Italian gaming company Sisal has launched an unexpected bid to run the National Lottery.
Sisal runs Italy’s SuperEnalotto national lottery but now wishes to operate the UK's lottery product and take the National Lottery off Camelot, which has run it since its launch in 1994.
Currently, the licence for the next cycle of the lottery is up for grabs; the successful bidder will run the lottery for a decade starting from the year 2023.
Sisal’s bid is being backed by investment firm CVC Capital and the bid will be made with the support of British charity Barnardo’s.
Chief executive of Sisal, Franceso Durante, has told The Telegraph the operator would need assistance as understanding the UK market is “paramount” when running the lottery. However, he added becoming the new operator of the National Lottery is a “big aspiration”.
So far, plenty of companies have shown interest in running the lottery, for example Richard Branson’s Virgin Group was said to be a potential bidder but backed out.
Yet other companies are actively looking to leapfrog Camelot, as last year Czech operator Sazka and Indian lottery operator Sugal & Damani announced their interest in a bid.
Sazka is said to be the biggest threat to Camelot, having hired several industry veterans to inform its high-profile bid.
The current race is the fourth tender of its kind, having been launched in November 2018 and with the Gambling Commission set to decide on a formal bid process later this year.