Lottery and gaming giant Sazka Group has announced it will compete for the fourth UK National Lottery licence, becoming the first business to confirm its participation in the process.
Sazka, which already operates lotteries in Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece and Italy, has completed its response to the Gambling Commission’s Selection Questionnaire, the first step in the tender process set out in August this year. The company’s chief executive Robert Chvátal revealed that the operator was in the process of hiring a team in the UK, and building the partnerships and relationships needed to deliver “a compelling case” for Sazka to replace Camelot as the lottery’s operator.
The tender had been due to launch in the first half of 2020, but has been delayed by Covid-19, with incumbent Camelot being granted a six-month extension to its current contract. The deadline for bids passed on 2 October, so it is expected that Sazka’s competition will either be announced by the Gambling Commission or the individual companies over the coming days.
Camelot, which has held the National Lottery licence since its formation in 1994, is certain to compete, while Health Lottery operator Northern & Shell as well as Sugal & Damani, the only competitor to Camelot in the third licence process in 2009, are both understood to be interested.