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GVC Announces CEO Keith Alexander’s Retirement

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GVC Announces CEO Keith Alexander’s Retirement
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GVC Holdings has announced that its CEO Keith Alexander is going to retire from the Board and the company after 13 years of his service. He will be succeeded by Shay Segev, GVC’s Chief Operating Officer.

Kenneth joined GVC as CEO in 2007 and has overseen its development from a small AIM-listed company to an FTSE 100 global sports betting and gaming business, with over 25,000 colleagues in 20 offices across five continents.

Shay has been the COO of GVC since March 2016, joining shortly after GVC had acquired bwin.party digital entertainment plc. As part of the succession planning process, Shay already has direct responsibility for GVC’s industry-leading proprietary technology platform, its US joint venture with MGM Resorts, all Group M&A and Corporate Development activity, its retail business, as well as the product, trading and customer service teams, among others. He has also been instrumental in delivering the highly successful integrations of both bwin and Ladbrokes Coral.

Kenneth Alexander said:

“I have given 13 years to GVC and I now want to give some time to my family. I have enjoyed every minute of helping to grow GVC into the business that it is today, and am proud of all that has been achieved. We have the best people, brands and technology in our sector, and our joint venture in the US with MGM Resorts positions us very strongly for growth in that hugely exciting market.

“I have spent the last four months working from home and reflecting on my future plans, and this feels like the right moment. Whilst it is never easy to hand the baton on, it has been very clear for a number of years now that Shay is the right person to succeed me. He is an outstanding leader with a clear strategic vision and unrivalled technological expertise. As a shareholder, I know that our Company will be in good hands. He is also a firm advocate for the strongest possible protection for customers, and shares my philosophy that only a responsible company can be a sustainable and successful company.”

Barry Gibson, Chairman of GVC, said:

“Kenny has built a remarkable global business, and has achieved more in the past 13 years than most people manage in a lifetime. We will miss him, but we also understand his wishes to hand over the reins after such a long and successful stint at the top of the Company. On behalf of the Board, I would like to sincerely thank him for his significant contribution to GVC.

“The Board has kept succession plans under constant review, and has been extremely impressed by Shay’s contribution and leadership. We are very fortunate to have such a well-qualified and natural successor. He has a long track record of leading technology businesses, overseeing complex integration projects, and running large teams at a senior level. Today’s trading update shows just how strong this business is, and we look to the future with confidence under Shay’s leadership.”

Shay Segev said:

“I am hugely honoured to have been given this opportunity by the Board to lead GVC into the next phase of its development. Kenny has been a fantastic colleague and leader during the four years I have worked with him. Thanks to his stewardship I am succeeding him at a time when the business is in robust financial health with an exceptional team and exciting opportunities ahead of it, especially in the US. Our strategy will continue to be focused on our industry-leading technology, brands, products, marketing capabilities and people, as well as being absolutely committed to making gambling as safe and enjoyable as possible for our customers around the world.”

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888poker Signs Chris Eubank Jr as Cultural Ambassador

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888poker has signed middleweight boxer Chris Eubank Jr as a cultural ambassador, with the deal coinciding with the 20th anniversary of its launch.

In celebration of its two decades of operations, the 888 Holdings online poker brand intends to host various events over the next 12 months, including a series of player-focused sessions with the number one ranked middleweight.

The company plans to capitalise on its current operational approach, utilising its proprietary technology to provide an “enhanced gaming experience” for its customers. To date, the operator has on-boarded 15 million players and dealt 25 billion hands.

Amit Berkovich, VP, Head of Poker at 888, said: “I am happy to welcome Chris to the 888poker family as our Cultural Ambassador. The authenticity, integrity, and excitement he brings – whether that’s in the ring or at the poker table – perfectly matches our values and creates a great fit for our brand.

“This is a fantastic partnership and an exciting kick-off for our 20th anniversary year. Like Chris, over the last two decades, 888poker has firmly established itself as one of the best in the world thanks to our commitment to constantly improve in order to bring our players the highest level of entertainment.”

