Wednesday, 29 August 2012

UK: England and Wales: common control does not justify treating companies as a single corporate entity

The ICLR has provided a summary of Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd, R (on the application of) v The Gambling Commission & Ors [2012] EWHC 2391 (Admin): see here. The court's decision has been widely reported (see here or here, for example). Camelot, the operator the UK's national lottery, sought permission (under Civil Procedure Rule 54.4) to continue a claim for judicial review of the decision by the Gambling Commission to grant lottery licences to 51 community interest companies and to licence another company (The Health Lottery ELM Ltd.) to act as an external lottery manager. This lottery management company acted as manager for the 51 community interest companies.

Judgment was given by Lord Justice Stanley Burnton (with whom Kenneth Parker J agreed): Camelot was refused permission to continue its claim for judicial review. Amongst the arguments made by Camelot was that the Health Lottery arrangements created a single lottery in breach of section 99 of the Gambling Act 2005 (section 99 requires the Gambling Commission, when granting a lottery licence, to impose various conditions including limits on the proceeds raised from lotteries). This argument was rejected. Stanley Burnton LJ accepted that the community interest companies were under common control and had common directors but held that this was not enough to treat them as a single corporate entity.

Camelot has announced that it will be appealing the court's decision: see here.

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