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CIRSA Appoints Antonio Hostench as CEO

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Grupo CIRSA has announced the appointment of Antonio Hostench as new Chief Executive of the Blackstone-owned Spanish markets gambling group.

The board of CIRSA informed stakeholders that it had decided to split the duties of CEO and Chairman that Joaquim Agut had served since 2018. Agut will now solely act as Executive Chairman of CIRSA, charged with leading the group’s corporate governance, leadership remuneration and appointment committees.

Promoted from his role as President of CIRSA’s Sportium sportsbook brand, Hostench will replace Agut as Group CEO, charged with overseeing the firm’s global growth strategy and management of the firm’s executive leadership team.

Agut welcomed the decision, stating that CIRSA was right to follow Spanish business’ Code on Best Corporate Governance.

Hostench’s appointment was deemed by Agut as “a natural decision that responds to the Group’s culture of believing in internal talent and promoting it”.

“Antonio has proven to be a key part in the process of professionalization of the company and its growth thanks to its deep knowledge of the sector acquired through its years of experience in CIRSA,” Agut added.

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Zitro’s Altius Glare is Now Live at Gran Casino Extremadura

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Zitro’s Altius Glare is Now Live at Gran Casino Extremadura
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Zitro continues to expand its Glare cabinets family in Spain by having now deployed the Altius Glare at Gran Casino Extremadura, owned by Orenes Group, in Badajoz.

The visual quality of Altius Glare, never seen before in the industry, and its design, which includes a huge 55” screen combined with a 27” Full HD screen that provides a giant real estate for 4K graphics and an intelligent LED halo, make this new cabinet shine with its own light in the gaming hall of the Extremadura casino.

“We did not hesitate to include Zitro’s cabinets, which are having incredible results not only in Spain but worldwide. As a reference in the entertainment industry, our commitment is to offer our customers high quality products with the most advanced technologies,” Gregorio Hernández, Director of the Casino Division of Orenes Group, said.

“We are grateful to Orenes Gran Casino de Extremadura for expanding the portfolio of Zitro products they already offer in their gaming hall. Altius Glare together with its multi-game Wheel of Legends offers a unique immersive gaming experience, which we are convinced will appeal to all customers of Gran Casino Extremadura,” said Jaime Aníbal-Álvarez, Zitro’s Director of Casinos – Spain.

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Flutter Completes Acquisition of Italian Gaming Operator Sisal

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Flutter Completes Acquisition of Italian Gaming Operator Sisal
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Flutter Entertainment has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Italy’s online gaming operator Sisal. The €1.913 billion deal was first announced in December.

“Flutter is pleased to announce that it has received all necessary regulatory confirmations with respect to the acquisition of Sisal and the transaction completed on 4 August 2022,” the Paddy Power owner said in a statement.

Italy is the second largest regulated gambling market in Europe after the UK, with total estimated gross gaming revenue in 2019 of €19 billion.

The business, which employs about 2500 people and is headquartered in Milan, expects to generate EBITDA of €248m this year.

Flutter said that Sisal has performed strongly since the transaction was announced with year-on-year growth of 58% in revenue to £402m and 51% in EBITDA to £120m during the first half of 2022. It noted that the previous year was impacted by Covid-related retail restrictions.

The company said the deal has been completed using debt facilities agreed at transaction announcement in December, bringing Flutter’s expected weighted average cost of debt to approximately 3.4% for the second half of this year.

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AstroPay Appoints Fayyaz Ansari as CFO

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AstroPay Appoints Fayyaz Ansari as CFO
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AstroPay has appointed Fayyaz Ansari as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Having worked in finance for over 20 years, Fayyaz brings with him a deep understanding of the global payments industry. Prior to joining AstroPay, he was working at Skrill, NETELLER & Income Access (part of Paysafe Group Plc) as CFO of their digital wallet division and board member of their regulated entities. He will be based in the UK with responsibility for overseeing all aspects of AstroPay’s global financial management and activities.

Fayyaz’s extensive leadership experience includes controllership, treasury, financial planning and analysis, tax restructuring, corporate finance, performance management, M&A and strategic planning. He also managed other aspects of the finance function which includes banking, investments, financial systems and was involved in fundraising as well as coordinating efforts for an exit via a trade sale/ IPO.

“I am delighted to welcome Fayyaz to AstroPay where he will undoubtedly make an immediate impact as we aim to become the world’s leading payments platform. His wealth of experience will be essential in implementing our strategic plans to accelerate growth and position AstroPay for the future. Fayyaz and the team will contribute to our mission of providing financial freedom to millions of people worldwide. He is an excellent addition to the AstroPay team and I look forward to working with him in our journey,” Mikael Lijtenstein, CEO of AstroPay, said.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join AstroPay as the next step in my career. I am excited about working with a team that is passionate about the business, has a clear strategy and always puts customers’ needs first. With its commitment to global expansion, a strong business model, a focus on diversity and proud history, AstroPay is well positioned for extraordinary growth and impact. I believe the company’s unique value proposition and strong foundation will allow the business to grow and execute its vision of making payments much more accessible to customers around the world,” Fayyaz Ansari, CFO of AstroPay, said.

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