Barnardo's makes joint bid for National Lottery licence

The children’s charity says its involvement would deepen understanding of the UK charity sector

Children’s charity Barnardo's has formed a joint bid to operate the UK National Lottery’s fourth licence with an Italian company.

The charity said it could not say how much the offer was worth, but the partnership represents a very significant income opportunity.

Italian lottery operator Sisal announced its entry into the Gambling Commission’s competition to run the UK National Lottery earlier this week.

Sisal said the charity’s involvement will bring an unparalleled understanding of the UK’s charity landscape and help ensure a best practice approach to player protection.

The winning bid will operate the lottery for the next 10 years. 

A decision on the bid will be made by the Gambling Commission later this year. 

Sisal said its commitment to responsible gaming and a strong focus on product and digital innovation will serve to generate more funds for good causes in the UK.  

Sisal’s chief executive, Francesco Durante, said: “We know the powerful positive impact games and lotteries can have when they are fun to play and they are directed toward 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. 

He concluded: “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, 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, while deepening understanding of the UK charity sector and how it works to make a difference in the heart of local communities.”

The National Lottery has been run by Camelot since its launch in 1994.

Its current licence was awarded in 2009 and extended by four years and will expire on 31 January 2023.  

The company underwent a review in 2017 after a National Audit Office report found that its profits had risen by 122 per cent over seven years while returns to good causes increased by only two per cent. 

Ticket sales in 2019/20 were up to a record £7.91bn and £1.85bn was raised for good causes.

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