The upcoming battle over the right to operate the UK National Lottery will include another leading European gambling group, it emerged this week.
According to the Chief Executive of SAZKA Group, Robert Chvatal, the Czech-based Group which has been focused on expansion in recent months, will be taking part in the bidding process. Bids to run the lottery will be accepted next year ahead of the 2023 renewal date.
The news that SAZKA are to bid for the lottery in the UK comes at the end of a year in which they have also gained a foothold in other European markets. These growth measures include becoming the major shareholders in both Casinos Austria and OPAP Greece.
And speaking about the potential for growth in the UK, Chvatal said that it was the next logical step and that the possibility of Brexit in 2020 was not an obstacle to the Group’s ambitions:
“Next year we are preparing a tender for The National Lottery, and this is a very interesting opportunity for us. We want to try to be the operator of the UK’s prestigious lottery. Moreover, Britain is the cradle of betting and betting, and it is one of the largest markets in Europe.”
The Group has been through major corporate changes in 2019, including the splitting of its ownership. Karel Komarek Jr has taken over the Group’s gambling portfolio and investments through his private equity operation. And Chvatal said that the corporate changes had enabled SAZKA to become a streamlined operation, focused on global expansion.
According to the UK media, SAZKA will be up against other high-profile bidders, including the French lottery company Francaise des Jeux, Richard Branson and Northern and Shell, owned by newspaper mogul and former pornographer Richard Desmond.