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Canada

Bragg Gaming Nominates Kent Young, Don Robertson, and Ron Baryoseph to the Board of Directors

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Bragg Gaming Group announced that it has filed a notice of meeting and management information circular (Circular) in respect of its upcoming annual meeting of shareholders (Meeting) to be held on Thursday, June 22, 2023 at 10:00 am (Toronto Time).

In addition, the Company also announced that there will be three new nominees for election to its board of directors (the Board). The new nominees will replace three existing directors, Paul Godfrey (Chair), Paul Pathak, and Rob Godfrey, who have each opted not to stand for re-election to the Board at the Meeting. Paul Godfrey has entered into a 24-month consulting agreement under which he will provide the Company with advisory services.

Including the new nominees, there will be seven individuals nominated for election to the Board. The election of the three new directors will add significant gaming and financial industry experience to the Board and demonstrates Bragg’s ongoing commitment toward initiatives to further establish the Company as a leading global provider of innovative online gaming content. Set out below are the new nominees together with brief background information on each.

Kent Young

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Kent Young is an innovator, entrepreneur, and longtime leader in the global gaming industry. In a career spanning more than 30 years, he has held senior executive positions with Bragg and other prominent companies, including Aristocrat Technologies in Australia and America; and Aruze Gaming America. While at Aristocrat, Mr. Young held several roles including Vice President of Research and Development and Global General Manager of Marketing. In this role, Mr. Young helped spearhead the successful effort to introduce and popularize “penny slots” in the industry and significantly contributed to Aristocrats North American market entry. He has served on multiple industry boards including the Gaming Standards Association. An entrepreneur, Kent successfully founded, built, and sold two gaming technology companies – True Blue Gaming and Spin Games. Kent holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from James Cook University of North Queensland. He and his wife, Christina, are based in Reno, Nevada, where they are deeply involved in supporting nonprofit organizations with their time, skills, and assets.

Don Robertson (Independent)

Don Robertson has more than 25 years of corporate finance, risk management, and governance experience and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Orillia Power Generation Corporation. He served as Managing Director and Head of Global M&A at Scotiabank from 2017 to 2022 and as Chief Executive Officer, Canada and Head of Corporate Finance, Americas at Standard Chartered Bank from 2012 to 2016 as well as Managing Director and Head of Canadian M&A at Credit Suisse from 2006 to 2012. Earlier in his career, Mr. Robertson served as a Director at RBC Capital Markets from 1997 to 2006 and Articled at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP from 1996 to 1997. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Laurentian University, an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University, and a JD from the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1998.

Ron Baryoseph (Independent)

Ron Baryoseph is a gaming industry veteran with over 30 years of experience in the North American regulated land based and online gaming sectors. Ron is president of RBY Gaming which has provided distribution, sales, and consulting services to companies including Cammegh, Playtech, Inspired Gaming, Suzo Happ, Softweave, e Connect, Tangiamo, Apt Pay, and others. Prior to opening RBY Gaming, Ron served as SVP of Amaya Gaming. During his tenure, Amaya acquired The Stars Group as well as Cadillac Jack which was subsequently sold to AGS. Ron has also held senior positions with Aristocrat Technologies, IGT, TCS John Huxley, and Paulson Gaming Supplies (now GPI). His strategic planning and collaborative style have led to numerous successes.

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Yaniv Sherman, Director and Chief Executive Officer of Bragg, said: “We are delighted to welcome Kent Young, Don Robertson, and Ron Baryoseph to the Board. We believe their collective gaming industry experience, relationships and expertise will provide a significant boost to our continued execution on our many B2B iGaming growth opportunities as we seek to deliver profitable revenue growth and increasing cash flow which will ultimately drive enhanced value for our shareholders. We are confident that the changes to the Board announced today will help take our Company to the next level.

“Paul Godfrey has served as the Chair of the Board since January 2021, and Paul Pathak and Rob Godfrey have dutifully served on the Board and various committees of the Board since 2019. The Company sincerely thanks Messrs. Godfrey, Pathak, and Godfrey for their significant contributions and guidance to the Company. During their time on the Board, Bragg has transformed itself and become a global organization with a diverse platform of game development studios and leading technology. As directors, they played an important role in helping to expand our iGaming capabilities including through the acquisitions of Spin Games and Wild Streak Gaming, which have significantly enhanced our game development efforts and provided an important foundation for our North American expansion which is successfully diversifying our business. More recently, they have helped foster our successful content-led focus which has seen Bragg begin to deliver proprietary and exclusive third-party content to a growing roster of iGaming operators around the globe.”

