Billionaire: Karel Komarek (pictured with wife Stepanka)
Media mogul Richard Desmond has launched the third legal challenge against the gambling watchdog’s decision to award the National Lottery to Czech operator Allwyn.
Desmond’s Northern & Shell and a subsidiary, the New Lottery Company, have taken legal action against the Gambling Commission, according to a high court filing dated April 13 – becoming the third party to challenge the award.
The former owner of the Express and Star newspapers had tabled a bid for the contract alongside the current lottery operator Camelot and gambling tech business IGT.
But a month ago the Gambling Commission gave the contract to Allwyn Entertainment, putting an end to 27 years of unbroken operation by Camelot.
Allwyn, founded by Czech billionaire Karel Komarek, will take over running the National Lottery from 2024.
Camelot has claimed there was a breach of rules during the bidding process and asked for a review of the Gambling Commission’s handling of the process. IGT has also filed a claim.