SAZKA Group Chief Executive Robert Chvátal has confirmed that the growth-hungry gambling conglomerate will launch an official 2020 bid competing to win the UK’s fourth National Lottery contract starting in 2023.
Stating SAZKA’s intent, Chvátal underlined that ‘investing in the UK is the next stop’, following a busy 2019 in which the Czech gambling fund secured majority shareholdings in OPAP Greece and Casinos Austria.
SAZKA’s leader stated that ‘Brexit was no obstacle’ for the Czech outfit, which ‘has proven across Europe how lottery is done differently, with more fun and more profitability’ for customers and national stakeholders.
“Next year we are preparing a tender for The National Lottery, and this is a very interesting opportunity for us,” he said. “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.”
Significant corporate developments in 2019 saw SAZKA split its ownership, with Czech billionaire Karel Komarek Jr’s KKCG private equity fund taking full control of SAZKA’s gambling assets and investments.
Chvátal underlined the changes as necessary, as a streamlined SAZKA is now fully focused on becoming the world’s leading gambling fund targeting prominent disruptions within the global lotteries sector.
UK Media had previously speculated that SAZKA would be a likely bidder for the National Lottery’s 2020 tender, competing against high-profile suitors such as Northern & Shell and Richard Branson’s ‘Peoples Lottery’ vehicle.
Further international interest saw the governance Française des Jeux (FDJ) confirm last week that discussions were being held with investment bank Rothschild, assessing options to compete in the 2020 tender.