Canada

OLG and Team Canada Launch Official Partnership Ahead of Paris 2024

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Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has entered into a partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee and has become the Official Ontario Lottery Partner of Team Canada for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Ontario is ready to cheer on Team Canada athletes as they compete in Paris this summer. This new partnership is showcasing one of the many ways OLG’s support makes a difference to people and communities across the province,” said Stan Cho, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Gaming.

“We are thrilled to welcome OLG to Team Canada. Ontario has such a rich sporting history and OLG has long been a supporter of sport and amateur athletes. We know this support has made a profound impact on athletes across the province, whether they’re engaged in sport at the grassroots level or pursuing their Olympic dreams,” said Jacqueline Ryan, Chief Brand and Commercial Officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee and CEO of the Canadian Olympic Foundation.

“We are so pleased to be entering a new partnership with OLG and welcoming them into the Canadian Paralympic community. We know support for sport and athletes has been important to OLG for many years, and we are excited to work with them to continue to champion Ontario’s Para athletes and inclusive sport across Ontario,” said Karen O’Neill, CEO, Canadian Paralympic Committee.

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As momentum builds toward the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, OLG is also shining a spotlight on its players, who have helped support amateur athletes in Ontario by playing with OLG. The new “Sponsored by You” campaign reinforces that when you play with OLG, you support Ontario athletes.

Since 2006, OLG and the Ontario government have supported high-performance amateur athletes through the Quest for Gold athlete assistance program. The program has provided direct financial support to thousands of amateur athletes, enhancing their ability to train by offsetting the costs of training and living expenses.

“Many people don’t realize 100 per cent of OLG’s profits are reinvested into Ontario, and that we have a longstanding history of supporting amateur athletes. OLG’s ability to give back to communities is only possible thanks to our players, so we wanted to use this opportunity to recognize and celebrate them,” said Maxine Chapman, VP Brand & Marketing Officer at OLG.

OLG’s campaign features Team Canada athletes Andre De Grasse, Penny Oleksiak, Maggie Mac Neil, Jillian Weir and other Ontario athletes and Para athletes who have received funding from Ontario’s Quest for Gold program.

“Training for the Olympics takes a lot of preparation – physically, mentally and financially – and it’s not something you can succeed at alone. Having programs like Quest for Gold to help and knowing your community is supporting you makes all the difference, especially when you’re competing on the world stage,” said six-time Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse.

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The success of the Quest for Gold program shows in the numbers – in the last four Olympic cycles, over 90% of Ontario medal winners had received Quest for Gold funding during their career.

“The Quest for Gold program showcases our government’s continued efforts to enable Ontario athletes to achieve their full potential at the highest levels of competition. We are proud to join with the OLG, our partners across the sport sector and all Ontarians in wishing our Olympic and Paralympic athletes the best of luck in Paris,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Sport.

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Canada

Greo and CCSA Release New Report Named “Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action”

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Recent gambling policy changes in Canada have led to increased opportunities to legally bet on sports and gamble online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The report “Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action” looks at the impacts of legal gambling in Canada since the approval of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act in 2021. The report recommends developing a pan-Canadian strategy to address gambling-related harms. This is a new report by Greo Evidence Insights (Greo) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA).

This call to action is in response to the significant increase in gambling advertising on billboards, social media, at commercial breaks during sports broadcasts and during sporting events. Increased gambling availability and advertising are expected to contribute to increased gambling in Canada, thereby posing a significant risk of harms among the general population, particularly for youth, young adults and other vulnerable populations.

The report also describes how the increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are of great concern because:

  • The types of gambling being made available and promoted (single-event sports betting and live or in-play betting) are associated with a greater risk of harm. For example, single-event sports betting increases gambling intensity and gives an illusion of control over the outcome as people believe their knowledge of the game gives them a competitive edge.
  • The volume of gambling advertisements repeatedly pairing sports with betting normalizes gambling, leading people to think of betting as an integral part of being a sports fan.
  • Increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are happening at a time when many people in Canada are more vulnerable to problematic gambling and gambling-related harms because of the lingering health impacts of COVID-19 and a rise in the cost of living.

