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Churchill Downs Incorporated Announces Multi-Year Naming Rights Partnership Between Churchill Downs Racetrack and Sports Illustrated

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Churchill Downs Incorporated announced a multi-year partnership between Churchill Downs Racetrack (Churchill Downs) and Sports Illustrated for exclusive naming rights of a new luxury dining experience, Club SI, ahead of the historic 150th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, 2024. Originally planned as the 1895 Club, Club SI is scheduled to debut on Opening Night of Derby Week and offer guests a modern, sophisticated race day experience.

Club SI will debut as part of the $200 million renovated Paddock Project at Churchill Downs for the upcoming 150th Kentucky Derby and offer a new luxury equine-focused dining experience with an immersive view of the all-new Paddock and Paddock Runway giving guests unparalleled behind-the-scenes experiences. The interior design of Club SI will showcase iconic Sports Illustrated magazine covers, editorial featuring past Kentucky Derby races, and a sneak peek into Sports Illustrated’s new SI Resorts vertical. Each year, celebrity ambassadors will act as hosts for Club SI during the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks for a premium race day experience. With a guest list that includes titans of the sports industry and appointed with iconic Sports Illustrated editorial artwork, Club SI will offer an elevated, exciting and more unique Derby weekend than ever available before.

The club will be open on premium race days and include dining tables to accommodate parties of two, four, six, or eight guests who will enjoy gourmet dishes from the curated Chef’s Table Buffet, designated wagering windows, private bars, and outdoor trackside viewing for live races. Steps from the club, guests will be treated to the SI Enclosure which will deliver a front-row experience of the Paddock with covered outdoor dining tables to accommodate parties of four.

“As we approach the 150th Kentucky Derby, we are thrilled to partner with a brand as iconic as Sports Illustrated to offer guests an enhanced way to enjoy this incredible anniversary event. Sports Illustrated shares our goal of combining exciting sports moments with upscale entertainment, and Club SI will provide the perfect space to achieve this,” Mike Anderson, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack, said.

“It is an honor to bring Club SI to Churchill Downs Racetrack, which has such a rich history that we’ve showcased through the pages of Sports Illustrated for decades. Club SI will celebrate iconic elements of the brand, while hosting celebrity talent and offering guests gourmet cuisine and cocktails, a unique vantage point of the new Paddock, and a once-in-a-lifetime horse racing experience for Derby 150,” said Michael Sherman, SVP of Media Brands at Authentic Brands Group, owner of the Sports Illustrated brand.

Compliance Updates

Pace-O-Matic Wins Landmark Texas Court Case: A Victory for Small Business Owners and Community Organizations

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Pace-O-Matic, the industry leader in skill-based games, today announced a significant legal victory in Texas, affirming the legality of its skill-based games. This ruling, issued Tuesday evening by State District Judge Laurine Blake, emphasized that such games are not considered gambling under Texas law. The ruling represents a triumph for small business owners, bar owners, and fraternal organizations who rely on these games to attract customers and support their businesses.

Michael Barley, Chief Public Affairs Officer at Pace-O-Matic, stated, “This ruling is a monumental victory for the small businesses and community organizations that have been able to thrive thanks to skill-based gaming. Our commitment to providing legal, enjoyable, and skill-based gaming options has once again been validated by the courts.”

This legal win underscores Pace-O-Matic’s dedication to fostering a responsible gaming environment while supporting local economies and community groups.

For more information visit Pace-O-Matic

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Compliance Updates

NJDGE Closes its Investigation of Evolution AB with No Further Action

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Evolution AB has been informed by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) that it has conducted an investigation into allegations of misconduct by Evolution AB and that its investigation has been closed with no further action taken.

In November 2021 the NJDGE received a report prepared by an unidentified firm alleging misconduct by Evolution AB. Following receipt of the report, the NJDGE commenced a thorough investigation into the allegations to determine their validity.

The NJDGE found no evidence that Evolution sanctioned, promoted, permitted, or otherwise materially benefitted from its content offered by operators in any market that the NJDGE considers a prohibited jurisdiction.

Evolution also conducted an internal review, while concluding that its due diligence and compliance processes were sufficient, Evolution took the opportunity to enhance its processes. The NJDGE supports the enhancements that Evolution has made. The enhancements did not relate to any jurisdictional violations.

The NJDGE’s investigation into this matter is closed requiring no further action.

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eSports

Gen.G and University of Kentucky Bring Back Award Winning Conference “Campus Takeover” Designed to Drive the Future of Collegiate Esports

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Global esports and gaming organization Gen.G and the University of Kentucky (UK) are bringing back their award winning collegiate esports industry conference, Campus Takeover, on March 30 and April 6. This two-day event will bring together esports professionals with students and administrators from different universities. UK continues to pave the way as an esports ecosystem leader in the SEC and Midwest region.

Campus Takeover Day 1 is a student-focused event leading up to the professional conference, and will be live-streamed at twitch.tv/universityofky on March 30 starting at 4:30 PM EST. Campus Takeover Day 2, the flagship professional conference, will be hosted at the Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building on the University of Kentucky campus on April 6, starting at 10:00 AM EST.

“Since we started this event, we had a responsibility to uphold what future students expect of the University of Kentucky when it comes to their budding esports careers. There’s a lot expected about the future of gaming and esports, and we want to make sure our students are well equipped to be that expected change for years to come,” Heath Price, Associate Chief Information Officer at University of Kentucky, said.

Additionally, many esports professionals hailing from different segments of esports business will participate in various panels during Campus Takeover. The panels and discussions will cover a bevy of topics, including how to maximize your time when looking for new jobs, a conversation around esports, influencers, business, and video games, a look at intersectionality in games, and much more. Other clubs and programs will also be welcome to have tables within the Atrium during Campus Takeover, so even newer students get to see everything UK has to offer.

“University of Kentucky has been our long term collegiate partner; their investment in this community allows us to have a small hand in making sure the future of gaming and esports is secure. We all want to see this industry thrive, and we hope Campus Takeover is a stepping stone for other schools to form their own ways to develop the collegiate esports ecosystem,” Martin Kim, Chief Revenue Officer at Gen.G, said.

Campus Takeover was recognized at the 2023 Esports & Gaming Business Summit Tempest Awards, where it won the award for the Collegiate Esports Program of the Year.

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