Posted on: December 8, 2021, 06:35h.
Last updated on: December 8, 2021, 06:35h.
Sazka Entertainment has decided to realign its operations. The gambling company out of the Czech Republic has used different names in different countries over the years, but that is now changing. Going forward, all of its operations will fall under the Allwyn name.
In Greece and Cyprus, Sazka has operated lotteries as OPAP. In Italy, Loto Gioco is the company’s name. In Austria, Lotteries Austria was the face of the company. Going forward, all of these will be converted to Allwyn. The company announced the transformation today, adopting the name that it has been using for its UK operations since April.
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,” a statement from Sazka reads.
The goal of the rebranding is to better reflect the company’s position on a global scale. Instead of being only a pan-European operator, it has extended its reach and hopes the name change will reinforce that position.
A Pivotal Time for Sazka
Sazka has been busy the past couple of years as it looks to expand its operations domestically and internationally. In April 2020, the company acquired Stoiximan Group’s sports betting operations in Greece and Cyprus through its OPAP arm.
It followed that with an entry in the still-ongoing Fourth UK National Lottery license contest. This was supposed to wrap up this past September. However, the process to issue a new license is taking longer than expected. The results are now planned for release in February of next year.
Soon after announcing its participation in the UK lottery scheme, Sazka received a major injection of funds from Apollo Global Management to help with its expansion. The €500 million (US$565.55 million) is still assisting with the company’s new efforts in Europe and the US. The investment was said to imply an “equity valuation of €4.2 billion (US$4.75 billion) for Sazka, according to the company.
This past January, Sazka purchased 4.31% of Casinos Austria, the company that is now expected to help Nagasaki, Japan, brings its integrated resort dreams to life. It also increased its stake in OPAP, ultimately taking control of 45.36% of the company.
Revenue Trending Upward
For the most recent six-month period, which ended on June 30, gross gaming revenue (GGR) for Sazka rose by €160.3million, or 65%, to €406.9million. This figure excludes revenue from its participation in Casinos Austria and Stoiximan.
This growth was due to organic growth in iGaming, as well as sales of other products via the online channel. It also includes the effects of COVID 19, which had a greater negative impact on the Greece-Cyprus business in Q2 2020 than it did in Q2 2021.
Gaming taxes rose by €206.4 million ($US233.31 million), or 244%, to €291 million ($US329 million) due to the rise in consolidated GGR. This is more than the GGR growth due to consolidation at Casinos Austria, which pays gaming taxes at a higher rate than the other businesses.
Sales for its lottery operations increased by 78% to €621.6 million ($US702.84 million) in the first half of the year. Instant lottery sales also improved by 101%, reaching €119.6 million ($US135.2 million) as Sazka improved its core focus.