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Boyd Gaming, FanDuel Group Launch Sports Betting In Indiana, Iowa

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Partnership Now Encompasses Five Boyd Gaming Properties, Mobile Gaming in Pennsylvania

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Boyd Gaming Corporation (BYD) and FanDuel Group today announced the debut of FanDuel Sportsbooks at four Boyd Gaming properties: Blue Chip Casino Hotel and Spa in Michigan City, Indiana; Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque, Iowa; Diamond Jo Casino in Northwood, Iowa; and Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, Indiana.

The FanDuel Sportsbook at Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, Indiana; Monday, September 9, 2019.

The openings follow the successful debut of the FanDuel Sportsbook at Boyd Gaming’s Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, in March, as well as the companies’ launch of mobile sports betting across the state of Pennsylvania in July.  In the coming months, the two companies also plan to introduce mobile sports products under the FanDuel brand in both Iowa and Indiana, pending the receipt of required regulatory approvals.

“Together, Boyd Gaming and FanDuel Group continue to successfully capitalize on the historic opportunity afforded by the legalization and expansion of sports betting in new states across the country,” said Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming.  “The FanDuel Sportsbook is off to a great start in Pennsylvania, contributing to solid growth in visitation and profitability at our Valley Forge Casino Resort near Philadelphia.  We are confident our partners at FanDuel will deliver excellent results in Iowa and Indiana as well, further expanding Boyd Gaming’s customer base and enhancing our long-term competitive appeal.”

“Working with Boyd Gaming to open four Sportsbooks across Iowa and Indiana in such a short timeframe is an incredible achievement and something our retail team is proud of,” said Matt King, Chief Executive Officer of FanDuel Group. “Boyd Gaming continues to be a key partner as we further expand our offerings nationwide by bringing FanDuel’s first-class sports betting experience to the Midwest.” 

In honor of the kick-off of the 2019-20 professional football season, Boyd Gaming and FanDuel celebrated their newest retail sportsbooks with ceremonial first bets placed by four retired football stars: Chicago Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher (Blue Chip); Green Bay star wide receiver and world champion Antonio Freeman (Diamond Jo Dubuque); Minnesota Hall of Fame defensive end John Randle (Diamond Jo Worth); and Cincinnati’s legendary quarterback Ken Anderson (Belterra Resort).

The partnership between Boyd Gaming and FanDuel Group includes collaborative efforts between the two companies in mobile and online sports betting and casino games, where permitted by law. The agreement includes states where Boyd Gaming holds gaming licenses, excluding Nevada, as well as additional states covered under Boyd Gaming’s current market-access agreements.  Boyd Gaming currently has access in 15 states nationwide, representing more than 36% of the U.S. population.

In addition to their retail and online gaming partnership, Boyd Gaming and FanDuel are engaged in extensive co-branding and cross-promotional efforts, as the two companies actively market each other’s properties and products to their respective customer bases nationwide.

Forward-looking Statements and Company Information
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements contain words such as “may,” “will,” “might,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “could,” “would,” “estimate,” “continue,” “pursue,” or the negative thereof or comparable terminology, and may include (without limitation) information regarding the Company’s expectations, goals or intentions regarding future performance. In addition, forward-looking statements in this press release include statements regarding: the Company’s statements regarding FanDuel Sportsbooks at various Boyd Gaming properties, expansion into mobile products, the continued progress executing against the partnership’s strategic growth initiatives, the receipt of required regulatory approvals, that the Company is successfully growing visitation and expanding its customer base across the country, and that the Company is well-positioned to capitalize on future growth opportunities. These forward-looking statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of management and involve certain risks and uncertainties, including (without limitation) the possibility that the transactions contemplated by continued partnership between the Company and FanDuel Group will not realize the growth opportunities as anticipated. Additional factors are discussed in “Risk Factors” in Boyd’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, and in Boyd’s other current and periodic reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements in this current report are made as of the date hereof, based on information available to Boyd as of the date hereof, and Boyd assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement.

About Boyd Gaming
Founded in 1975, Boyd Gaming Corporation (BYD) is a leading geographically diversified operator of 29 gaming entertainment properties in 10 states.  The Company currently operates 1.77 million square feet of casino space, more than 38,000 gaming machines, 815 table games, more than 11,000 hotel rooms, and 320 food and beverage outlets.  With one of the most experienced leadership teams in the casino industry, Boyd Gaming prides itself on offering its guests an outstanding entertainment experience, delivered with unwavering attention to customer service.  For additional Company information and press releases, visit www.boydgaming.com.

About FanDuel Group
FanDuel Group is an innovative sports-tech entertainment company that is changing the way consumers engage with their favorite sports, teams, and leagues. The premier gaming destination in the United States, FanDuel Group consists of a portfolio of leading brands across gaming, sports betting, daily fantasy sports, advance-deposit wagering, and TV/media, including FanDuel, Betfair US, DRAFT, and TVG. FanDuel Group has a presence across 45 states and 8 million customers. The company is based in New York with offices in California, New Jersey, Florida, Oregon, and Scotland. FanDuel Group is a subsidiary of Flutter Entertainment plc, a leading international sports betting and gaming operator and a constituent of the FTSE 100 index of the London Stock Exchange.

