Flutter Officially Confirms Desire to Control the UK Lottery

Posted on: February 7, 2022, 09:58h. 

Last updated on: February 7, 2022, 12:38h.

The UK is preparing to choose who will replace Camelot as the next UK National Lottery operator. Flutter Entertainment wants to be the winner, and is lobbying the UK Gaming Commission (UKGC) for its support.

Peter Jackson
Flutter Entertainment CEO Peter Jackson, seen here, is in high-speed acquisition mode. He hopes to secure the UK National Lottery as his next coup. (Image: The Irish Times)

Last December, Flutter purchased Sisal, an Italian online gaming platform. Sisal was already in the running for the UK lottery, and if there were doubts about its commitment going forward, they have been relieved.

Flutter CEO Peter Jackson sent a letter to the UKGC, reasserting the company’s position as a top contender for the lottery concession. The letter was also signed by the CEO of Sisal, Francesco Durante.

The Gambling Commission should have no doubt as to Flutter’s commitment through Sisal to the future success of the lottery,” Flutter CEO Peter Jackson told the UKGC.

Should Sisal be chosen, Flutter assured the gaming regulator that it won’t co-mingle the lottery operations with its established gaming arms. These include Paddy Power, PokerStars, Betfair, Sky Bet, Sportsbet, Adjarabet, Tombola, and TVG.

Lottery Decision Coming Soon

There are plenty of reasons to want to win the concession.

The operator will remain in place from 2024 to 2034, during which the revenue expectations are substantial. Early forecasts predict the lottery could earn as much as £80 billion (US$108.16 billion) during that time.

An announcement on the replacement of Camelot, which has come under fire for some of its practices, is due soon.

Initially, an announcement was to arrive by the middle of last year. However, the government is to make its final choice between Feb. 21 and March 31.

Battle Begins

Sisal wasn’t as strong a contender before Flutter announced that it was going to purchase the operator. It still has to compete against Sazka, which has a significant gaming presence and solid backing across Europe. Also involved is Richard Desmond, the former owner of the Star and Express media outlets.

Flutter is playing the patriot card, arguing that it’s time to put a UK company in charge of the UK National Lottery. This is despite the fact that Sisal would manage the lottery and is still technically an Italian gaming company.

Camelot UK, owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, is still a possible contender. However, its position isn’t as strong as it once was. Sir Richard Branson had also expressed interest previously, but backed out in 2020.

Should the UKGC determine that Camelot is no longer a viable alternative, there would only be two strong contenders. Sazka and Flutter/Sisal are the best options.