Regulatory Changes Prompt the Rapid Expansion of Sports Gambling

NEW YORK, March 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The progress made last year in regards to the regulatory rollback of online gambling and sports betting is now expected to continue in 2021. In states where such businesses were allowed to legally operate, strong demand was observed and the states benefited from a new source of tax revenue. For example, according to recent data from PlayPennsylvania, Pennsylvania's sportsbooks and online casinos set new records in January, with more than USD 600 Million in monthly sports wagers for the first time. Now, Pennsylvania's sportsbooks are en route to bring in nearly USD 6 Billion in sports wagers in 2021 with the state's online casinos capable of reaching more than USD 800 Million in taxable revenue, according to projections from analysts PlayPennsylvania, and reported by SBC Americas. Trident Acquisitions Corp. (NASDAQ: TDAC), Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS), Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN), Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD), Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMBL)

Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for, explained that, "There are a lot of positive signs right now as sportsbooks and online casinos continue to gain steam, and hopefully, the state's brick-and-mortar casinos begin to regain their footing. If things do return to normal, the gaming industry should see significant gains across the board in 2021. Casino closures have certainly spurred online casinos and online sportsbook betting, which will provide some long-term benefits for the industry."

Trident Acquisitions Corp. (NASDAQ: TDAC) and, which entered into a definitive agreement with Trident Acquisitions Corp. on February 22, 2021, announced earlier this week breaking news that, "Luc Vanhal has been appointed as the Company's chief financial officer.

Since 1990, Vanhal has been providing executive leadership in the roles of chief financial officer, chief operating officer and president. In addition to being the chairman of several boards, he has also been a member of the compensation & audit committees for Interplay Entertainment Corp., a video game developer and publisher, and ViewSonic, a multinational electronics company.

As chief financial officer of the $3 billion consumer products division of The Walt Disney Company from 1990 to 1999, Vanhal led over 500 team members in planning, business development, financial reporting, accounting and acquisitions. Among many other highlights, from 2001 to 2004, he managed the development of World of Warcraft, which still has over five million paying subscribers, at Vivendi Universal Games.

Vanhal brings to years of experience in global executive management with an expertise in financial leadership. Not only does he have experience working in the gaming sector, Vanhal also brings his skills of navigating through highly regulated industries.

'I'm thrilled to attract such a talented and proven veteran in finance and accounting with great industry experience,' said CEO Tony DiMatteo. 'We needed a strong candidate leading us through the upcoming transition to becoming a public company. Combine this with our aggressive expansion into new states and countries, which brings all new financial regulations to consider, and it was clear to us that Luc was the obvious choice.'"

As CFO, Vanhal will lead's global finance organization and will be responsible for accounting, treasury, financial planning and analysis. He will also play a crucial role in's global expansion plans, in both regulatory matters and acquisitions.

'I am very excited to join just as they are about to execute on their blue ocean strategy,' said Vanhal. ' has recently seen significant and compelling growth trends and, based on the market share availability, they are just beginning. As we look towards the next few years of growth in store for, I can't express how thrilled I am to be working with such great team members that are working diligently to ensure pristine execution. Working directly alongside such dedicated and driven leaders, I am confident we will accomplish tremendous growth and enhance value for our shareholders.'

On February 22, 2021, the Company entered into a definitive agreement with Trident Acquisitions Corp. (Nasdaq: TDACU, TDAC, TDACW) to become a publicly traded company on The Nasdaq Stock Market. Trident and the Company intend to publish an investor presentation relating to the proposed business combination in the coming weeks."

Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS) and International Game Technology PLC, announced on March 1st, that they have signed a cross-licensing agreement for patents related to cashless slot gaming technologies. Under the agreement, Scientific Games and IGT will be able to offer patented cashless gaming technologies from the companies' combined portfolios of casino management systems solutions to the U.S. gaming industry. Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed. "This cross-licensing agreement provides casino operators access to the gaming industry's most compelling portfolio of cashless gaming technologies. We have made significant R&D investments over many years to develop this comprehensive suite of intellectual property in the cashless space. It makes revolutionary improvements to the player experience and represents the greatest advancement in cashless payments since the introduction of Ticket-In, Ticket-Out (TITO)," said Renato Ascoli, IGT CEO Global Gaming. "Cashless gaming is here to stay, and this strong portfolio of cashless IP can help casino operators ensure the safety of players by reducing cash handling and points of contact with slot games, while considerably improving casino operating efficiencies."

Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) announced on February 17th, that Rivers Casino Des Plaines ("Rivers") has filed expansion plans with the City of Des Plaines and Illinois Gaming Board that, if approved, will allow the casino to add approximately 725 gaming positions, making it the first to have the state's maximum number of 2,000 positions. The proposed two-story addition will house a poker room, additional gaming areas, a ballroom for events, and a new restaurant. Rivers is jointly owned by Rush Street Gaming and Churchill Downs Incorporated.  "With this proposed expansion, we will be able to offer our guests more of the entertainment and dining options they enjoy, additional gaming opportunities and a long-desired poker room," said CEO Greg Carlin, co-founder of Rush Street Gaming. "We have always offered a first-class experience for our guests. As the economy re-opens, we're excited to raise the bar and provide them with an even better experience."

Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) and the Wilton Rancheria Tribe announced yesterday, plans to break ground on the tribe's gaming resort in Elk Grove, California, on Tuesday, March 9, with construction commencing shortly thereafter. "Today we celebrate the hard-fought determination of generations of Tribal members to create a future of dignity and self-sufficiency for Wilton Rancheria," said Wilton Tribal Chair Jesus Tarango. "This will be a transformative project that will provide resources to invest in housing, education, and healthcare for our more than 800 members, to preserve our language and culture, and to give back to the community for decades to come."

Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMBL) announced on March 1st, that its Malta gaming licensed subsidiary, Esport Entertainment (Malta) Limited, completed its acquisition of the business assets of Lucky Dino Gaming Limited ("Lucky Dino"), an established Malta licensed online casino operator with its own proprietary casino platform. The ~$30 million deal was financed through cash raised in an equity offering in February. "Over the past five years, Lucky Dino has evolved from a single brand white-label casino operator into a multi-brand, class-leading casino operator and technology business," commented Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group. "In addition to further strengthening our tech stack, Lucky Dino's assets will give us a substantial foothold in multiple new jurisdictions across Europe, particularly in Scandinavia where esports are extremely popular, and with Lucky Dino's 25K monthly active casino players we will have tremendous cross-selling opportunities with our SportNation and betting platforms."

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