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Aristocrat to Launch New Online Real Money Gaming Segment

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Aristocrat Leisure Ltd has announced the launch of a new business segment that focuses on Real Money Gaming (RMG), which will be led by the former CEO of the company’s land-based gaming unit, Mitchell Bowen.

Details of the plan were revealed by Group CEO and Managing Director Trevor Croker at the company’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday following its failed attempt to acquire UK-based platform provider Playtech plc.

The new RMG segment will sit alongside Bowen’s old Aristocrat Gaming segment – which will now be overseen by former President of Aristocrat’s business in the Americas, Hector Fernandez – and Pixel United, which includes social gaming.

Despite the failed Playtech takeover, Croker said Aristocrat has been investing in building its in-house online RMG capabilities over the past year and, leveraging these foundations, will now accelerating a “build and buy” approach to scaling in online RMG.

Croker said: “This will see us invest strongly in building out our own online RMG platform infrastructure while also undertaking select M&A, partnerships and talent acquisitions to accelerate progress wherever appropriate.

“To bring the right level of focus and momentum to the task, we are establishing a third global operating business within Aristocrat.

“Achieving a scaled position in online RMG will be a medium-term effort. It will take sustained investment over a number of years. However, our record shows that Aristocrat knows how to successfully scale businesses.

“We will apply a similar mix of effective organic and inorganic investment, and financial and operational rigour to this task, under Mitchell’s leadership and aligned to shareholders’ interests.”

On the appointment of Bowen to the new segment, Croker said he had already “cemented his reputation as an industry executive of global standing. His strategic and operational impact is evident in the outstanding momentum of the Gaming business and its recovery post COVID, with excellent staff engagement and an unwavering customer focus.

“Mitchell will be supported by a dedicated leadership team that will include a number of key internal and external appointments, to rapidly bolster our capabilities in relevant areas,” Croker added.

Australia

GRNSW Appoints Robert Macaulay as its New CEO

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Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) Chairman John Williams has announced the appointment of Robert Macaulay as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer.

“I am delighted to announce the Board’s appointment of Rob Macaulay as our new CEO,” Mr Williams said.

“Rob is very experienced within GRNSW and is a strong advocate for the sport and its participants.

“He has served GRNSW as Company Secretary for several years and has also acted as GRNSW’s legal advisor, so he knows the tasks in front of us – and the opportunities for continuing commercial growth of the wider industry to deliver increasing returns to the participants.

“Rob has demonstrated his leadership of GRNSW’s highest priority, the welfare of our animals, and is a strong advocate for regional and rural NSW where 75% of our participants reside.

“Rob has worked alongside and assisted the previous CEO (Tony Mestrov) for several years and that has given him great knowledge of the organisation and the industry. He knows the job and we feel it will be a smooth and successful transition.”

Mr Macaulay has been Legal Counsel for GRNSW for the past 3½ years and was acting as interim CEO since Tony Mestrov announced his resignation to take on the role of CEO at NRL club Manly Warringah.

Mr Macaulay said: “It is a great honour to be appointed to the role of CEO and continue the great work of the management team at GRNSW.

“I look forward to travelling across regional NSW and meeting with participants and supporters of a great family-orientated sport.

“I am especially pleased to have been a part of the journey that has so far delivered transformation on re-homing and welfare initiatives while at the same time supporting the livelihoods of thousands of participants who enjoy this sport in NSW through prizemoney and enjoyment.”

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Australia

Blackstone Appoints Ian Silk as Chairman of Crown Melbourne

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Blackstone, the new owners of Australia’s troubled Crown Resorts has appointed Ian Silk, former boss of Australia’s largest super fund AustralianSuper, as Chairman of Crown Melbourne.

Mr. Silk, who led AustralianSuper for 15 years, will be joined on the Crown Melbourne board by Helen Silver and who was previously Managing Director of consulting firm Hay Group.

Crown stated: “Mr Silk is widely recognised as one of Australia’s most experienced business leaders, with deep expertise in governance, investment and risk management.”

His appointment follows on from John Borghetti’s appointment as Chairman of Crown Sydney and John Van Der Wielen as Chairman of Crown Perth.

Ciarán Carruthers, current Chief Operating Officer of Wynn Macau Resort, will become Crown Resorts CEO in October.

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Australia

Innovative Pilot Tackling Gambling Harm in Ballarat

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The Andrews Labor Government is ensuring Ballarat locals experiencing the devastating impacts of gambling harm can get tailored treatment and support services with an innovative new programme being piloted in the region.

Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne, Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle and Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison launched the pilot, which equips allied health professions with a new way of screening patients to determine the best treatments to get them back on track.

It will increase access to, and training for, practitioners who operate within the mental health, alcohol and other drugs sectors and are treating people vulnerable to gambling harm.

Following feedback from Gambler’s Help service funded through the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, the programme has been developed to improve pathways for people seeking treatment for co-existing conditions, such as a mental health issue in addition to gambling harm.

It starts with a simple question by a health practitioner to their client about whether they gamble and progresses through the appropriate pathway for each person from there.

The pilot programme will increase awareness of gambling harm among healthcare professions and remove barriers faced by people seeking help – such as stigma.

The trial uses the latest evidence to improve outcomes for the Ballarat community, with the lessons to inform future programmes across the state.

The training will be led by clinical consultant Dr Jane Oakes and the Foundation’s Principal Clinical Advisor, Tony Clarkson and provided to practitioners at Ballarat Community Health, Child and Family Services and the Salvation Army Health Services.

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