A Big Fine for Camelot

It was recently announced that the Camelot group, responsible for the national lottery within the UK, would be losing their license to run the UK national lottery after having been its host for the past 28 years – the Canadian owned company lost out in its license bid to the Czech-owned Allwyn who are known for running national lotteries in the Czech Republic, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, and Austria already. Whilst Camelot will hold the license until 2024, there are changes ahead, it will have to stomach some fines coming its way aimed at its mobile friendly app and some failings in its design.

The £3.15 million fine has been ordered to be paid as a cash fine to a list of “good causes” in a form of charitable donations after the negative impact for consumers found on its mobile app – the first failure noted had started back in November of 2016 and was aimed at the QR code scanner reporting incorrectly on whether draw-based winning tickets were successful or not – this had been the longest running issue on the app with around 20,000 users having been affected over this period of time.

The second issue came as 22,210 users were charged for the price of two tickets when only one had been purchased – whilst no time frame had been given for those affected here, to make amends the players who had been double charged would be refunded or in the case for those who had a winning pick would honor the wagers on a duplicate basis. The final issue could be considered more substantial with the UKs current stance on advertising of iGaming options, as it suggests up to 65,400 users may have received marketing materials who had already exhibited signs of gambling harm or had registered to the Gamstop initiative, a self-exclusion program aimed at preventing players from being exposed to gambling platforms – it was suggested that none of these players were able to go on to buy lottery tickets, but could’ve left some players at risk.

With this in mind, there will likely be a lot of scrutiny when Allwyn take over to ensure their app is up to the standards, the gambling commission will want to ensure that long running issues as the one from 2016 don’t rear their heads again, and had also released a statement saying that the announcement reinforces that any operator failing to comply with license requirements will be investigated and that the gambling commission won’t hesitate to issue fines, which may make some other operators take a second look at their own platforms once again.

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