commission proposals to meet their stated concerns over
its technology supplier GTech and had in fact agreed with GTech
to buy all relevant lottery software from them and take over their
UK operation and staff.
Dianne Thompson announced: "This will give
us complete control over the management of our lottery software
and enable us to operate independently from GTech, while retaining
the benefit of GTech software which has a proven track record
in efficiently running the UK's National Lottery and is used in
70 per cent of the world's lotteries."
6 September 2000Camelot's Chief Executive
Designate Dianne Thompson hand delivers a letter to the National
Lottery Commission calling on them to respond to and accept Camelot's
solution to the Commission's concerns about GTech, which was explained
in a letter to the Commission the previous week.
The new agreement with GTech provided for Camelot
to buy out GTech UK. No reply had been received to that earlier
6 September 2000The National Lottery
Commission replies to Camelot's letter explaining that it is unable
to enter into correspondence on this issue as it had decided to
negotiate exclusively with The People's Lottery.
18 September 2000In a landmark case Camelot
takes the National Lottery Commission to court for a judicial
review of the licence decision process.
21 September 2000Camelot wins Judicial
Review and is given one month to negotiate with the NLC.
4 October 2000Dame Helena Shovelton resigns
as Chair of the National Lottery Commission.
12 October 2000Lord Burns appointed new
Chair of the NLC.
24 October 2000Camelot resubmits bid
to the NLC with plans to take over GTech's operation in the UK
and to raise at least £15 billion for Good Causes in a socially
25 October 2000Lord Burns (Chair of the
NLC) asks the remaining National Lottery Commissioners to stay
onstates that continuity would be in the best interests
of everyone: bidders, players and the Good Causes.
25 October 2000Lord Burns (Chair of the
NLC) announces revised timetable.