“Over the last few years, we have witnessed some of the most significant changes in gambling policy since the 1970s. We have seen a massive increase in gambling advertising and opportunities to gamble. We can no longer watch sports with our kids or go online without being subjected to an overwhelming amount of gambling advertising. Canada is at a critical moment in how it manages gambling. A national strategy or framework — similar to what we have for alcohol, tobacco and cannabis — is critical to manage the expected increase in gambling harm, especially among youth and other vulnerable people,” explained Dr. Matthew Young, Chief Research Officer at Greo, Senior Research Associate at the CCSA and Adjunct Professor at Carleton University.

The report recommends developing a national strategy that will:

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  • Develop national standards governing the promotion and availability of gambling;
  • Manage conflicts of interest among gambling stakeholders;
  • Address inadequate funding for gambling harm prevention and reduction initiatives and research;
  • Monitor systematic changes in gambling-related harm, including any assessments of the social and economic costs of gambling; and
  • Increase awareness of gambling-related harms among health and social service professionals and the public.

“Increased gambling among people living in Canada will undoubtebly result in increased harms and therefore increased societal costs. These include healthcare costs, criminal-justice costs, child welfare costs, increased unemployment and lost productivity costs because of gambling-related suicide. We need to think about our approach and ensure that it considers not only short-term government revenue and economic activity but also the longer-term societal costs. That’s why we need a national strategy,” Dr. Pam Kent, Director of Research and Emerging Trends at CCSA, said.

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Canada

Call for a National Strategy to Address Gambling-Related Harms in Wake of Sports Betting Boom

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Recent gambling policy changes in Canada have led to increased opportunities to legally bet on sports and gamble online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Released today, Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action looks at the impacts of legal gambling in Canada since the approval of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act in 2021. The report recommends developing a pan-Canadian strategy to address gambling-related harms. This is a new report by Greo Evidence Insights (Greo) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA).

This call to action is in response to the significant increase in gambling advertising on billboards, social media, at commercial breaks during sports broadcasts and during sporting events. Increased gambling availability and advertising are expected to contribute to increased gambling in Canada, thereby posing a significant risk of harms among the general population, particularly for youth, young adults and other vulnerable populations.

The report also describes how the increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are of great concern because:

  • The types of gambling being made available and promoted (single-event sports betting and live or in-play betting) are associated with a greater risk of harm. For example, single-event sports betting increases gambling intensity and gives an illusion of control over the outcome as people believe their knowledge of the game gives them a competitive edge.
  • The volume of gambling advertisements repeatedly pairing sports with betting normalizes gambling, leading people to think of betting as an integral part of being a sports fan.
  • Increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are happening at a time when many people in Canada are more vulnerable to problematic gambling and gambling-related harms because of the lingering health impacts of COVID-19 and a rise in the cost of living.

“Over the last few years, we have witnessed some of the most significant changes in gambling policy since the 1970s,” explained Dr. Matthew Young, Chief Research Officer at Greo, Senior Research Associate at the CCSA and Adjunct Professor at Carleton University. “We have seen a massive increase in gambling advertising and opportunities to gamble. We can no longer watch sports with our kids or go online without being subjected to an overwhelming amount of gambling advertising. Canada is at a critical moment in how it manages gambling. A national strategy or framework — similar to what we have for alcohol, tobacco and cannabis — is critical to manage the expected increased in gambling harm, especially among youth and other vulnerable people.”

The report recommends developing a national strategy that will:

  • Develop national standards governing the promotion and availability of gambling;
  • Manage conflicts of interest among gambling stakeholders;
  • Address inadequate funding for gambling harm prevention and reduction initiatives and research;
  • Monitor systematic changes in gambling-related harm, including any assessments of the social and economic costs of gambling; and
  • Increase awareness of gambling-related harms among health and social service professionals and the public.

“Increased gambling among people living in Canada will undoubtebly result in increased harms and therefore increased societal costs. These include healthcare costs, criminal-justice costs, child welfare costs, increased unemployment and lost productivity costs because of gambling-related suicide,” says Dr. Pam Kent, Director of Research and Emerging Trends at CCSA. “We need to think about our approach and ensure that it considers not only short-term government revenue and economic activity but also the longer-term societal costs. That’s why we need a national strategy.”

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