Nasr Joins Sazka National Lottery Advisory Board
Tech Expert Dara Nasr has agreed to join Sazka’s all-star advisory board to bolster their bid to run the UK’s National Lottery. The Twitter UK MD will advise the company on the digital evolution of the lottery franchise.
Sazka Group’s Allwyn brand has recruited Twitter’s UK managing director for their bid to replace Camelot as the franchise owner of the National Lottery. Nasr will advise the board on how the operator can embrace the digital evolution to improve the lottery product.
Allwyn’s bid is led by 70-year-old Sir Keith Mills, who is an entrepreneur and deputy chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In 2013, Mills became Chief Executive and International President of the London 2012 campaign, which saw London selected as host for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Nasr has been the MD for Twitter’s UK operations since November 2015, having originally joined the company as head of sales in 2012. His previous work experience includes six years at Google and worked at Eurosport as an account manager.
Other names on the advisory board include Amanda Horton-Mastin (CEO Semble), Justin King (former CEO of Sainsbury) and Charles Garland (founder of Sports Rights Management).
Speaking about Nasr’s appointment, Mills said: “Allwyn’s sister companies are a testament to the powers of digital in the lottery world and I can’t wait to work with Dara and apply his knowledge of the digital and social media landscape.”
Nasr said about his new role: “As I’ve seen during my time at Twitter, mobile means there is huge potential to establish a close 24/7 relationship between company and customer.
“I’ve teamed up with Allwyn and their parent company Sazka Group because they understand the importance of digital to lotteries. I can’t wait to get started,”
Nasr’s appointment comes three months after Allwyn recruited Brent Hoberman to the project. Hoberman joined the advisory board in January and will advise primarily on the seamless integration and management of technology and digital innovation.
One of Britain’s leading technology entrepreneurs, Hoberman, founded Lastminute.com in 1998 and later sold the company to Sabre in 2005 for $1.1bn.
Earlier this year, Hoberman set out his vision for the lottery, saying: “Britain needs a National Lottery that is digital-first, technologically-sound, and accessible and relevant to disparate audiences who are accustomed to consuming their media and entertainment across many different channels. I see so much untapped potential, and by teaming up with Sazka Group, a global leader in lottery technology, I’m confident we can build a world-class National Lottery that sets the standard for the way all other lotteries around the world operate in the 21st century.”
Mills said of Hoberman’s appointment: “Brent Hoberman has a remarkable record of building innovative technology for the betterment of a number of sectors. His expertise and entrepreneurial mindset will help us in our efforts to overhaul The National Lottery’s approach to digital innovation, ensuring that this institution is future-proofed so it can quickly integrate new technologies. With Brent on board, Sazka Group will be a proactive operator that embraces technology to improve the digital experience while always safeguarding players”.
Sazka is aggressively looking to expand its European lottery portfolio and already runs lottery operations in the Czech Republic, Greece, Cyprus, Austria, and Italy.
They will be competing against incumbent operator Camelot and will also face competition from Italian operator Sisal. The successful candidate will run the UK’s National Lottery from 2023.