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MGM Resorts Unveils Vision for MGM Empire City

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MGM Resorts International has unveiled its vision to transition Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts into a world-class entertainment destination, MGM Empire City, if awarded a commercial casino license for its historic Yonkers, New York site. Key elements of the phase one design include a comprehensive casino floor redevelopment and expansion, 5000-capacity entertainment venue, state-of-the-art BetMGM sportsbook, food and beverage outlets by celebrated chefs, cocktail bars and lounges, technologically advanced meeting spaces and more.

MGM RESORTS’ VISION FOR MGM EMPIRE CITY

MGM Empire City’s plans feature a complete property redevelopment shifting from a video lottery terminal racino into a full-scale commercial casino with live-dealer table games, the newest slot machines and a high-limit gaming area for the most discerning casino guests. The design includes the addition of several new destination dining experiences, including a modern steakhouse, a casual quick-serve Italian American experience and an authentic Asian noodle bar and eatery. Existing venues Big Kitchen food court and The Pub sports bar will also transform into new, high-end food concepts. The plan also includes development of a new parking garage to significantly enhance the guest arrival experience while also providing visitors with direct and convenient access to the casino and its amenities.

The entertainment venue will be the first-of-its-kind in the region, hosting A-list performers and events in a spectacular 5000-capacity setting with unrivaled views, cutting-edge acoustics and dedicated amenities. MGM Resorts is renowned for its entertainment offerings as the third-largest ticket seller for live performances in the US and the capacity to seat more than 100,000 people a night across entertainment venues around the world. MGM Empire City’s entertainment venue will boost the region’s economy, attracting new events to the market and bringing together locals and tourists alike.

A commercial casino license will also enable MGM Empire City to introduce The BetMGM Sportsbook & Lounge, offering guests lively game day experiences with a 112-foot wrap-around LED screen, stadium seating, VIP areas, multiple betting kiosks and food and beverage operations.

“MGM Resorts has a long and proud history of delivering world-class entertainment and gaming experiences, and we couldn’t be more excited to build on that track record at MGM Empire City. A full-scale casino and entertainment destination will provide unparalleled experiences, create thousands of jobs, boost the state’s economy, and be a game-changer for the entire region,” Bill Hornbuckle, President and Chief Executive Officer of MGM Resorts, said.

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said: “This is a momentous opportunity for the City of Yonkers, and I’m excited for the future, knowing the development of MGM Empire City will create thousands of good-paying union jobs and the economic growth that will ensure our city continues to flourish and prosper. Already drawing millions of guests annually, this development plan will solidify Empire City’s status as a premier entertainment destination. Generations of Yonkers residents have worked at, enjoyed, and supported this historic property for 125 years, and I am excited about the significant impacts this project will have for residents now and for the next 125 years.”

Ed Domingo, General Manager of Empire City Casino, said: “When MGM Resorts acquired Empire City Casino in 2019, we knew we were becoming stewards of a historic institution that has served generations of New Yorkers as a gathering place for entertainment, a source of jobs for the community, and a driver of economic development. As MGM Resorts prepares to enter its sixth year at the helm of this iconic property, we are excited to be able to combine the knowledge we have developed of the New York market with our expertise as a global entertainment brand, to bring the next chapter of New York’s entertainment landscape to the incredible community we are part of.”

With 31 destinations around the world, MGM Resorts offer best-in-class hotels and casinos, state-of-the-art meeting and conference spaces, incredible live and theatrical entertainment experiences, and an extensive array of restaurant, nightlife and retail offerings, sports betting and online gaming operations.

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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.

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.

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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GAN Announces Recent Appointment of Seamus McGill to Chief Executive Officer

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GAN Limited, a leading North American B2B technology provider of real money internet gaming solutions and a leading International B2C operator of Internet sports betting, announced that Seamus McGill has recently been named the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. Mr. McGill had previously been serving in an interim capacity.

Mr. McGill’s will remain on the Company’s board of directors and will be focused on guiding the Company toward a timely closing with Sega Sammy Creation Inc.

“Seamus has the full backing of the board of directors and we are confident that his experience and leadership make him the most qualified candidate to be GAN’s next CEO. Seamus has been with the Company since 2014 and has a deep understanding of GAN’s products, customers, and strategy. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I’d like to congratulate Seamus on his appointment and we look forward to his success,” David Goldberg, the Company’s Chairman of the Board, said.

“It’s an honor to be named GAN’s CEO and I’d like to thank David and the board for their vote of confidence. Going forward, our focus remains unchanged. We remain committed to a timely closing of our transaction with Sega Sammy to maximize value for all of our stakeholders,” added Seamus McGill.

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Lottery.com Acquires SportLocker

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Lottery.com Inc., a leading online lottery services provider, announced the strategic acquisition of S&MI Ltd. (SportLocker).

As part of the acquisition, SportLocker, rebranded as Sports.com, will immediately launch as a premier platform for sports fans worldwide, marking a pivotal leap in Sports.com’s evolution as the next-gen digital sports entertainment space. The platform merges innovative community-driven aspects with expansive content and technology, creating a new era of sports engagement.

Details of Acquisition

The stock-based acquisition is a significant step in Sports.com’s strategy to diversify and magnify its digital entertainment and sports engagement footprint, introducing a service that seamlessly blends sports and social for a truly immersive fan experience.

Creating the next Gen Sports Entertainment Platform

Sports.com is poised to redefine digital sports entertainment by introducing a platform that aims to combine: 24 hours of sports news; live streaming; hours of exciting new content, including original documentaries, films, and exclusive behind-the-scenes access. By offering innovative ways for fans to watch sports—when they want, where they want, directly on their devices, regardless of the country—Sports.com is determined to break new ground. Throughout 2024, the Company plans to add additional features to and invest in innovative technologies for Sports.com that focus on immersing sports fans with content that truly matters to them though the establishment of communities and sports-centric social media interactions with some of the biggest stars in sports: past, present, and future.

Creating a New Vision for Sports Entertainment

The Company is initially focused on rolling out Sports.com in the US and Europe, along with concentrated efforts in the Middle East. Sports.com is determined to expand globally, targeting high-energy sports such as soccer, motor racing (in all forms), football, baseball, basketball, MMA, boxing, cricket, golf, field and ice hockey, and tennis at the grassroots level. A dedicated parallel program committed exclusively to women’s sports is expected to launch, showcasing the latest methods for fan engagement, sponsorship acquisition, and generating new revenue streams for clubs and teams.

The Company previously announced plans for club acquisition, sponsorship, and media partnership programs. These initiatives, initially focused on UK soccer clubs, MLS, and USL, are spearheaded by Marc Bircham, Sports.com head of business development, and they reflect Sports.com’s commitment to making a significant impact in the sports and media landscape, particularly with the American audience in mind, leveraging the vast and lucrative American sports industry.

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