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Sazka Group has announced Justin King, former chief executive of supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, as the first appointment to a new advisory board to support its bid for the fourth UK National Lottery licence.

The Czech conglomerate marked King’s appointment as a major coup in its ambitions to replace Camelot UK as operating company of the National Lottery, a contract Camelot has served since its inception in 1994.

“Getting people back to their local high street post-Covid-19 requires fresh thinking, an innovative approach, and recognition that the National Lottery can play an integral role in that recovery,” King said.

“I’m teaming up with SAZKA Group to make the National Lottery better. We need to revitalise this precious institution by bringing back those customers that have stopped playing, while making it relevant and exciting for new audiences too.

“A vibrant and growing lottery is the only way to guarantee more funding for good causes, which is crucial for helping Britain to build back better.”

SAZKA Group’s UK Bid Chair Sir Keith Mills said: “With Justin on board, we will present a plan that modernises retail channels to ensure that not a single National Lottery player or retailer is left behind. Justin’s experience will also be of huge benefit for our transition plans which must be submitted to the Gambling Commission as part of our bid.

“Over the next few weeks, I look forward to welcoming more experts to our team, who will help us to share our vision for the National Lottery as the Fourth Licence Competition progresses.”

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