Czech gambling conglomerate SAZKA Entertainment has rebranded its business identity to Allwyn, the brand currently used by its UK subsidiary that seeks to become the next steward of the National Lottery.
Recognised as Europe’s largest lottery operator, SAZKA stated that its rebrand reflected the group’s “effort to reposition as a global business”, as a result of the recent transformation of its operations and enlargement of its business through strategic M&As.
The Czech group operates the Pan-European lottery portfolio of flagship SAZKA (Czech Rep), OPAP (Greece and Cyprus), Lotteries Austria and Lotto ‘Gioco’ Italia.
Earlier this year, SAZKA established Allwyn as its UK subsidiary to compete in the UK government’s fourth National Lottery competition, seeking to replace Camelot UK as operating company.
As part of the process of bidding for the UK National Lottery licence, Allwyn appointed four-time Olympic medalist Lord Sebastien Coe to its Board of Directors, citing that his credentials would ‘strengthen our international perspective’.
An Allwyn statement on the rebrand read: “SAZKA Entertainment, which operates lotteries in Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Cyprus, and Italy, is re-branding as Allwyn.
“The change comes as the company evolves from a Pan-European lottery operator into a global business.
“Allwyn will retain its iconic, local brands that are cherished by both its consumers and employees and drive the continuous strong growth of the company.”
In its latest set of published financial accounts, and the final under the SAZKA identity, the group saw lottery sales grow significantly with numerical lottery sales hiking up by 78% to €621.6m in H1 of 2021. Instant lottery sales also improved by 101% up to €119.6m as SAZKA improved upon its core competence.
A group statement at the time added: “There are considerable costs associated with participation in public tenders, such as our current participation in the competition for the fourth licence to operate the UK National Lottery and pursuing potential M&A transactions.”
Completing its business transformation in 2020, SAZKA announced that it has secured a €500m fund backed by US private equity firm Apollo Global as its sole sponsor.
A recapitalised SAZKA highlighted that its Apollo-sponsored fund would be used to strengthen its leadership position as Europe’s largest lottery operator, whilst exploring new lottery-led opportunities within underpenetrated North American markets.