Sisal enters National Lottery licence tender

Italian lottery operator Sisal has partnered children's charity Barnardo's to compete in the tender for the fourth UK National Lottery licence.


The operator said the move builds on its recent successes, having expanded beyond Italy in recent years.

It said it has shown a "perfect record" with regards to lottery tenders, winning three out of three applications in Italy, Morocco and Turkey, and that operating the UK National Lottery is the company’s next big aspiration.

Sisal said it has invested heavily in digital and artificial intelligence technologies in order to develop its responsible gambling strategy.

This, coupled with its proprietary platform and a strong focus on product and innovation, would help it successfully operate the lottery, it added.

To further strengthen its bid, Sisal has partnered with children’s and young people’s charity, Barnardo’s, which it said is one of the most prestigious and recognised charities in the UK. This partnership would give it a stronger understanding of the UK’s charitable landscape, it said.

Barnardo’s will use its involvement in the joint venture to ensure a best practice approach to player protection, improving protections for children and ensuring the lottery draws on best practice internationally.

“We believe lottery operators have the duty to generate resources in a responsible way and should lead the industry in raising the bar for player protection,” Sisal chief executive, Francesco Durante explained.

“That’s why many years ago we voluntarily developed an approach to player protection far beyond what was required by regulation. Our focus is to make the lottery safer and an even better source of funds for good causes.”

Javed Khan, chief executive of Barnardo’s, added: “We are pleased to be working with Sisal in bidding to revitalise the UK National Lottery, which generates substantial funds for worthy causes across the UK.”

“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.”

Sisal is the latest operator to join the race to obtain the fourth National Lottery licence in the UK.

The tender was launched by the British Gambling Commission in August 2020, at which point it was suggested the preferred applicant would be announced in September 2021, after a bidding process taking over a year to complete.

Pan-European lottery and gaming giant Sazka Group was the first company to announce its intention to compete for the licence, in October 2020.

India’s largest lottery operator, Sugal & Damani, joined the race later that month, and incumbent licensee Camelot also completed the Gambling Commission’s Selection Questionnaire in October, though it refused to commit to bidding for the tender.