May 11, 2011

Sazka has licence suspended

In the Czech Republic, embattled national lottery operator Sazka SA has had its licence temporarily suspended by the Ministry of Finance after failing to pay a total of $6.11 million to past winners.

Sazka was declared insolvent by Prague’s Municipal Court in late-March and a meeting of its main creditors has been scheduled for May 26, which gave the operator three months to approve a restructuring plan or sell off its assets.

The Ministry of Finance revealed that the temporary suspension was valid for 30 days with Sazka able to appeal within 15 days of the decision taking effect. It also added that it would consider lifting the sanction should the operator pay the waiting winners.

“The reason for the decision is that Sazka did not pay within the legal deadlines the winners of the Sportka lottery to the tune of $6.11 million,” read a statement from the Ministry of Finance.

Sazka ran into financial trouble after constructing a 17,000-seat arena for the 2004 Men's Ice Hockey Championships and currently is in the red by $606 million, the majority consisting of bonds.

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