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Golden Entertainment Reports 2020 Second Quarter Results

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Golden Entertainment Reports 2020 Second Quarter Results

LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Golden Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:GDEN) (“Golden Entertainment” or the “Company”) today reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2020.

Blake Sartini, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Entertainment, commented, “Our reopenings began in May with our Montana distributed operations, followed by our Nevada operations on June 4th and our Maryland casino on June 19th. I want to thank our team members for their dedication to our Company and their efforts to reopen our properties safely and efficiently. Our diversified gaming platform, with nearly 80% of our historical property Adjusted EBITDA derived from locals-oriented or regional gaming operations, is positioned to recover quickly from the impact of the mandated shutdowns.

“Our results since reopening have exceeded our expectations, with June Adjusted EBITDA up 14% over last June even with fewer days of operations. Performance in June was led by our Las Vegas Locals casinos and taverns which achieved double-digit revenue growth and collectively doubled their Adjusted EBITDA contribution compared to the same period last year. We generated a similar strong performance in June from our reopened Laughlin and Pahrump casinos, which increased revenue and grew Adjusted EBITDA by over 50%. In addition to strong gaming revenues across most of our businesses, we focused on significantly lowering operating and marketing expenses. For our Nevada casino operations, excluding The STRAT, our expense management initiatives drove an Adjusted EBITDA margin improvement of 2,000 basis points to almost 50% in June. Our distributed gaming businesses also performed well in June across Nevada and Montana with revenue growth of 6% and an Adjusted EBITDA increase of more than 18%.

“Given our quick actions in March to reduce expenses and increase our liquidity by drawing down $200 million on our existing revolving credit facility, we had no need to raise additional capital during the shutdown. In June, we repaid $190 million of the $200 million drawn on the Company’s revolving credit facility, which remains available to us for potential future liquidity needs.

“Our strong recent financial performance, significant and sustainable margin improvement, as well as our diverse local and regional operations, gives us confidence that we will recover from the current challenges and remain well-positioned for future opportunities.”

Consolidated Results

The Company reported 2020 second quarter revenues of $76.0 million compared to $248.1 million in the second quarter of 2019. Net loss for the second quarter of 2020 was $78.6 million, or a loss of $2.80 per share, compared to a net loss of $14.4 million, or $0.52 per share, in the second quarter of 2019. Adjusted EBITDA was $(5.7) million for the second quarter of 2020 compared to Adjusted EBITDA of $49.8 million for the second quarter of 2019.

Casinos

Casino revenues were $39.4 million in the second quarter of 2020 compared to $158.7 million in the second quarter of 2019. Casino Adjusted EBITDA was $1.8 million compared to $48.0 million in the second quarter of 2019.

Distributed Gaming

Distributed Gaming revenues for the second quarter of 2020 were $36.3 million compared to $89.2 million in the second quarter of 2019. Distributed Gaming Adjusted EBITDA was $0.9 million compared to $13.7 million in the second quarter of 2019.

Debt and Liquidity

As of June 30, 2020, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of approximately $86.2 million. Total debt was approximately $1.2 billion, consisting primarily of $782 million drawn under the Company’s existing credit facilities (including $10 million under its revolving credit facility) and $375 million of senior unsecured notes. $190 million is currently available under the Company’s existing $200 million revolving credit facility.

Investor Conference Call and Webcast

The Company will host a webcast and conference call today August 6, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, to discuss the second quarter 2020 results. The conference call may be accessed live over the phone by dialing (844) 465-3054 or for international callers by dialing (480) 685-5227; the passcode is 7685643. A replay will be available beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET today and may be accessed by dialing (855) 859-2056 or (404) 537-3406 for international callers; the passcode is 7685643. The replay will be available until August 9, 2020. The call will also be webcast live through the “Investors” section of the Company’s website, www.goldenent.com. A replay of the audio webcast will also be archived on the Company’s website, www.goldenent.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events and our future results that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “potential,” “seek,” “should,” “think,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions, or they may use future dates. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, without limitation, statements regarding: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and expectations regarding recovery of our business following mandated shutdowns; future financial and operating results; and the Company’s plans, strategic priorities, objectives, expectations, intentions. Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions regarding the Company’s business, the economy and other future conditions. These forward-looking statements are subject to assumptions, risks and uncertainties that may change at any time, and readers are therefore cautioned that actual results could differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: the uncertainty of the extent, duration and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the response of governments, including government-mandated closures or travel restrictions; the Company’s ability to realize the anticipated cost savings, synergies and other benefits of the American and Laughlin transactions and its other acquisitions, and integration risks relating to such transactions; changes in national, regional and local economic, political and market conditions; legislative and regulatory matters (including the cost of compliance or failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations); increases in gaming taxes and fees in the jurisdictions in which the Company operates; litigation; increased competition; the Company’s ability to renew its distributed gaming contracts; reliance on key personnel (including the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, President and Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Operating Officer); the level of the Company’s indebtedness and the Company’s ability to comply with covenants in its debt instruments; terrorist incidents; natural disasters; severe weather conditions; the effects of environmental and structural building conditions; the effects of disruptions to the Company’s information technology and other systems and infrastructure; factors affecting the gaming, entertainment and hospitality industries generally and other risks and uncertainties discussed in the Company’s filings with the SEC, including the “Risk Factors” sections of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 and most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. All forward-looking statements in this press release are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

