SAZKA Group is the fastest growing lottery operator in Europe. Chief executive Robert Chvátal talks to Gaming Intelligence about its interest in the UK National Lottery licence and opportunities in North America.
In 2012, SAZKA Group set out on its ambitious plan to become Europe’s largest private lottery and gaming operator. First off, the company acquired SAZKA Czech, the Czech Republic’s largest lottery, buying out the 50 per cent stake held by Czech investment firm PPF Group.
Next came a 33 per cent stake in Greece’s OPAP in 2013, via Czech investment vehicle Emma Delta, followed by the acquisition of an 11.4 per cent stake in Casinos Austria in 2015. The next year, the company snapped up an 11.6 per cent stake in Austrian Lotteries and a 32.5 per cent stake in Italy’s LottoItalia. Last year, SAZKA Group acquired additional equity to take its total shareholding in Casinos Austria to 38.2 per cent, and took a 67 per cent holding in Croatia’s SuperSport.
In just seven years, the company has established a wide-ranging portfolio of operations across Austria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Greece and Italy.