SAZKA Group, Europe’s largest lottery operator, today announced it has appointed Sir Keith Mills as Bid Chair of the UK team for the Fourth National Lottery Licence Competition.
Sir Keith, a successful entrepreneur whose creative talent conceived the loyalty programmes so ubiquitous today, brings a wealth of experience from his roles across sport, charities, and business.
He played a pivotal role in London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and subsequently, their successful staging. For the past six years he has chaired the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, a role he hands over to Lord William Hague next month. He is also Chairman of the Invictus Games, the international adaptive multi-sport event created by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.
Commenting on the announcement, Sir Keith said, “I am driven by organisations that make a real contribution to society. I chose to team up with Sazka for the Fourth National Lottery Licence Competition because I believe the UK National Lottery needs to grow and be engaging if it is to continue to fund the thousands of good causes every year. Our lottery is a national treasure with nearly 26 years of history; however, the landscape has changed immeasurably since it was first launched back in 1994. The challenge now is to ensure the lottery connects with people right across the country, making it fresh and exciting as it once was, bringing new ways that are relevant for today and tomorrow’s generation. I feel passionately that it needs to be restored to the nation’s hearts, especially in these difficult times. I teamed up with Sazka because they have a proven record of taking established lotteries, growing them and evolving them to be relevant for the future. I am cognisant that much has to be done for us to make a winning case in this competition, but I believe that over the course of this process we will be able to demonstrate how Sazka’s expertise coupled with the experienced British team that we are building in the UK will offer the right stewardship for the UKNL for 2023 and beyond.”
As Bid Chairman, Sir Keith will lead, a team with world-class bidding and delivery experience, including for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and Comic Relief. Sazka has appointed former London 2012 employee, Alastair Ruxton, as the Bid Director, together with British experts in key areas such as Player Protection, Good Causes, Innovation, Digital, Retail and Customer Experience.
Commenting on the agreement, SAZKA Group CEO Robert Chvátal said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Sir Keith Mills and have him lead our entry in the Fourth National Lottery Licence Competition. We are hugely excited to be participating in this competition and for the chance to take stewardship of the National Lottery, helping the UK to fall back in love with this vital institution. Operating in five different national markets (Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Greece, and Cyprus) has given us an unprecedented level of insight and experience in running lotteries. In addition, we have consistently increased participation and revenues for the lotteries we operate. We want to bring this deep knowledge and customer insight to revitalise the UK National Lottery increasing sales and money raised for good causes, thereby providing a much-needed long-term boost to community, arts, sports and heritage institutions across the UK.”
After submitting the Selection Questionnaire earlier this month, SAZKA Group has been accepted into the competition by the Gambling Commission, the body running the Competition. The team will now review the final bid application documents and continue to assemble a strong consortium capable of submitting a winning bid in 2021.