Czech lottery winners pocket 40% pay rise

Top brass at firm which recently won licence to run National Lottery bagged a near-40 per cent pay rise last year

Boost: Czech billionaire Karel Komarek (pictured with his wife Stepanka)

Top brass at the firm which recently won the licence to run the National Lottery bagged a near-40 per cent pay rise last year. 

Bosses at Czech-owned Sazka Group, whose subsidiary Allwyn beat off long-standing incumbent Camelot to take the Lotto contract, scooped £10.3m between them in 2021. 

The 6-strong board pocketed £4.4m, while the so-called C-suite – which comprises seven managers whose titles start with ‘chief’ – trousered £5.9m. 

The total was up from £7.4m a year earlier. The bumper pay was awarded in a year which saw Allwyn win the next 10-year Lotto contract from 2024, elbowing past the likes of Camelot, Italy’s Sisal and media tycoon Richard Desmond. 

Profits at Sazka, which runs lottery operations across Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece and Cyprus and Italy, more than doubled to £495m.

The firm’s annual report also laid out how it plans to plough £329m into Allwyn to fund day-to-day spending, and £57m for the firm to invest in its operations. 

Sazka is backed by Czech billionaire Karel Komarek and private equity giant Apollo Global. They are planning to list the European gambling company in New York through acquisition company Cohn Robbins Holdings, set up by former Donald Trump adviser Gary Cohn.

In its race to win the Lotto contract, Allwyn hired British business grandees Sir Keith Mills, who headed London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympics and invented the Nectar Card loyalty scheme, and Justin King, the former Sainsbury’s boss. Sazka did not disclose how much each individual executive and director was paid. Mills and King’s salaries were not included in the £10.3m total.