To supplement the Company’s consolidated financial statements presented in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), the Company uses Adjusted EBITDA, which measure the Company believes is appropriate to provide meaningful comparison with, and to enhance an overall understanding of, the Company’s past financial performance and prospects for the future. The Company believes Adjusted EBITDA provides useful information to both management and investors by excluding specific expenses and gains that the Company believes are not indicative of core operating results. Further, Adjusted EBITDA is a measure of operating performance used by management, as well as industry analysts, to evaluate operations and operating performance and is widely used in the gaming industry. Other companies in the gaming industry may calculate Adjusted EBITDA differently than the Company.

The presentation of this additional information is not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. Reconciliations of Adjusted EBITDA to net income (loss) are provided in the financial information tables below.

The Company defines “Adjusted EBITDA” as earnings before interest and other non-operating income (expense), income taxes, depreciation and amortization, impairment of goodwill, acquisition and severance expenses, preopening and related expenses, asset disposal and other writedowns, share-based compensation expenses, change in fair value of derivative, and other gains and losses. Adjusted EBITDA for a particular segment or operation is Adjusted EBITDA before corporate overhead, which is not allocated to each segment or operation. The Company defines “Preopening and related expenses” as inclusive of rent, organizational costs, non-capital costs associated with the opening of tavern and casino locations, and expenses related to The STRAT rebranding and the launch of the True Rewards loyalty program.

About Golden Entertainment, Inc.

Golden Entertainment owns and operates gaming properties across two divisions – casino operations and distributed gaming. Golden Entertainment operates approximately 16,400 slots, 130 table games, and 6,200 hotel rooms. Golden Entertainment owns ten casino resorts – nine in Southern Nevada and one in Maryland. Through its distributed gaming business in Nevada and Montana, Golden Entertainment operates video gaming devices at approximately 1,000 locations and owns over 60 traditional taverns in Nevada. Golden Entertainment is also licensed in Illinois and Pennsylvania to operate video gaming terminals. For more information, visit www.goldenent.com.

Golden Entertainment, Inc.

Consolidated Statements of Operations

(Unaudited, in thousands, except per share data)

Three Months Ended June 30,

Six Months Ended June 30,

2020

2019

2020

2019

Revenues

Gaming

$

56,677

$

146,246

$

183,892

$

290,038

Food and beverage

10,168

52,104

51,715

101,862

Rooms

5,987

35,514

31,592

66,801

Other

3,142

14,206

15,932

29,261

Total revenues

75,974

248,070

283,131

487,962

Expenses

Gaming

35,231

84,007

113,343

166,355

Food and beverage

9,739

40,216

44,626

78,430

Rooms

4,586

16,008

18,541

30,409

Other operating

1,404

5,160

6,531

11,594

Selling, general and administrative

32,548

56,235

80,158

113,182

Depreciation and amortization

31,930

29,976

63,086

57,241

Impairment of goodwill and intangible assets

21,411

27,872

Acquisition and severance expenses

367

1,123

3,343

2,667

Loss on disposal of assets

702

585

1,291

832

Preopening expenses

9

738

114

1,516

Total expenses

137,927

234,048

358,905

462,226

Operating (loss) income

(61,953

)

14,022

(75,774

)

25,736

Non-operating expense

Interest expense, net

(16,407

)

(19,135

)

(35,153

)

(37,270

)

Loss on extinguishment and modification of debt

(9,150

)

(9,150

)

Change in fair value of derivative

(1,489

)

(1

)

(3,737

)

Total non-operating expense, net

(16,407

)

(29,774

)

(35,154

)

(50,157

)

Loss before income tax (provision) benefit

(78,360

)

(15,752

)

(110,928

)

(24,421

)

Income tax (provision) benefit

(206

)

1,344

(258

)

1,995

Net loss

$

(78,566

)

$

(14,408

)

$

(111,186

)

$

(22,426

)

Weighted-average common shares outstanding

Basic

28,072

27,762

28,001

27,667

Dilutive impact of stock options and restricted stock units

Diluted

28,072

27,762

28,001

27,667

Net loss per share

Basic

$

(2.80

)

$

(0.52

)

$

(3.97

)

$

(0.81

)

Diluted

$

(2.80

)

$

(0.52

)

$

(3.97

)

$

(0.81

)

Golden Entertainment, Inc.

