Sisal in surprise bid for UK National Lottery licence

Sisal runs the Italian lottery SuperEnalotto.
Sisal runs the Italian lottery SuperEnalotto.

Italy’s Sisal has joined the race for the next UK National Lottery licence.

UK.- The Italian lottery operator Sisal has emerged as a surprise addition to the competition for the next licence to run the UK’s National Lottery.

The firm, which runs Italy’s biggest lottery, SuperEnalotto, is reported to have launched a bid in conjunction with the major UK charity Barnardo’s, which will provide expertise in raising money for good causes.

The bid will be led by Sisal but supported by investment firm CVC Capital.

UK National Lottery tender

The surprise newcomer joins the contest for what will be the fourth licence to run the UK National Lottery.

The next licence will begin in 2023 and last for ten years. The British gambling regulator, the Gambling Commission, launched the tender process in August last year and is expected to announce its preferred bidder by the end of this year. 

The other bidders that have confirmed they will compete for the licence are the incumbent operator Camelot, which has run the UK National Lottery since its inception in 1995 and is now owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Czech lottery giant Sazka, which has investment from Apollo Global Management, and India’s Sugal & Damani.

Sisal chief executive Francesco Durante told the Telegraph that winning the UK lottery licence was a “big aspiration” for the company, and that it was working with Barnado’s because “to run the National Lottery, knowledge of the UK market is paramount.”

Barnado’s chief executive Javed Khan said: “Our involvement will strengthen the partnership’s focus on player protection and responsible play, whilst deepening understanding of the UK charity sector and how it works to make a difference in the heart of local communities.”

Italy’s Sisal

Sisal was founded by three sports journalists in 1945 and was the first Italian company to operate in the gaming and betting industry as a government licensee.

It now manages a range of online and offline gaming operations including lotteries SuperEnalotto and Win For Life, betting, casino games and ADI. Sisal reports revenue of €8.8bn, has more than 1,800 employees and operates more than 39,000 points of sale.

In the last couple of years, it has begun to expand outside of the Italian market, winning licences in Turkey and Morocco.

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