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Kindred’s Journey Towards Zero Numbers Demonstrate Sustainable Long-Term Progress

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Kindred Group plc’s (Kindred) share of revenue from harmful gambling showed a minor reduction to 3.1% (Q3 2023 3.3%) in the fourth quarter of 2023. Encouragingly, the percentage of detected customers who exhibited improved behaviour after interventions rose to 87.4% (compared to 86.7% in Q3). This sustained positive trajectory in the improvement effect after interventions, observed over an extended period, serves as a testament to the unwavering dedication and collective efforts of the entire company. It reflects Kindred’s ongoing commitment to fostering positive change within the industry.

“Addressing the decline in revenue from harmful gambling requires a long-term view. It’s important to note that our Journey towards Zero data has shown a steady decrease since 2020. Since the third quarter of 2021, the healthier gambling behaviour effect after interventions have improved from 64.9 per cent to 87.4 per cent. This progress shows in our transparent reporting and consistent work. It highlights our company-wide commitment, and has become a core part of Kindred’s DNA,” Alexander Westrell, Director of Communications at Kindred Group, said.

Alex Pratt

Clarion Gaming Digital Expands North American Reach with Global Gaming Business Acquisition

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iGaming Business (iGB) parent company Clarion Gaming Digital has acquired Global Gaming Business (GGB) as it accelerates its growth strategy across North America.

The purchase includes GGB magazine’s annual publications Casino Style, Tribal Government Gaming and Progressive Products Preview (P3) as well as its online assets including GGB News.

It will extend the digital publishing business’ global reach as the North American market enters a crucial phase, providing clients with access to a significantly bigger audience through its range of marketing services products.

Founded in 2002, GGB is trusted title with a reach beyond sports betting and iGaming into commercial and tribal gaming. It bolsters Clarion Gaming Digital’s ability to provide a comprehensive range of news, analysis and data to every sector of the industry.

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The acquisition is a cornerstone of a wider multimillion pound investment to enhance Clarion Gaming Digital’s data and audience development.

“This is a major milestone for our digital business as we unlock the benefits of our investment,” the Managing Director for Clarion Gaming, Alex Pratt, said. “We are acquiring a business with deep industry heritage and with it the opportunity to build on its solid foundations in the United States.”

The B2B Global Content Director for Clarion Gaming Digital, Robin Harrison, said the acquisition came amid changes to state regulations as well as new land-based and online developments across the United States and Canada.

“We are delighted to seal this deal, which brings in new industry expertise to the team, expands our reach and consolidates our presence in a crucial region,” Harrison said. “We will build an offering that acts as the final word on key industry developments and GGB’s authority and relationships takes us a step closer to that goal.”

“We have had lengthy discussions with Clarion Gaming Digital in recent years and believe it shares our passion and vision for serving our readership in a way that will maintain the quality of the publications for decades to come,” the publisher and Chief Executive Officer for Casino Connection International LLC, the parent of GGB, Roger Gros, said. “As the gaming industry continues to grow in many different ways, our relationship with Clarion will make certain that our pivotal role in the industry remains unchanged and we can continue our important work going forward.”

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Clarion Gaming Digital plans to further accelerate its North American expansion by leveraging unique partnerships on offer through the wider Clarion Events portfolio such as the DigitalPlay Summit at the Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention over April 10 to 11.

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Aristocrat Leisure Limited

Aristocrat Invests in Kinectify, Appoints Jason Walbridge as Board Member

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Kinectify, a pioneering technology firm spearheading risk management innovation in gaming, has announced an incremental investment by Aristocrat Leisure Limited (Aristocrat).

Aristocrat’s investment in Kinectify is joined by current investors contributing additional capital underscoring confidence in Kinectify. Contributing investors include Acies Investments, the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, and the former CEO of Caesars Entertainment, Mark Frissora. Concurrently, gaming executive Jason Walbridge has joined the Kinectify board of directors as Aristocrat’s representative to enhance strategic benefits between Aristocrat and Kinectify.

Walbridge brings extensive global operational experience in both land-based and online gaming markets. For over two decades, he has been a leader in the gaming industry. In 2022, Walbridge commenced an advisory role with Aristocrat, focused particularly on the development of their online real money gaming business, Anaxi.

