Operator of casinos and racetracks in the U.S. and CanadaPenn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN:Nasdaq) recently announced that its has found a successor for the exiting, Chris Sheffield, and has appointed Jon Kaplowitz to the position of Senior Vice President of Interactive Gaming.

According to the Feb. 4, 2019 news release

Leadership of the Wyomissing-based firm’s Penn Interactive Ventures (PIV) operations will be taken over by Kaplowitz, effective February 11, 2019, with the move being subject to customary regulatory approvals. Kaplowitz will report directly to Jay Snowden, President and Chief Operating Officer for the company which recently completed its acquisition of Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana.

PIV duties:

Kaplowitz, who for the last seven years has held the title of “Managing Director and GM – New Businesses,” for media conglomerate Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA), will oversee the daily operations of advance deposit wagering platform, Hollywoodraces.com; online and mobile social slot games, Hollywoodcasino.com; and mobile casino gaming’s “classic slots” leader, Rocket Games’ Viva Slots Vegas, all of which are part of PIV’s suite of creative social casino offering.

According to the news release, the incoming Kaplowitz will also lead the firm’s expanding online sports betting product alongside its real money iGaming opportunities.

Search process:

Explaining the process the led to the appointment, Snowden said…

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

Executive experience:

Prior to his time with Comcast, where he ‘incubated new business opportunities for the company and led the corporate-wide strategy for the sports betting and iGaming industries,’ Kaplowitz served as Co-Chief Executive Officer for content creation network, Massiffy. And before that, was the World Poker Tour’s Managing Director/Head of Business Development.

“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,” said Snowden.

“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,” added Snowden. “We wish him all the best as he leaves to pursue new opportunities.”

well positioned for additional growth

Also commenting on his appointment, Kaplowitz said…

“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. PIV’s 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.”

As of October 15, 2018, Penn National Gaming operates approximately 1,200 table games, 49,400 gaming machines and 8,800 hotel rooms throughout 40 gaming and racing facilities and video gaming terminal operations in 18 jurisdictions. The company which had an operating income of $445 million in 2017, also offers social gaming through its PIV division.