Apollo Injects €500 Million Into SAZKA, Buys Canadian Casino Giant

in Finance

Czech lottery operator SAZKA Group’s bid to seize the UK’s National Lottery from long-time operator Camelot just got major backing from Wall Street buyout fund Apollo Global Management which injected €500 million to finance its expansion efforts.

News also emerged that Apollo will acquire Great Canadian Gaming Corp. in a deal that values the Canadian casino operator at more than C$3.3 billion (approx. $2.5 billion) and represents the private equity giant’s latest big move into the casino industry.

SAZKA, which is owned by Czech billionaire Karel Komárek, announced in early October a surprise challenge to Camelot’s long-standing reign as the operator of UK’s National Lottery. Camelot’s license is set to expire in 2023 and the bidding war for the right to operate the prize draw finally commenced in late August after delays.

The Czech lottery operator has submitted its application to participate in the first stage of the race for the National Lottery license. SAZKA tapped late last month Sir Keith Mills, who led London’s 2012 Olympics campaign and served as deputy chairman for the London Organising Committee, as its National Lottery bid chairman.

SAZKA’s owner said Tuesday that with Apollo’s €500 million support, his team will be able to take the business to the next level. The recent injection will be used to finance SAZKA’s expansion efforts in Europe and North America“with a focus on lotteries.”