Prior to his current association with Aristocrat, Walbridge held key executive positions in other established gaming entities. He served as the Chief Operating Officer of NYX Gaming and became Chief Operating Officer of SG Digital following NYX Gaming’s acquisition by Scientific Games (now Light & Wonder). Preceding these two roles, Walbridge spent 18 years with Aristocrat, holding various executive positions across global markets. His deep understanding of industry dynamics, coupled with a proven track record of driving growth and innovation, makes him an invaluable addition to Kinectify’s board.

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Walbridge said: “I am thrilled to work with Kinectify to pioneer innovation in risk management across the gaming ecosystem. I’ve been impressed by Kinectify’s track record so far with its AML and responsible gaming technology, and I’m excited to facilitate deeper collaboration between our companies.”

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Adrienne Anderson

SharpLink Gaming Announces Board and Audit Committee Changes

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Company Welcomes Sports, Entertainment and Media Icon,
Robert Gutkowski, to Board of Directors

SharpLink Gaming, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBET) (“SharpLink” or the “Company”) today announced recent changes to its Board of Directors (the “Board”) and Audit Committee.

On February 16, 2024, the Board accepted the resignation of Adrienne Anderson as a director, Chair of the Audit Committee and member of the Compensation Committee, effective February 16, 2024. The resignation of Anderson was not the result of any disagreement with the Company, its management, the Board or any committee of the Board. The Board subsequently elected Leslie Bernhard, a current member of the Board, to serve as the new Chairperson of the Audit Committee, effective February 16, 2024.

In addition, the Board elected Robert Gutkowski as a new director and appointed him to serve as a member of the Audit and Compensation Committees, effective immediately.

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Over a career spanning more than five decades, Gutkowski has proven to be a significant asset builder in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Among his key achievements was the landmark New York Yankees-Madison Square Garden Network $486 million cable distribution deal. This transaction forever changed the sports economic landscape, increased the value of the MSG Network by nearly 2,000%, and enabled the Yankees to dominate Major League Baseball media during the past two decades. In addition, he was the original architect behind radio entrepreneur Bob Sillerman’s roll-up of regional, independent concert promoters, which created SFX Entertainment – the first nationwide, vertically-integrated, concert promotion company widely recognized for transforming the multi-billion dollar live music concert industry.

From October 2014 through the present, Gutkowski has led RMG Sports Ventures LLC, a company he founded to originate and advise private equity and other institutional capital on investments in sports, entertainment and media. He recently co-originated the acquisition of True Temper Sports (the largest producer of golf shafts in the world) for Lincolnshire Management and made a substantial investment alongside Lincolnshire in True Temper.

In December 1991, Gutkowski was named President of Madison Square Garden, where he was responsible for the operations of the New York Knicks basketball team; the New York Rangers hockey team – which won the 1994 Stanley Cup Championship; MSG Communications – including the MSG Network, the nation’s largest regional cable network; MSG Entertainment and the MSG Facilities Group, which operated The Garden Arena and The Paramount Theater. He originally joined Madison Square Garden in 1985 and over the next six years held various senior executive positions, including President of the MSG Network. Under his leadership, the subscriber base of the MSG Network – the oldest and largest regional sports network in the country – more than doubled to 5.1 million subscribers. The Yankees, together with the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers, became the foundations of MSG Network’s year-round operation. In 1993 and 1994, the Garden was the most active building in the country in bookings and revenues and was named “Arena of the Year” by Pollstar Magazine.

In 1996, Gutkowski founded The Marquee Group, a worldwide sports and entertainment firm that managed, produced and marketed sports and entertainment events, as well as provided representation for athletes, entertainers and broadcasters. The Marquee Group, which became a public company in 1996, acquired many related companies, including Athletes and Artists, Sports Marketing and Television International, QBQ Entertainment, Tollin-Robbins Productions, Park Associates, Alphabet City Records, Cambridge Golf and ProServ, before being acquired by SFX Entertainment in 1999 for over $100 million.

Gutkowski is a graduate of Hofstra University, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.

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Commenting on the Board changes, Rob Phythian, Chairman and CEO of SharpLink, stated, “There are no words to adequately express our appreciation to Adrienne for the sound and thoughtful guidance and support she has provided our leadership while serving as a director on the board of SharpLink Gaming, Ltd. since July 2021. I’m also very pleased to welcome new director Bob Gutkowski to our team. A true industry visionary renowned for his strategic brilliance, love of sports and big league deal-making success, Bob is an incredible addition to our Board and is a director whose experience will undoubtedly prove invaluable to SharpLink as we move our Company forward.”

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