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Allwyn names David Craven as chief executive

6th July 2021 1:32 pm GMT

SAZKA Group's UK division Allwyn has appointed The Tote’s former managing director David Craven as its new chief executive.

Craven joins Sir Keith Mills and the rest of the Allwyn team as its application to operate the next UK National Lottery nears culmination.

Craven has been credited with both building and turning around many struggling businesses by driving digital-first innovation. During his six-year tenure as MD of The Tote, he led the company in its transition from a statutory state monopoly into a private enterprise.

“National Lotteries are needed now more than ever,” said Craven “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.”

Craven’s appointment as CEO comes on the back of a number of high profile recent appointments to  Allwyn’s advisory board, including Justin King, Brent Hoberman, Dr. Mark Griffiths, Amanda Horton-Mastin and Dara Nasr, among others.

“For many years, Allwyn’s parent company SAZKA Group have pursued a digital-first approach to lotteries across Europe,” said Sir Mills. “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.”

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