The Czech billionaire spends nearly £ 9 million bidding on the UK national lottery

in Lottery

A Czech billionaire has spent nearly £ 9 million preparing his bid for the national lottery and overtaking his rivals ahead of the auction of Europe’s most expensive gambling contract.

Karel Komarek’s Sazka gambling group is vying for control of the national lottery by ousting incumbent Camelot for the first time since the draw started in 1994.

He has hired a group of British businessmen to support his offer, including Lord Coe; Sir Keith Mills, the air mile tycoon and friend of Boris Johnson; founder Brent Hoberman; and former Sainsbury chief Justin King.

Sazka Group UK Limited, a company founded to support Mr Komarek̵

7;s offer, has a cost of $ 8.9 million over the year through December 2020.The 12 employees took an average of around £ 210,000 home with them.

Sazka announced in October 2020 that it had entered the race for the national lottery.

Mr. Komarek has amassed his fortune investing in post-Soviet energy markets.

Richard Desmond, the former owner of Daily Express and Channel 5, who also plans to run the lottery, spent £ 7.2 million on his bid in 2020 – almost £ 2 million less than Mr Komarek.

Camelot, which is facing its first competitive offer since the operator became foreign-owned in 2010, has yet to disclose its costs for the last year. The most recently submitted accounts are for the year ending March 2020.

The last company in the race is the Italian gaming group Sisal. A recent submission said operating costs had increased by € 15 million due to a number of factors, including the cost of the National Lottery tender.