Sazka to compete for UK National Lottery tender

The deadline for the initial selection questionnaire passed last week.
The deadline for the initial selection questionnaire passed last week.

The Czech lottery giant has officially announced it will compete for the next UK National Lottery licence.

UK.- Czech gaming and lottery operator Sazka has become the latest contender to publicly announce its participation in the tender for the fourth UK National Lottery licence.

Sazka operates lotteries in Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece and Italy and was widely believed to be preparing to take on the incumbent licensee Camelot in the forthcoming tender.

It has now confirmed that it responded to the British Gambling Commission’s Selection Questionnaire – the first step in the tender process – before the deadline on October 2.

Chief executive Robert Chvátal said: “As a leader in operating lotteries across Europe, Sazka has made no secret of the fact that we would be thrilled to operate the UK National Lottery. The UK National Lottery is a national treasure with a proud 26-year history.

“Now it is looking forward to the next decade and how it can best serve its customers in a world so disrupted by digital transformation, the fourth industrial revolution and [novel coronavirus].

“The landscape from when the UK National Lottery was launched back in 1994 has changed beyond measure.”

Chvátal said Sazka was putting together a team in the UK and building partnerships to help make its case.

He said: “We are serious about our intentions and respectful of the process we are entering into. We submitted our completed application to the Gambling Commission by yesterday’s deadline.

“This was an important and exciting moment for us, marking our official entry into the competition. We trust that our submission will demonstrate our professional track record and technical capabilities.”

The Gambling Commission announced the start of the tender process last month, several months behind the original schedule due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s expected to announce its preferred bidder next year. The new licence will begin from July 2023.

The next licence will come with some changes, including a fixed ten-year term and greater flexibility in managing funding objectives for good causes. 

Either the Gambling Commission or the companies themselves are expected to announce the other interested parties in the coming days.

Northern & Shell, which runs the Health Lottery operator, and Sugal & Damani – the only contender to compete with Camelot in the last tender in 2009 – were believed to be interested. 

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