Flutter stresses commitment to Sisal National Lottery bid

Flutter hopes to complete its acquisition of Sisal in the first half.
Flutter hopes to complete its acquisition of Sisal in the first half.

Flutter, which has agreed a deal to acquire licence contender Sisal, has written to the Gambling Commission to support Sisal’s bid.

UK.- When Flutter agreed a £1.6bn deal to take over Sisal in December, it wasn’t only buying the operator of SuperEnalotto, Italy’s biggest lottery, but also a company that’s bidding for the next UK National Lottery licence.

With the Gambling Commission due to announce the winner of the National Lottery tender this month after a three-month delay, it’s been reported that Flutter has written to the Gambling Commission to emphasise its support for Sisal’s bid.

The other contenders are the incumbent operator, Camelot, which has run the lottery since its inception in 1994, Allwyn, the new name for the Czech lottery giant SAZKA, and Richard Desmond’s Northern + Shell.

The Telegraph has reported that Flutter chief executive Peter Jackson has written to the Gambling Commission to emphasise his support for the Sisal bid and to stress the importance of the lottery, the UK’s largest public contract, being operated as part of a UK-listed business (Camelot and SAZKA are both foreign owned).

The letter was written in response to a request for information by the Gambling Commission and was co-signed by Sisal chief executive Francesco Durante. Jackson reportedly said there should be “no doubt as to Flutter’s commitment through Sisal to the future success of the lottery”.

Flutter also owns Sky Bet, Paddypower and Betfair. Jackson is reported to have told the Gambling Commission that Sisal’s lottery operations would be kept separate from Flutter’s wider betting business. He reportedly wrote that “both parties are committed to ensuring the lottery is kept separate from Flutter’s existing operations.”

The National Lottery reported sales of £8.3bn for the financial year ending March 31 2021, an increase of £468.8m year-on-year. The new ten-year licence to run the lottery will start in February 2024. Flutter’s acquisition of Sisal is expected to complete in the first half of this year.

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