Sazka Group looking to run Britain’s National Lottery, writes iHned.cz
Czech lottery company Sazka Group is trying to become the new operator of Britain’s National Lottery, news site iHNed.cz writes. If successful, it would allow businessman Karel Komárek, who controls Sazka via his investment group KKCG, to create the largest lottery holding in Europe, news site iHNed.cz writes.
Representatives of Sazka Group are frequently flying to London, where they are building a team and preparing an offer to the British Gambling Commission, which could be sent as soon as mid-September, an unnamed but “well informed” source told iHned.cz.
If Komárek is successful, Sazka Group would become a leader in the European lottery business. Sazka is already the largest component of Komárek’s KKCG in terms of revenue, earning EUR 1.3 billion in 2019 with a net profit of EUR 311 million.
Asked by iHNed.cz about whether Sazka Group will make an offer to enter Britain’s National Lottery, the company’s spokesman Radek Němeček admitted that the possibility of becoming its coordinator is an option when considering Sazka’s long-term growth and expansion strategy. However, he said that it has not yet been officially decided whether an offer will be sent or not.
In order to be successful, Sazka Group would have to make a more attractive offer than the current long-term coordinator of the National Lottery – Camelot Group – whose current franchise period runs until 2023.
Camelot controls a lucrative business, with nearly GBP 1.9 billion in revenue earned in just in the second quarter of 2020, writes iHNed.cz.
A public tender for the new operator was supposed to be held in March, iHNed.cz writes, but had to be postponed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic. The UK Gambling Commission says the first phase of the tender will open up in August at the earliest.
The initial stage will see contenders fill out a questionnaire, after which official offers will be sent, updated and subsequently evaluated. The final decision on who will coordinate Britain’s National Lottery should be made by mid-2021.