A European gambling operator owned by an affluent Czech businessman is reportedly considering to join the competition for a takeover of the UK National Lottery.
As The Mail on Sunday revealed, Czech Republic-based Sazka Group has claimed that it has a “proven track record” when franchise means are concerned, so it would have a great position as a competitor for the operating licence of the National Lottery. The company is known for being a key asset of the KKCG investment empire that had once been established by the oil and gas behemoth Karel Komarek.
In case Sazka Group manages to win the operating licence, this would be the first time when the management of the UK National Lottery has changed since the NL was officially launched in the autumn of 1994. So far, Camelot Group, owned by the Canadian company Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has been the only one that has won three terms behind the franchise. The latest operating licence held by the Canadian company is to end in 2023.
The Czech company is not the only one that has been willing to compete for the UK National Lottery licence. Previously, it became clear that Richard Desmond-owned Northern & Shell, as well as Sir Richard Branson, are interested in taking part in the bidding process.
Sazka Group Willing to Expand European Presence with Lottery Portfolio in the UK
As Casino Guardian has already reported, the gambling regulatory body of the country, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), is set to launch the official start of the bidding process. In 2019, the gambling watchdog of the UK appointed the investment bank Rothschild & Co to take into consideration all interested parties and choose the best bidder.
Currently, Karel Komarek-owned Sazka Group operates franchises in the Czech Republic, Austria, Italy and Greece. It describes itself as the biggest and most successful lottery operator on the territory of Europe and wants to expand its presence even further on the Continent. For the time being, the company is still waiting for further information from UK gambling regulatory bodies before formally making a takeover offer for the National Lottery.
A spokesperson of the Czech gambling operator has revealed that the company is aware of the upcoming competition for the UK National Lottery operating licence. Once the terms and conditions for the competition are announced by the UKGC, Sazka Group would take them into consideration and evaluate them in order to make a decision on its further moves on the issue.
Last month, there have been rumours that the Australian gambling giant Tabcorp in interested in taking part in the competition for becoming the next UK National Lottery operator. However, soon after the rumours have emerged, a source close to the matter revealed that the Australian company is not willing to participate in the bidding process, as it currently wants to remain focused on its domestic market operations.