David Craven has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Allwyn, the UK corporate identity of Sazka Group, as it looks to win the Fourth UK National Lottery licence competition.
Craven brings a wealth of experience to the role having achieved a ‘distinguished career working in the global gaming sector’, previously being a part of several major gaming software and gambling businesses, including The Tote and World Gaming.
Commenting on his appointment, Craven said: “National Lotteries are needed now more than ever. In Sazka Group’s other markets, they have driven footfall on the high street whilst making a real difference in local communities. That’s why the opportunity to become the CEO of Allwyn, and hopefully The National Lottery, was impossible to turn down.
“Throughout my career in the global gaming sector, I’ve always focused on how technology can be used to improve the customer experience, whether that be in-store or online. Not only does this mean making games fun and exciting, but I passionately believe that technology is the best way to safeguard customers.
“I am very much looking forward to working closely with Allwyn’s chairman, Sir Keith Mills, and with innovative technology partners like Vodafone, we can deliver a bright new future for The National Lottery.”
Allwyn has been on a heavy recruitment drive over the past couple of months as it prepares its bid for the National Lottery, bringing in experts for its advisory board with a variety of expertise, alongside its bid chair Sir Keith Mills.
The firm has hired Dr Mark Griffiths, Dara Nasr, Amanda Horton-Mastin, Justin King CBE, Brent Hoberman CBE, and Charles Garland to its advisory board. It has also selected technology communications company Vodafone as its connectivity partner.
In the Fourth National Lottery licence competition, which is being run by the UK Gambling Commission, Allwyn is competing against current operators Camelot, Italy’s Sisal, and India’s Sugal & Damani. A preferred applicant is expected to be announced in September this year.
Allwyn’s National Lottery Bid Chair, Sir Keith Mills, added: “For many years, Allwyn’s parent company Sazka Group have pursued a digital-first approach to lotteries across Europe. Not only has this produced impressive online sales growth, but it has also translated to consistently strong sales growth in the retail sector too.
“Any business that wants to grow its customer base must be able to demonstrate a credible plan to invest in and deploy the latest technology. David’s phenomenal track record in software, broadband and gaming gives him an excellent understanding of this, which will only provide yet another huge boost to our application to run The National Lottery.”