“As we look ahead, we have lots planned to support the continued evolution of the 888poker brand. We will ensure we continue to deliver fun, creative and exciting experiences to players.”

For Eubank Jr, the former two-time IBO-super middleweight champion intends to leverage the partnership to strengthen his ties to the poker scene, something which he has described as “one of the great passions in my life”, having played in high stakes poker games and appeared on the Poker After Dark series.

Eubank Jr said: “For me, the beauty of poker is in its community and 888poker is doing a fantastic job of making poker more about fun and less about the grind for players in all levels with its user-friendly platform.

“I’m excited to officially kick-start the partnership in the coming months and can’t wait to meet the 888poker community at the tables!”

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Optimove Appoints Peter Miles as Director of Sales

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Optimove, the global leader in CRM Marketing, has appointed Peter Miles as the company’s Director of Sales to oversee enterprise sales for the iGaming and iLottery markets. The selection furthers the company’s strategic investment in expanding its tier-1 customer base as a key growth engine for the business.

During his 18-year iGaming career, Mr Miles was responsible for developing and implementing the global business strategy of OpenBet and most recently SG Digital. Through his roles as Commercial Director and subsequently VP of Business Development, he focused on driving sales across Tier 1 sports betting and gaming operators such as William Hill, Betfair, PMU, Coral and Sportsbet. In addition, he led the international growth into the digital sector of World Lottery Association operators, such as Danske Spil, Nederlandse Loterij, Loto Quebec and BCLC.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Peter to Optimove, to oversee enterprise sales for new iGaming and iLottery markets. Peter is a key addition to the team. His experience, knowledge, and insight into the iGaming industry will play a major role in our efforts to scale our sales operations and expand our portfolio of Tier 1 and State Lottery Operators. As this and previous appointments suggest, we are determined to keep Optimove one step ahead of the curve and continue to provide both prospects and clients with the best offering and service possible,” Motti Colman, Senior Director of Sales at Optimove, said.

“I’m excited to join Optimove and play a major role in the company’s rapid growth efforts. I would like to thank SG Digital, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and I am very much looking forward to my next challenge at Optimove. Having been at the forefront of the growth of the iGaming industry, Optimove is a company that I’ve always highly regarded, with its next-generation AI technology, enabling leading operators to personalize and orchestrate customer journeys at scale. I look forward to the challenge of developing deeper partnerships with Operators, to improve CRM Marketing practices and player experiences,” Peter Miles said.

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Xace Appoints Julian Buhagiar as Non-Executive Director

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Specialist gaming payment account provider Xace has appointed leading igaming and fintech investor Julian Buhagiar as a non-executive director.

Julian has an extreme wealth of industry knowledge and is an investor and co-founder of RB Capital, a specialist M&A and investment brokerage in gaming, fintech and media. Over the last decade, Julian has amassed a phenomenal track record of investment, M&A and exits, having overseen some of the largest M&A transactions in the industry.

In addition to RB Capital, Julian is a founding partner and GP of Yolo Investments, a venture capital business focussed on opportunities across gaming and fintech with more than €400m AuM and investments in over 68 companies since inception.

As NED, Julian will bring his industry expertise to Xace by advising on its ambitious global expansion in the gaming sector and valuable mentorship to its senior management team.

Since launching just over a year ago, Xace has witnessed a rapid expansion particularly in industries such as gaming where businesses typically struggle to acquire regular bank accounts. To date the company has onboarded some of gaming’s most respected businesses as customers, providing them with business payment accounts in multiple currencies.

“I am thrilled to have someone of Julian’s calibre joining Xace. His deep knowledge of the gaming and fintech industry, combined with his intellectual capacity cannot be over-stated. I am certain that with Julian’s guidance we’ll be well-placed to achieve our ambitious goals for Xace in the coming months,” David Hodkinson, CEO of Xace, said.

“I am delighted to be joining Xace as their growth continues to strengthen. David and his team have quickly established Xace as the banking and payment services destination to an ever-increasing proportion of the gaming and finance industry. I am thrilled to be joining at such a vital stage of the company’s evolution,” Julian said.

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