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Affinity Interactive Appoints Andrei Scrivens as CEO

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Affinity Interactive, an omni-channel gaming industry leader, announced the appointment of Andrei Scrivens as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2023.

Mr. Scrivens has served as AI’s Chief Financial Officer since 2019 and succeeds Mary Beth Higgins, who is retiring after a distinguished 25-year career in gaming. Ms. Higgins will stay on in an advisory role through June 2023 to help ensure a smooth transition.

“Andrei has been instrumental in establishing Affinity Interactive as the industry-leading platform it is today, and I am confident he has the vision to lead AI to even greater success. We are well positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for omni-channel casino and online gaming products, and Andrei’s gaming industry experience — both as an investment professional and operator — will continue to be invaluable. I look forward to continuing to partner together as we further enhance our best-in-class gaming offerings and products for customers and guests,” James J. Zenni Jr., Chairman of Affinity Interactive, said.

Mr. Scrivens has more than a decade of experience in the gaming and hospitality industry. As CFO, he played a key role in the formation of AI through the merger of Affinity Gaming and Sports Information Group in 2021. Prior to joining AI, he served as a Managing Director at Z Capital Partners LLC (ZCG), for seven years, where he focused on gaming and hospitality investments, and led teams specializing in opportunities that required hands-on financial and operational leadership. Before joining ZCG, he served as Director at Chilmark Partners, a middle market private equity firm and boutique investment bank.

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“This is an incredible opportunity to lead AI during such an exciting phase of its growth trajectory. Since I began working with the company in 2014, I have been continuously impressed by the talent and commitment across the organization. I am excited to work closely with ZCG and lead a world-class team as we expand our footprint across physical casino locations, online gaming platforms and digital media. I am grateful for Mary Beth’s leadership over the past few years, and I am looking forward to building on the strong foundation we’ve put in place together,” Mr. Scrivens said.

“We thank Mary Beth for her leadership, dedication and countless contributions, which have been pivotal to the growth and success of AI. We wish her well in her retirement,” Mr. Zenni said.

“Leading AI has been a privilege and an incredible journey, and I am so proud of all we have accomplished together. This is the right time for AI to transition to its next generation of leadership, and I could not be more confident in Andrei’s ability to execute on all of the exciting developments we have been working on and more,” Ms. Higgins said.

Latest News

Stillwater Gaming & CasinoTrac Expand Again at Tahoe Nugget Casino

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Table Trac Inc. announced that the Tahoe Nugget Casino, located in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada, will soon have its CasinoTrac casino management system installed.

Stillwater Gaming owns and operates multiple casino properties throughout Nevada, in Churchill and Lyon counties and the Carson Valley. These locations feature slot machines as well as entertainment, hotels, bars and restaurants.

“We are excited to again be the system of choice for Stillwater Gaming as they continue its expansion into the Lake Tahoe area,” said Chad Hoehne, President of Table Trac Inc.

“When I think about CasinoTrac, I see great value. The system is developed and supported by professionals who are truly focused on the end user – casino guests. I am impressed with the stability of the CasinoTrac system as we have utilized it in many of our casinos. Additionally, I particularly like the fact that Table Trac is a company dedicated completely to gaming systems. That focus appears to be what drives the quality of the system and the culture of the Table Trac Team,” said Scott Tate of Stillwater Gaming LLC.

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SUZOHAPP Becomes Sponsor of Canadian Gaming Summit

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SUZOHAPP has become a sponsor of this year’s Canadian Gaming Summit.

“We are thrilled to participate in and support the Canadian Gaming Summit, as Canada presents immense opportunities in the retail sector and the industry is rapidly expanding in this region. Ontario was the first territory to allow retail sports betting and our installation of sports betting terminals in premier locations such as Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara has set the stage for further expansion in that market,” Sim Bielak, President of SUZOHAPP, said.

Sim Bielak will be a speaker on one of the panels, sharing his industry insight on capturing the attention of the next generation of Canadian gamblers. The panel, titled “Next-Gen gamification: engaging Millennials and Gen Z”, is scheduled for Thursday 20 from 11.45 am – 12.30 pm.

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Compliance Updates

US Supreme Court Refuses to Take Up Challenge to Florida Online Sports Betting Compact

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to take up a challenge to an agreement that gave the Seminole Tribe exclusive rights to handle online sports betting in Florida, dealing a blow to the deal’s opponents.

The nation’s highest court denied a petition from opponents of the compact, which promises to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars for the tribe and the state.

The decision was the latest setback for West Flagler Associates and the Bonita-Fort Myers Corp., which operate racetracks and poker rooms in Florida. In March, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the companies had filed the wrong type of petition to challenge the 2021 compact between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration.

“What’s important with today’s announcement is that the most significant barrier to online sports betting in Florida has been removed,” said Daniel Wallach, a South Florida attorney and sports betting law expert who had filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to either take up the case or reverse it outright.

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The companies say the compact gives the tribe a sports betting monopoly in the nation’s third-most populous state and that the U.S. Department of Interior wrongly approved the compact even though it violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which requires that gambling occur on tribal lands.

The plaintiffs questioned whether online sports bets that can be placed from anywhere in Florida could be considered to be on tribal land when only the computer servers that host the betting services are located there.

They said DeSantis and the Legislature, which approved the compact, improperly exceeded their powers by authorizing sports betting off tribal lands.

In their state court challenge, they argued that the deal creates a backdoor way out of a requirement, passed by voters in 2018 as an amendment to the Florida Constitution, that a citizens initiative is needed to expand casino gambling outside of tribal land. The tribe has argued that the Legislature has the authority to decide where online gambling is initiated and that the amendment doesn’t change that.

Attorneys for DeSantis and the legislative leaders have said that sports betting is different from casino gambling and therefore isn’t prohibited by the amendment.

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The tribe launched its online sports betting operation late last year, and Florida’s share of revenues is already $357 million from last December through May. State economic forecasters predict that the revenue sharing from tribal gambling could total $4.4 billion through the end of this decade.

The decision by the Supreme Court “means members of the Seminole Tribe and all Floridians can count on a bright future made possible by the Compact,” the tribe said in a statement.

Monday’s decision could encourage other tribes to follow the same path to operate online gambling, Wallach said.

“Tribes in other states stand to benefit from this decision because now they have a clear roadmap that has cleared judicial review. I would expect to see efforts ramped up in other states,” Wallach said.

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