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The Czech lottery operator that is set to take over the running of the National Lottery could slash the price of tickets to £1 in a huge shake-up of the popular game.

Allwyn, which runs lotteries in Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece and Italy, has been named the 'preferred applicant' to take over the venture in 2024.  

The firm, previously known as Sazka before it rebranded with an anglicised name during the bidding process, has pledged to double charitable donations to £38billion over the next decade.  

Allwyn has proposed halving ticket prices to £1 part of its bid to take over the running of the National Lottery, after Camelot doubled the cost of entry to £2 in 2013.

It could launch two Saturday night draws in a bid to increase its player pool. 

While punters will welcome cheaper costs, Allwyn, who expects to be named the official operator of the National Lottery once the 10-day cooling off period expires, will hope halving ticket prices can spur on more players to participate.

Figures released by Camelot paint a rosy picture at the company, recording 62 per cent growth in sales since 2009, while 60 per cent of UK adults regularly play National Lottery games.  

Despite this, the Hertfordshire-based group lost out to its Czech rivals during the bidding process.

MailOnline understands the Allwyn bid was a technology-first approach that highlighted a commitment to furthering its spend on good causes.

Camelot is now expected to take the decision to the courts after reportedly appointing one of Britain's top QCs, Lord Pannick, to lead its legal fight.

Any legal challenge is expected to be predicated on the 'scorecard' system used for grading the four National Lottery bidders, the

Allwyn is said to have spent £9million on its bid to become the next lottery operator, and has even appointed Lord Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, to its board as a non-executive director.

While the company has promised to transform the National Lottery, Allwyn's bid has been cloaked in secrecy and was far from plain-sailing. 

But it was less controversial compared to the second National Lottery licence renewal in 2000, when Camelot were initially disqualified from the bidding process and the licence was awarded to Richard Branson's Virgin Group People's Lottery.

Camelot challenged the decision in the High Court, winning their case and being re-awarded the National Lottery licence a year later. Branson would describe the decision as 'cowardly'. 

Throughout its 28-year tenure, Camelot has been praised for its contributions to good causes, but has also faced its fair share of criticism.

Julian Knight, chair of the House of Commons culture committee, said: 'Camelot has had this now over two decades and done a pretty good job in the main but there were some real concerns during the last lottery licence that they veered toward games that didn't return as much to good causes.' 

It doubled the cost of a National Lottery ticket to £2 in 2013, before watching sales plunge almost 10 per cent after the odds on the Lotto were tweaked three years later. 


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