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Italian-based lottery operator partners with Barnardo’s in bid to win UK National Lottery licence

Melanie May | 19 April 2021 | News

Lottery balls by Paulo Diniz diniz from Pixabay

Italian-based lottery operator Sisal has partnered with Barnardo’s in a bid to win the licence to run the UK National Lottery, which comes up for renewal in 2023.

The Gambling Commission is running the competition to find the next, and fourth, licence holder.

Sisal has 75 years of experience in running lotteries. The bid is part of its expansion programme, which has already seen it expand from Italy into Morocco, Turkey, and Spain. It has more than 2,200 employees globally, and a network of around 50,000 points of sale. In December last year European Lotteries and the World Lottery Association both renewed the company’s responsible gaming certifications for the fourth time in a row, and at the highest level available. Sisal was also the first Italian company to operate as a government licensee in the gambling industry.


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

Javed Khan, CEO of Barnardo’s said: 

“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.”

Francesco Durante, CEO of Sisal, commented:

“Sisal was founded seventy-five years ago by three sports journalists who wanted to help rebuild Italy’s war-damaged football stadiums and revive community participation in sport. By long experience, we know the powerful positive impact games and lotteries can have when they are fun to play and they are directed towards serving a good cause. “


“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. 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.”

Camelot is the current UK National Lottery licence holder, and has been its operator since the lottery’s launch in 1994. It currently generates over £30 million each week for National Lottery-funded projects, and in total, has raised over £42 billion so far with more than 625,000 individual grants made across the UK.