Allwyn and Vodafone partner for UK lottery, while operator also eyes Ireland

Allwyn, the UK’s incoming lottery operator, has signed a deal with telecom giant Vodafone, which will see the telecommunications company become Allwyn’s technology partner. It is also reportedly interested in the Irish lottery (more on this later).

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Vodafone will focus on providing a new mobile-first approach to the UK lottery, upgrading the existing infrastructure in so doing. Allwyn has also committed to supporting high-street retailers throughout its decade-long tenure, with Vodafone providing digital skills training for retailers that sell lottery products.

As part of the deal, Vodafone will house the lottery in its UK data centres and provide Allwyn with Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity to its offices.

Nick Gliddon, UK Business Director of Vodafone, said: “We understand the role that digital technology can play in transforming a business and improving customer experience. Since the lottery began, local shops have used pen and paper at lottery kiosks, and despite the significant technological shifts, not much has changed." 

Meanwhile, Robert Chvátal, Interim CEO of Allwyn UK, added: “Today’s news concludes the partnership agreement we signed during the competition for the Fourth National Lottery Licence. What we have now, with Vodafone, is a clearly defined scope and plan that will lead to numerous improvements on the current technology offer.”

The fight for the Fourth National Lottery Licence was bitterly contested by Allwyn and Camelot – which had won the previous three licenses – as Camelot attempted to tie up the award process in the UK courts and delay its handover.

However, Camelot eventually admitted defeat and later sold its UK lottery operations to Allwyn, which will take over officially in February 2024.

Furthermore, Allwyn is said to be in talks to buy a majority stake in the Irish National Lottery – allegedly speaking with Swiss Investment Bank, UBS, to help facilitate the deal.

Currently, The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) has an 80% stake in the Irish lottery, which is valid through 2034; however, the group is understood to want to sell, with Allwyn, Scientific Games and Française des Jeux all eying up bids for the stake.

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