After nearly 30 years of operating the National Lottery Camelot was pipped to the post by Czech-owned group Allwyn. Subsequently, Allwyn rewarded its top staff a cool £10.3m in wage rises after helping to secure the license.During the running for the fourth National Lottery license, Allwyn fought off competition from current operator Camelot, Italian company Sisal and Richard Desmond the media mogul. After the successful bidding process, Allwyn will take over the fourth operating license, the first change in operations in almost 30 years.
Praise for the Prize
In SAZKA’s annual company report, Allywn’s parent company the SAZKA Group, the successful, fastest-growing European lottery company paid key management personnel and members of the board a combined £10.3m for work carried out in 2021.The pay rise came after a successful year, after gaming duties profits increased by 51% to £1.5bn, which more than doubled the pre-tax profit to €578m.SAZKA Group owner billionaire Karel Komarek invested heavily in Allwyn according to the report, his firm commitment to provide Allwyn with £329m capital to fund the day-to-day running of the business along with a further £57m for investment in capital expenditure.If Allwyn was to win the bidding for the fourth National Lottery License, the money was pledged to support the transition of the National Lottery and continue the ongoing operation smoothly and transparently.During the bidding process, Allwyn hired British business moguls including Sir Keith Mills, better known for creating air miles and Sainsbury’s Nectar Card scheme. Former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King also joined Allwyn, he had previously worked with Keith Mills and since become the chair of Allwyn UK.
However, since the announcement that Allwyn was to take over the fourth National Lottery license, controversy arose over Komarek’s business interests which could be contrary to sanctions against Russia over the attack on Ukraine.Komarek owns a gas company connected to Gazprom owned by Russia, however, he condemned the actions of Russia against Ukraine, and plans to nationalise his assets. SAZKA’s report suggests the company has no ties with Russia or Ukraine and “no contacts” with sanctioned organisations or individuals.