Last week it was announced that Justin King (CBE), former Group CEO of Sainsbury’s Plc (2004-2015) was to join SAZKA Group’s in a bid to ‘refresh and revitalise’ the National Lottery.

King will be brought on the team to sit on the SAZKA advisory board to provide counselling to Sir Keith Mills’ ‘bid team’, which is competing to win the government’s Fourth National Lottery Competition.

Addressing his new role in a video featured on SAZKA Group’s LinkedIn, King stated: “I’m going to be working closely with Sir Keith Mills, who is leading that bid and in particular, I want to play my part in helping the lottery be a vital part of the recovery of our high streets which have been so damaged by recent events.

“Throughout my working life, I’ve believed that businesses can only be successful if they play a big part in the vibrant communities that they serve and never can this be more true than for the National Lottery. 

“So, the fact that it’s in decline, with less players contributing less to the great cause it supports is something that should concern us all. I believe it’s time for it to be revitalised. It needs to embrace new technology and the many other changes taking place in our lives. 

“We need more players playing more often, having more fun. Through the greater sales, we will be able to deliver more for the great causes. 

“Of course, we need all that happening safely and in environments where people can feel comfortable. That is why I feel that the part that the lottery can play in the revitalisation of our shops and high streets is so important. I’m so looking forward to starting to play my part.”

In it’s statement SAZKA spoke of the ‘inaugural appointment’ highlighting that the team will draw on King’s expertise to improve the customer experience, support independent retailers and expand the National Lottery’s product and marketing portfolio. 

SAZKA Group’s UK Bid Chair, Sir Keith Mills, added: “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.”

Justin King talks SAZKA Group and National Lottery bid