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On 29 June 2022, the High Court lifted an automatic suspension (in three sets of joined proceedings1) to allow the Gambling Commission to award a contract to the winning bidder following a procurement to run the UK’s national lottery.
The full judgment can be found here.
The Gambling Commission had run a procurement under the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 (“CCR”). The procurement concerned the award of a statutory licence to operate the national lottery from 2024. Allwyn Entertainment Limited (“Allwyn”) was the successful bidder. The existing licence holder, Camelot UK Lotteries Limited (“Camelot UK”) supported by Camelot Global Lottery Solutions Limited (“Camelot Global”) and International Game Technology plc and others (“IGT”) had come second. All of these entities brought proceedings against the Gambling Commission.
The proceedings triggered an automatic suspension of the award process, preventing the Gambling Commission from entering into an agreement or licence with Allwyn. The Gambling Commission applied for the automatic suspension to be lifted. It claimed it was not appropriate for the suspension to remain in place pending a full trial. The Camelot parties opposed the lifting of the suspension.
The court lifted the automatic suspension, allowing the award of the lottery licence to be made to Allwyn.
The court determined the application to lift in accordance with the American Cyanamid principles:
The court held:
Although we have recently seen some cases where the court has maintained the automatic suspension (Draeger Safety UK Ltd v London Fire Commissioner  EWHC 2221 (TCC) and Vodafone Ltd v Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and another  EWHC 2793 (TCC)), these latest cases appear to revert to the status quo of a court being reluctant to delay the award of a contract to allow a trial to take place. They also highlight the difficulty that challengers face when offering services on commercial terms, to demonstrate that damages will not be an adequate remedy if the automatic suspension is lifted.
For more information or advice, please contact David Hansom (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Hannah Chapelhow (email@example.com) in Clyde & Co's procurement law team
1 Claim HT-2022-000106: Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd v Gambling Commission v (1) Allwyn Entertainment Limited (2) Sazka Group AS
Claim HT-2022-000113: (1) International Game Technology Plc (2) IGT Global Services Limited (3) IGT Global Solutions Corporation (4) IGT (UK3) Limited (5) IGT UK Interactive Limited (6) IGT UK Limited v Gambling Commission v (1) Allwyn Entertainment Limited (2) Sazka Group AS
Claim HT-2022-000154: Camelot Global Lottery Solutions Ltd v Gambling Commission v (1) Allwyn Entertainment Limited (2) Sazka Group AS  EWHC 1664 (TCC), 2022 WL 02343237