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Penn National Gaming launching on-line gaming division

WYOMISSING, Pa. — Penn National Gaming Inc., which owns the Argosy Casino in Alton and the Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights, Mo., is venturing into the online gaming business.

Penn today announced the appointment of Chris Sheffield as senior vice president managing director of I-Gaming, a newly created position. Sheffield joins Penn National from Betfred, a United Kingdom-based bookmaker, and will be responsible for setting the company’s strategy as it prepares for the launch of online gaming initiatives across its portfolio.

Sheffield will report directly to Timothy J. Wilmott, president and chief executive officer of Penn National Gaming. The appointment is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Sheffield served most recently as managing director, Digital at Betfred, which he joined in March 2011, where he led the transformation of into one of Europe’s fastest-growing gaming businesses. His teams at Betfred also launched mobile sports wagering and mobile gaming products.

Prior to Betfred, Sheffield had a successful entrepreneurial career during which he launched several technology, gaming and media businesses, the company said.

From March 2003 to March 2010, he founded and served as chief executive officer of Million-2-1 Limited, a pioneer in the mobile gaming space, which was acquired by IGT in June 2008 and was the basis of IGT’s launch of mobile gaming using the company’s slot brands and games in several jurisdictions including the United States. From April 1999 to August 2002, he founded and served as CEO of Eunite Limited, an Internet production business that was sold to N Brown PLC and, among other products, created an Internet casino gaming platform for Stanley Leisure PLC.

Sheffield also served for 10 years at Deloitte where he was an IT consultant and Partner focused on Internet, e-commerce, security and networking consulting.

“Chris’ technical background, extensive executive and operational management experience and broad knowledge of the online and mobile gaming world makes him a strong addition to the Penn National management team as we explore, plan for and launch Internet and mobile gaming operations across our portfolio over the coming years,” said Wilmott. “He brings an entrepreneurial eye to our deep roster of management talent and his extensive network of partnerships as well as his knowledge of the major brands and operators across the sports, media, gaming, Internet and mobile landscape will be a valuable asset.”

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