 

The FanDuel Sportsbook at Blue Chip Casino Hotel and Spa in Michigan City, Indiana; Thursday, September 5, 2019.

Chicago Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher shows the first bet placed at the FanDuel Sportsbook at Blue Chip Casino, Thursday, September 5, 2019. L to R: Bill Wright, Boyd Gaming Sr. Vice President, Operations; Brian Urlacher; and Blue Chip Vice President and General Manager Brenda Temple.

Boyd Gaming logo. (PRNewsFoto/Boyd Gaming)

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No Female Character in CoD: Modern Warfare?

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The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Beta has been in full swing for a couple of days now. While the game has received slack because of some unconventional design choices, it still is a core Call of Duty experience which i think most people would enjoy. However, while playing the beta, i couldn’t help but notice the lack of female characters in the multiplayer game modes. This was rather strange since Infinity Ward had announced earlier that the game would have playable female characters. Usually, these characters are much more nimble and really help if you prefer a faster playing style.

So, i went on over to twitter to ask if these characters had been removed for some reason. However, what i got in response was a bunch of dismissive, sexist and misogynistic replies saying that the game is better without females anyway. This sad state of affairs snapped me back to the reality of how inclusivity is actually frowned upon in the core video game community.

Inclusivity in video games has always been a massive point of debate throughout the history of games. While most people would agree that all forms of art and media should be inclusive enough for everyone, things have not been so smooth for the video games industry to adopt this mindset. The ‘hardcore’ gaming community, sadly, just isn’t ready to accept any change that pushes us towards the greater good.

Modern Warfare Gameplay

Every time game developers try to include women and minorities in their games just to make them more relatable and inclusive for everyone, they are met with review bombs and other forms of unjustified criticism from the core ‘gamers’. It is actually pretty bonkers to see how far people are willing to go just to undermine something that does not affect them or their experience in any way.

Sadly, this bad behaviour isn’t just limited to the video game community. We’ve seen some really bad cases of sexism in the gaming industry during recent times as well. However, slowly but surely, things are moving in the right direction. For example, we’re seeing better working conditions for women in the industry thanks to a lot of hard work and bravery from these women.

Female Protagonists in Games are actually good

We’re also seeing video games being much more inclusive. From Cyberpunk 2077 not having a binary gender option for character creation to Gears 5 moving to a female protagonist for the first time in the series, things are moving in the right direction. However, if you think that these changes are hindering your experience in any way, you’re wrong. You can still choose to play as a white male in Cyberpunk 2077 and the majority of video games still have male protagonists in them.

Gears 5
Kait, The protagonist of Gears 5

However, some of the best video games of recent times like Horizon Zero Dawn, Tomb Raider, Gears 5 and the upcoming The Last of Us 2 all have female protagonists. So, saying that having a female lead in a game would somehow make it worse is just not true, whether you like it or not.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and why it is important for games to be more inclusive

Recently, when Infinity Ward announced that Call of Duty Modern Warfare will include playable female characters, it was met with the same unjustified criticism. This is not the first time we’ve seen this though and people are just used to it at this point. Back when Battlefield V was announced with Female characters, people had the same reaction. However, people need to realise that video games are a form of art and the right of expressing that art in any way or form is in the hands of the artist.

Call of duty

Video games have never been about being historically accurate. If you wanted that, you could watch a historical documentary instead. Video Games are meant to be fun and relatable. They’re played by millions of people around the entire world. If these people around the world don’t feel like they are a part of this magical universe that a developer has conjured up for them, then what is the point of art anymore? No other form of media can connect us with the characters it has like video games because for a brief moment in time, games make us feel like we are that character.

The ability to see yourself in the character you’re playing is probably what sets video games apart from everything else as an art form. This is especially true for multiplayer games, which brings us back to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Having a female character in multiplayer is only a good thing. This would mean that millions of female gamers would actually be able to feel like they’re a part of this universe that we’ve all come to enjoy and love. Furthermore, it doesn’t affect anyone else in any way. You can still pick your usual male characters so you’re not losing any part of the experience.

The addition of something doesn’t always have to come at a cost of something else. However, if, for some weird reason, even hearing a female character in a multiplayer match triggers you, then you have some serious issues and I hope you find the help you need.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Video games are arguably the most expansive and expressive form of art out there. Everyone deserves to experience this amazing art form in the most relatable and immersive way possible. We have made some really good strides during recent times to curb stomp the negativity that surrounds the whole industry. However, there is still a long way to go and I hope, with time, we can all feel happy just to be a part of this amazing community and experience these magical worlds together in complete harmony.

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