Sazka Entertainment gives Seb Coe board role as it pursues UK lottery bid

| By Marese O'Hagan
Czech lottery giant Sazka Entertainment has announced the appointment of Lord Sebastian Coe to its board as its first independent non-executive director, ahead of the conclusion of the race to win the National Lottery's fourth UK licence tender.
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However, Coe will not be involved in any specific bids or country-level operations, including the wider Sazka Group’s UK National Lottery bid.

Coe – a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 1500m – has had success with major bidding campaigns, having helped London win its bid to host the 2012 Olympics.

In 2004, Coe was named chairman of London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, later becoming chair of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee when the bid was successful.

“Lord Coe has been a colossal figure on the world stage of sport, politics and business through his long and distinguished career,” said Karel Komárek, chairman of Sazka’s board.

“He brings tremendous additional strength to our international perspective as we strive to maximise the raising of funds for good causes in all of the markets we serve.”

Coe is currently the president of World Athletics, having been appointed the role in 2015. He also served as a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) from 1992 until 1997.

Over the years I’ve seen the tremendous benefit lottery funds have brought to grassroots and elite sport across the globe, said Coe.

“I’m looking forward to joining a team with a proven track record of supporting sport at all levels in the countries where it operates.”

The tender selection process was launched by the Gambling Commission in August 2020. Sazka was the first company to announce its bid for the tender, in October 2020.

Following the Gambling Commission’s decision to extend the bidding process, the winning bid will be announced in February 2022.

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