High Court rejects Health Lottery judicial review bid by Camelot

The High Court has thrown out a judicial review bid by National Lottery operator Camelot in which it instructed Blackstone Chambers’ David Pannick QC to challenge the legality of a rival lottery scheme, the Health Lottery (THL).

Blackstone Chambers' David Pannick QC
David Pannick QC

Today’s ruling is a victory for 11KBW’s James Goudie QC who was instructed for the defendant, the Gambling Commission.

Also celebrating are One Essex Court’s Thomas Sharpe QC and 3 Hare Court’s James Dingemans QC who were instructed for THL as an interested party and Susanna FitzGerald QC, also of One Essex Court, who was instructed for 50 Community Interest Companies (CIC).

Camelot said it would launch an appeal against the ruling.

Pannick, who was instructed by Baker & McKenzie partner Tom Cassels, had argued that the court should declare that the commission had “unlawfully and unreasonably” failed to establish an adequate review of the THL scheme.

The claimants argued that the THL, which comprises more than 50 separate society lotteries, operated as a single national game and that the Gambling Commission failed in its duty to recognise that.

Countering Goudie told the court that the application “disguised” an attempt to interfere with the commission’s exercise of its discretion.

Upholding the defendant argument Lord Justice Stanley Burnton said the claim has no real prospect of success. Burnton LJ stated: “I agree with the Commission that the question whether multiple society lotteries should be permitted is a political question, to be determined by the Government or Parliament. Multiple society lotteries are not prohibited by the Act.

“The commission has correctly determined that the real question relating to the Health Lottery is whether it in practice satisfies the licensing objective of fairness and openness, given the misleading widespread public perception of a single lottery benefiting a single society.”

Mr Justice Kenneth Parker agreed with the ruling.

The legal lineup:

For the claimant Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd

Blackstone Chambers’ David Pannick QC leading Kate Gallafent of the same set, instructed by Baker & McKenzie partner Tom Cassel

For the defendant the Gambling Commission

11KBW’s James Goudie QC leading Christopher Knight of the same set, instructed by Field Fisher Waterhouse partner Tom Rider

For the interested parties the Health Lottery Elm Ltd

One Essex Court’s Thomas Sharpe QC and 3 Hare Court’s James Dingemans QC, instructed by Rosenblatt Solicitors partner Anthony Field

For the interested parties, the Community Interest Parties

One Essex Court’s Susanna FitzGerald QC leading Alexander Brown of the same set, instructed by Salans partner Lionel Rosenblatt