Sugal & Damani joins National Lottery race

India’s largest lottery operator Sugal & Damani Group has confirmed that it will participate in the contest for the fourth UK National Lottery licence, becoming just the second business to announce its involvement.


Sugal & Damani has completed its response to the Gambling Commission’s Selection Questionnaire, which acts as the first step of the selection process.

“As a leader in operating lotteries across India and other jurisdictions, Sugal & Damani has shown its deep interest to operate the UK National Lottery since 2007 when it participated and also [was] selected as a reserve bidder by qualifying all required standards like propriety, technology, player protection, channel management, and financial capability,” Sugal & Damani group chief executive Kamlesh Vijay said.

As Vijay mentioned, the operator previously competed for the Third National Lottery licence in 2007, though Camelot, which has operated the lottery since its inception, ultimately prevailed in the process.

The business’s technology arm, Skilrock Technologies, provides lottery, gaming and commercial services across 26 jurisdictions working with a range of high-profile World Lottery Association (WLA) members.

Its technology has been deployed at more than 200,000 points of sale, with more than 7m igaming customers active on its platform, supported by a library of more than 70 games, it noted.

Vijay said the lottery market was large and with a strong reputation, but added that while the National Lottery had a significant following, it still faced challenges, namely competition from private operators. This, he explained, meant that constant innovation was necessary to consolidate the lottery’s position among customers.

“Being an organisation with deep rooted innovation in every sphere of our activity we are happy to be in the competition,” he added.

“We are looking for a fair and open competition that the [Gambling Commission] has initiated, we are very much in the game, we are in the final stages of creating a strong consortium of credible partners, the details of which will be shared in due course.”

While the deadline for interested parties to submit their completed Selection Questionnaire passed on 2 October, Sugal & Damani is only the second business to announce that it is in the running after Sazka Group.

The Czech gaming conglomerate revealed earlier this month that it was in the process of hiring a team in Great Britain, and building out its partner roster to make a “compelling case” to replace Camelot as the lottery’s operator.

Camelot, as the incumbent, is all but guaranteed to also be in the running.

The new tender, launched in August, restricts the winning bidder to a ten-year fixed term for the first time, with the winning bidder to be given more flexibility in how to maximises returns for good causes.

With the deadline for Selection Questionnaires now passed, the Gambling Commission will now review all responses before sending an Invitation to Apply (ITA) to a number of bidders, allowing them to begin preparing their application.

The process will ultimately run for a year, with the winning bidder to be announced in September 2021.