Sazka Entertainment appoints Lord Coe as first independent advisor

Sazka Entertainment has appointed four-time Olympic medalist Lord Sebastien Coe to its Board of Directors.

Lord Coe is the current President of World Athletics and was instrumental in London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games. He began his role as a non-executive director of the Pan-European lottery operator on Tuesday.

Despite UK subsidiary Allwyn competing to win the UK government’s Fourth National Lottery Competition – Sazka governance underlined that Lord Coe would not be involved in any country-specific operations or any country’s bid to run their national lottery business.

Karel Komarek, Sazka’s Chairman, commented: “Lord Coe has been a colossal figure on the world stage of sport, politics and business through his long and distinguished career.  We’re honoured to have him join our team as its first Independent Non-Executive Director.

“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.”

A 1500m gold medalist in the 1980 Olympics, Coe repeated the feat in 1984, whilst also collecting silver in the 800m in both Games. He went on to break 12 world records in a monumental athletics career.

Following his retirement, Coe became a Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party, serving as a private secretary to William Hague simultaneously. He later went on to be the Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the London 2012 Olympic bid.

Coe commented on his appointment: “Over the years I’ve seen the tremendous benefit lottery funds have brought to grassroots and elite sport across the globe.

“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. My role will be to ensure that we develop our support of sport further and ensure that Sazka Entertainment is a powerful driving force behind grassroots and elite sport funding across Europe and beyond.”

Coe’s appointment comes as Sazka is seeking to become the license holder for the UK National Lottery. The Fourth tender for the license is currently underway, in which Sazka, under the UK identity of Allwyn, is battling the current incumbents Camelot, India’s Sugal & Damani and Italy’s Sisal.

The winner of the tender is due to be announced in February next year, followed by a two-year handover period.

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