National Lottery: Licensing

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 11th November 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mark Tami Mark Tami Opposition Pairing Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to ensure that political donations made to the Conservative Party by managing parties of CVC Capital, the owner of Sisal S.p.A Group do not influence the Government's approach to the Fourth National Lottery Licence.

Photo of Mark Tami Mark Tami Opposition Pairing Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will publish details of all official correspondence received by her Department from representatives of (a) CVC Capital Partners and (b) Sisal Group since 1 July 2019.

Photo of Mark Tami Mark Tami Opposition Pairing Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what processes are in place to ensure that members of the Board of Commissioners have no conflict of interest pertaining to the Fourth National Lottery Licence process.

Photo of Mark Tami Mark Tami Opposition Pairing Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the involvement of CVC Capital in the bid by Sisal S.p.A for the National Lottery Licence, whether his Department has plans to introduce measures to ensure that (a) CVC Capital upholds obligations to Debenhams pension fund and (b) National Lottery funds will not be used to pay dividends to CVC Capital partners.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The competition for the next licence to run the National Lottery is run by the Gambling Commission. Government is not involved in selecting the winning bid. The Commission has received four final applications to run the licence. This is the highest number of applications received since the first licence was awarded in 1994 and reflects the strength of the competition, and the market’s recognition of the opportunity which exists.

While the competition remains on-going it is not appropriate to comment on whether an individual, or organisation, has participated in any stage of it. We have no plans to publish any correspondence received by the Department from either CVC Capital Group or Sisal partners.

As part of the Department’s public appointments process, applicants to public bodies roles, including to the Gambling Commission’s board, must declare in their application any private interests which would result in actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest. On taking up an appointment to the Gambling Commission, Commissioners are required to adhere to principles in Nolan Principles and the Gambling Commission’s own Code of Conduct for Commissioners. Further to this:

  1. All Commissioners are required to declare interests at least annually, and ensure in year changes are notified as necessary;

  2. Their interests are published on the Gambling Commission’s website;

  3. Declarations of interest are sought at the beginning of every board and committee meeting; and

  4. When an interest is declared, it is reviewed by the Head of Governance and the Chair of the Commission to identify if any action is required as a result (up to and including asking my Department to terminate the appointment/asking them to terminate their interest).

The purpose of the National Lottery, as set out in legislation, is to raise monies for the four good cause pillars. The National Lottery must be run by a single purpose vehicle, with controls in place to ensure that proceeds cannot be diverted to another area of the operator’s business. The mechanism by which proceeds are divided between good cause returns and profits will be set out in the licence while decisions about the use of their profits will be a matter for the operator.

Defined benefit pension schemes are an important source of retirement income for many people in the UK, and the Government is committed to ensuring that they are protected. Whilst it is not appropriate for Ministers to comment on the arrangements of particular pension schemes, the Pensions Regulator monitors private Defined Benefit pension schemes and has the powers to act where they believe a breach of the law has taken place. The Government is committed to strengthening the powers at the disposal of the Regulator and new sanctions, within the Pension Schemes Act 2021, will strengthen the punishment for irresponsible management of pension schemes.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No3 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.