D.C. Executive Director Suarez Leaving Position To Lead Connecticut Lottery

Frank Suarez shook up the Eastern US lottery world on Thursday.

The Executive Director of the Washington D.C. Lottery announced he will be resigning from his post to become President and CEO of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation.

The move will take effect Aug. 1.

Suarez makes a shift from a district with iLottery to one of the states with online lotteries. Connecticut just had a soft launch of its iLottery product this week.

Frank Suarez picked in nationwide search

Suarez will replace Greg Smith, who has held the position in Connecticut for the last six years. He informed the CLC of his intentions to retire about a year ago.

The CLC Board of Directors voted to appoint Suarez to the position on Thursday. He will conclude his time in Washington, D.C. on July 31.

Smith will then take on a special consultant role at that time to help with the transition of leadership before retiring at the end of September.

The CLC board expressed its happiness with the hire of Suarez in a press release on Thursday:

“We are thrilled to welcome Frank Suarez as our new President and CEO,” said Robert T. Simmelkjaer, Board Chair of CLC. “His exceptional leadership skills, extensive industry experience, and visionary approach make him the perfect choice to guide our company into the next phase of growth and innovation. We are confident that, under his stewardship, we will continue to achieve remarkable success and continue to deliver value to our players and revenue to the State of Connecticut.”

Suarez was selected after an 11-month search that included nearly 300 candidates from across the country.

The CT Lottery Corporation cited Suarez’s strategic vision, dedication to customer-centric solutions, and commitment to fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment as what best aligned with its core values and vision for the future.

Suarez experienced with D.C., NC online lotteries

Suarez has had a decade of experience working in the lottery industry.

He spent seven years with the North Carolina Education Lottery before moving on as Executive Director of the D.C. Lottery for the last three years. He also serves as Vice Chair of the Multi-State Lottery Association’s (MUSL) Product Development Committee and Chairman of the MUSL Fast Play Product Group.

Suarez talked about his excitement for the new venture in the press release:

“I am honored and excited to join the Connecticut Lottery Corporation and to work with the talented team here to drive continued growth and success. Our focus will be on maximizing revenue for the state while maintaining the highest standards of integrity and responsible gaming.”

During his time in D.C., Suarez helped expand the Washington D.C. online lottery gaming library, while also launching a new mobile app. His efforts led to a 168% increase in gross gaming revenue in iLottery for D.C.

In North Carolina, Suarez also helped lay the foundation for the North Carolina online lottery. The state recently celebrated $1 billion in digital instant sales after just seven months of existence.

Connecticut beginning iLottery venture

This week put an end to a long journey for Connecticut to get to online lottery sales.

Through a partnership with IGT, the state has been working for a year to launch digital sales for its lottery draw games.

Monday was the start of the soft launch, which continued throughout the week. The official debut of the Connecticut iLottery is expected later in June.

As part of Wednesday’s soft launch period, the Connecticut Lottery reported over $4,000 in online sales and more than 1,200 individual wagers.

The state also saw over 350 downloads of its online lottery app.

 

Photo by kmls via Shutterstock
Graphic from the Connecticut Lottery

About the Author

Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis

Lead Writer
A member of Catena Media since 2020, Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer at PlayiLottery, where he handles coverage of the online and retail lottery industry in the US. He previously spearheaded news content at PlayMichigan, where he covered one of the most prominent online lottery industries in the US — among the many other aspects of Michigan's sprawling iGaming market. You can email him at [email protected].
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