Sportech has appointed Slingo CEO Rich Roberts as a non-executive director of the business with immediate effect, while long-serving director John Barnes has retired from the board after eight years with the company.

Roberts has served as Slingo CEO since July 2010 and is a veteran of the mobile and social gaming sector, having spent more than a decade in management positions with the likes of PlayFirst and Hasbro.

Under his leadership Slingo, a game combining slots and bingo mechanics, has enjoyed success as a land-based gaming product and become one of the most popular social casino titles through a partnership with Zynga, attracting 54m monthly active users at its peak.

The business has since been acquired by US-based online media distribution and services provider RealNetworks, with a $15.6m deal completed in August this year.

Sportech chairman Roger Withers said that as the company develops its online presence and business in the US market, and continues its search for a technology partner to aid its expansion into a broader gaming business, “it is important that the board composition reflects this change.”

“As a result, I am delighted to welcome Rich to the Sportech board,” Withers continued. “Rich's experience and business knowledge within the mobile, social and iGaming markets will be of considerable benefit to the group.”

His appointment coincides with the retirement of John Barnes, who leaves the Sportech board after more than eight years.

During his career, Barnes held management roles with the likes of PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble, and was appointed a non-executive director of the operator in November 2005.

Chief executive Ian Penrose thanked Barnes for “his support and advice over the last eight years.”

“During that time, Sportech has been transformed from a heavily indebted declining UK business, into one of the world's leading pools and tote gaming groups,” Penrose added.

Shares in Sportech plc (Co. Data) (LSE:SPO) are currently trading at 85.00 pence per share in London this morning.

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