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June 14, 2024

Frank Suarez named new CEO of CT Lottery

CT MIRROR Frank Suarez will be the new CEO of the Connecticut Lottery.

Frank Suarez, who oversees the lottery in Washington, D.C., was named Thursday as the president and chief executive of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, a quasi-public agency that produces about $400 million in annual profits for the state.

Suarez will begin on Aug. 1, taking over the lottery as it tries to recover from problems last year with a new point-of-sales system that wrongly invalidated a few winning tickets, as well as the departure of its sports-betting vendor. 

He succeeds Greg Smith, who will remain as a consultant until the end of September.

“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 statement. “Our focus will be on maximizing revenue for the state while maintaining the highest standards of integrity and responsible gaming.”

Smith informed the lottery a year ago of his intention to retire in 2024. Despite recent problems at the lottery, Smith generally was seen as a stabilizing presence since being hired in 2018 as the organization struggled with turnover, staff dissension and other issues.

Rush Street Interactive, the Illinois company chosen to operate the lottery’s online sport book,, and the Connecticut Lottery jointly announced an end to their partnership on March 27, 2023, offering little reason for the split. 

In an earnings call, the company said it was not seeing “appropriate return on investment.” The lottery announced in December that its new sports book vendor was Fanatics Betting & Gaming.

Suarez was credited in a statement from the Connecticut Lottery for turning around a losing sports book.

“During his tenure, Mr. Suarez directed a remarkable turnaround in sports betting operations, transforming a loss into profitability in less than a year and establishing the DC Lottery sports book as the largest in the District,” the Connecticut Lottery said.

The Connecticut Lottery is struggling for market share in its sports betting operation, competing with two tribal casinos partnered with two industry leaders — FanDuel at Mohegan Sun and DraftKings at Foxwoods.

The lottery’s statement also credited Suarez with leading “the conversion to a new mobile and online sports betting platform, resulting in an astounding 887% growth in gross gaming revenue within the first 30 days of operation.”

Suarez was the deputy executive director in charge of brand management and communications at the North Carolina Education Lottery before joining the DC Lottery in August 2021.

He previous worked in marketing and brand management in consumer food and restaurant industries.

He has an MBA from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina. 

The lottery board approved Suarez’s appointment Thursday. Its statement offered no information on his salary and benefits package.

Rob Simmelkjaer, the chair of the board, could not be reached.

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