Former DC Lottery Director Frank Suarez appointed President and CEO of Connecticut Lottery

Home » Former DC Lottery Director Frank Suarez appointed President and CEO of Connecticut Lottery

Lottery executive with experience at two other state lotteries will lead CT Lottery


By Kate Northrop


The Connecticut Lottery announced Thursday that Frank Suarez, the former Executive Director of the DC Office of Lottery and Gaming, was appointed as the new permanent President and CEO of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC).


The CT Lottery Corporation Board of Directors voted on June 13 to elect Frank Suarez as the new President and CEO of the Connecticut Lottery.


In a nationwide search that began eleven months ago, the Connecticut Lottery surveyed nearly 300 candidates from across the country who applied for the position. Citing his “strategic vision, dedication to customer-centric solutions, and commitment to fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment,” the CLC landed on Suarez as the candidate who they felt was best suited for the job.


His appointment follows several rocky years at the CT Lottery, during which it found itself embroiled in a legal dispute with one of its former security chiefs, a tropical storm and Fast Play launch simultaneously affected ticket sales, and the clunky implementation of a new gaming system led to longer wait times between printing multiple tickets and players temporarily being unable to check their tickets and claim prizes.


The CT Lottery expects that Suarez, having held various leadership positions in the lottery industry for over ten years, including seven years as Deputy Executive Director of Brand Management and Communications at the North Carolina Lottery and three years as Executive Director at the DC Lottery, will contribute positively to the corporation with his “wealth of experience.”


“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,” Suarez said in a press release. “Our focus will be on maximizing revenue for the state while maintaining the highest standards of integrity and responsible gaming.”


The DC Lottery witnessed “significant increases in revenue and profitability” under Suarez’s management. Within less than a year, he turned sports betting operations around from incurring losses to seeing profits and established the DC Lottery sportsbook as the largest in the District. He also led the charge in converting to a new mobile and online sports betting platform, which resulted in “887% growth in gross gaming revenue within the first 30 days of operation.”


With over 21 years of experience in marketing, sales, and brand management, Suarez drew from his background and oversaw the marketing strategies intended to revitalize online gaming (iLottery), launch a new mobile app, and expand the DC Lottery’s game portfolio. His efforts led to a 168% increase in gross gaming revenue.


Suarez currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Multi-State Lottery Association’s (MUSL) Product Development Committee and Chairman of the MUSL Fast Play Product Group. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree from Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina.


“We are thrilled to welcome Frank Suarez as our new President and CEO,” CLC Board Chair Robert T. Simmelkjae said in a statement. “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 is set to begin his new role on Aug. 1, 2024. He succeeds Greg Smith, who served as the CLC President and CEO for six years. Smith will assume the position of Special Consultant to help Suarez transition into the role until his retirement at the end of September 2024.


“As CLC welcomes Mr. Suarez to Connecticut, the Board of Directors would like to acknowledge and express gratitude to Greg Smith for his leadership and dedication over the past 6 years,” the Lottery said. “He has been instrumental in steering the Connecticut Lottery to its current position as one of the highest performing lotteries in the country.”


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