Gaming licensing consultancy formed

12 June 2019

(PRESS RELEASE) -- A new gaming licensing consultancy firm has been formed, it was announced today by Steven M. Saferin, Managing Director of the new firm, the Entertainment and Sports Gaming Network. In addition, Saferin announced that ITV Ventures a unit of the largest British broadcaster has signed on as the firm's first client.

Saferin, who retired at the end of 2016 from his role as President Properties Group and Chief Creative Officer of Scientific Games one of the largest fully integrated gaming companies in the world, will initially have offices in Florida and London.

Saferin and his wife Linda formed MDI Entertainment LLC in 1986 and went on to virtually create the lottery licensing category. Over the last 15 years, third party licensed scratch tickets have accounted for nearly 10% of total scratch sales. Scientific Games acquired MDI in 2003.

Over the course of more than two decades MDI acquired lottery licensing rights to hundreds of licenses for such diverse properties as Monopoly, Wheel of Fortune, The World Cup, Major League Baseball, The NBA, Harley Davidson, Deal Or No Deal, Betty Boop, The Walking Dead, Elvis Presley and Pac Man.

In 2012 Saferin left his leadership role at MDI to head up all third-party licensing for Scientific Games for lottery, electronic gaming machines and social and on-line casinos. In that role he led the negotiations for cross-channel licensing agreements with Hasbro (Monopoly and other games), Warner Bros. (Willy Wonka, Lord of the Rings and other shows), Elvis Presley, Margaritaville, Michael Jackson, The Simpsons (slots only) and led the preliminary talks for the now completed James Bond license.

In addition, Saferin announced that a unit of British Broadcaster ITV, ITV Ventures has become ESGN's first client. He will assist them in structuring gaming licensing agreements outside the UK for shows such as Love Island and Hell's Kitchen.

"Gaming licensing is a critical component of gaming operators' and vendors' content strategy," Saferin said. "My objective is to not only assist licensors in creating gaming opportunities for their shows and brands but also to assist them in maximizing the value of those brands to licensors and gaming operators after agreements have been struck."

"I am very pleased to announce ITV Ventures as ESGN's first client. Love Island is a true television phenomenon in the UK. Original versions of the show have now been commissioned in a total of 13 countries, including the U.S. where the show launches on CBS in July in prime time," Saferin stated. "Love Island has also been successfully introduced multiple times as an instant win digital scratch game by Camelot in the UK as well as a paper scratch card," Saferin added.

"I have always thought that Hell's Kitchen would make a terrific gaming brand. The phenomenal success of the Hell's Kitchen restaurant at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas seems to confirm that notion," Saferin said.

"We are delighted to have entered into this relationship with Steve and ESGN," commented Dave Christopher Director International Commercial and Digital at ITV. "I have known Steve for many years and his creativity and leadership in gaming licensing is unmatched. We look forward to working with him to bring many of our shows to the gaming category."

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