The UK Gambling Commission has appointed James Mackay as an executive director to oversee the process to award the next National Lottery licence.

Mackay will begin his new role immediately in order to develop the process for selecting the next licence recipient, although the current licence held by Camelot does not expire until 2023.

Camelot has held the licence for the National Lottery franchise since its inception in 1994.

"I'm delighted to appoint James Mackay as executive director to lead the competition for the next National Lottery licence," Gambling Commission chief executive Sarah Harrison said.

"The Gambling Commission's strategy makes clear our commitment to regulating the National Lottery in a way that grows its value as a public asset, ensuring it makes the maximum contribution to society, culture and the economy. The competition for the next licence, from 2023, will be a key project for the Commission over the next five years."

Mackay previously served as head of regulatory policy for Rail Delivery Group, a body within the UK's privatised rail system.

He has also worked as head of workforce efficiency at strategy consultancy Monitor Group, and head of regulatory policy at the operating company behind London's Heathrow Airport.

Commenting on his new role, Mackay said: "This is an exciting and important piece of work to lead and I'm delighted to be joining the Gambling Commission at a time where the future of the National Lottery and its contribution to society will be debated and reviewed.

"There is a fantastic opportunity to transform the way the lottery works and ensure it is fit for purpose over the coming decades, whilst at the same time ensuring that players are protected."

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