Bankruptcy of Czech Lottery Firm

Creditors' pressure forces Sazka to file for insolvency

Latest news coming from Prague report that the Czech lottery firm Sazka, owned by Czech sports unions, was forced to file for insolvency under pressure from creditors, informing interested parties of the situation and announcing that more information will be released on Mar. 27.

Based on the reports, a preliminary receiver and creditor committee for the firm has already been appointed by a Prague court, pending a decision on previous insolvency claims by creditors.

Sazka's debt collected from Sept.2010 amounted to 10.5 billion crowns ($606 million), the majority of that amount in bonds. The company has been under an investigation by the Czech Finance Ministry, which regulates the gaming industry, ever since it failed to pay lottery prizes on time earlier this month.

However, Sazka claims that the payments have been resumed, adding that private equity group PPF, owned by billionaire Petr Kellner, took over part of claims earlier this week.

The debt issues for Sazka reportedly started after it ventured into building a 17,000-seat arena for the 2004 ice hockey World Championship.

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