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Penn National names Comcast exec as new Interactive SVP

Chris Sheffield departs after four years in charge of online gaming division
Penn National has named a new SVP for Interactive Gaming, with incumbent Chris Sheffield set to leave the operator to “pursue other opportunities”.

Jon Kaplowitz will take over the role, reporting directly to Penn National’s president and COO Jay Snowden.

Kaplowitz joins from media giant Comcast, where he led the New Businesses team and “incubated new business opportunities,” including the corporate-wide strategy for sports betting and egaming.

He has previously been managing director and head of business development for the World Poker Tour.

As SVP of Interactive Gaming, Kaplowitz will oversee the forthcoming launch of online betting and gaming in Pennsylania, as well as the firm’s social casino products including Viva Slots Vegas by Rocket Games and Hollywoodcasino.com.

Kaplowitz will take control next Monday, pending regulatory approval.

“In searching for Chris Sheffield’s successor, we looked for someone who could not only build upon the successful platform that Chris and his team established, but someone who could help take PIV to the next level in terms of developing strategic partnerships with potential iGaming and sports betting companies, as well as media and content providers,” said Jay Snowden.

“We are fortunate to have found the perfect fit to lead those efforts in Jon Kaplowitz”.

Media firms have been widely linked with sports but no major partnerships have been announced to date.

Pennsylvania is expected to fire the starting gun on online betting and gaming in the state at some point in Q1.

Snowden added: “Jon’s extensive business development background, operational management experience and broad knowledge of sports betting and the online and mobile gaming world, make him an ideal addition to the Penn National management team as we near the launch of our online sports wagering operations in West Virginia and real money iGaming and online sports betting in Pennsylvania.”

“I want to thank Chris for his successful efforts in leading the development of PIV from its early days of operations to an established, profitable and growing business for Penn National,” said Snowden. “We wish him all the best as he leaves to pursue new opportunities.”

No specific details were given on Sheffield’s next steps, although his LinkedIn said he was an “entrepreneur”.

Kaplowitz added: “I am excited to join Penn National at a time when the Company’s iGaming and sports betting opportunities continue to expand in new markets.

“Penn Interactive Ventures’ platform is well positioned for additional growth that will help us better engage with our customers, build loyalty and retention, and serve as a significant channel for new customer acquisition.”

Penn | Penn National | Pennsylvania | People

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