Reconciliation of Net (Loss) Income to Adjusted EBITDA

(Unaudited, in thousands)

Three Months Ended June 30, 2020

Casino Segment

Distributed Gaming Segment

Nevada

Casinos

Maryland

Casino

Nevada

Distributed

Gaming

Montana

Distributed

Gaming

Corporate

and Other

Consolidated

Total Revenues

$

36,305

$

3,127

$

23,554

$

12,785

$

203

$

75,974

Net loss

$

(44,487

)

$

(1,492

)

$

(4,960

)

$

(234

)

$

(27,393

)

$

(78,566

)

Depreciation and amortization

24,273

1,071

4,097

1,805

684

31,930

Impairment of goodwill and intangible assets

21,411

21,411

Acquisition and severance expenses

189

109

25

44

367

Preopening and related expenses (1)

(1

)

10

9

Asset disposal and other writedowns

641

41

(11

)

36

(5

)

702

Share-based compensation

1,756

1,756

Other, net

48

41

28

117

Interest expense, net

90

1

9

1

16,306

16,407

Change in fair value of derivative

Income tax provision

206

206

Adjusted EBITDA

$

2,117

$

(331

)

$

(716

)

$

1,633

$

(8,364

)

$

(5,661

)

Three Months Ended June 30, 2019

Casino Segment

Distributed Gaming Segment

Nevada

Casinos

Maryland

Casino

Nevada

Distributed

Gaming

Montana

Distributed

Gaming

Corporate

and Other

Consolidated

Total Revenues

$

140,260

$

18,456

$

71,445

$

17,708

$

201

$

248,070

Net income (loss)

$

18,194

$

4,277

$

6,687

$

660

$

(44,226

)

$

(14,408

)

Depreciation and amortization

23,092

960

3,894

1,675

355

29,976

Acquisition and severance expenses

101

9

1,013

1,123

Preopening and related expenses (1)

685

15

660

137

1,497

Asset disposal and other writedowns

412

99

78

(4

)

585

Share-based compensation

2,134

2,134

Other, net

81

406

487

Interest expense, net

63

1

21

2

19,048

19,135

Loss on extinguishment and modification of debt

9,150

9,150

Change in fair value of derivative

1,489

1,489

Income tax benefit

(1,344

)

(1,344

)

Adjusted EBITDA

$

42,628

$

5,352

$

11,349

$

2,333

$

(11,838

)

$

49,824

Six Months Ended June 30, 2020

Casino Segment

Distributed Gaming Segment

Nevada

Casinos

Maryland

Casino

Nevada

Distributed

Gaming

Montana

Distributed

Gaming

Corporate

and Other

Consolidated

Total Revenues

$

151,204

$

16,198

$

85,677

$

29,646

$

406

$

283,131

Net (loss) income

$

(48,918

)

$

1

$

(4,086

)

$

(504

)

$

(57,679

)

$

(111,186

)

Depreciation and amortization

47,947

2,110

8,082

3,685

1,262

63,086

Impairment of goodwill and intangible assets

27,872

27,872

Acquisition and severance expenses

2,451

155

571

41

125

3,343

Preopening and related expenses (1)

225

(1

)

115

339

Asset disposal and other writedowns

1,262

47

(30

)

17

(5

)

1,291

Share-based compensation

4,002

4,002

Other, net

47

48

238

141

474

Interest expense, net

334

2

23

2

34,792

35,153

Change in fair value of derivative

1

1

Income tax provision

258

258

Adjusted EBITDA

$

31,220

$

2,363

$

4,797

$

3,241

$

(16,988

)

$

24,633

Six Months Ended June 30, 2019

Casino Segment

Distributed Gaming Segment

Nevada

Casinos

Maryland

Casino

Nevada

Distributed

Gaming

Montana

Distributed

Gaming

Corporate

and Other

Consolidated

Total Revenues

$

275,889

$

34,201

$

142,850

$

34,660

$

362

$

487,962

Net income (loss)

$

38,056

$

7,104

$

13,719

$

1,234

$

(82,539

)

$

(22,426

)

Depreciation and amortization

43,781

1,914

7,617

3,281

648

57,241

Acquisition and severance expenses

387

22

13

2,245

2,667

Preopening and related expenses (1)

2,339

15

1,226

149

3,729

Asset disposal and other writedowns

668

99

78

(13

)

390

1,222

Share-based compensation

11

5

6,302

6,318

Other, net

92

1,259

1,351

Interest expense, net

113

3

36

3

37,115

37,270

Loss on extinguishment and modification of debt

9,150

9,150

Change in fair value of derivative

3,737

3,737

Income tax benefit

(1,995

)

(1,995

)

Adjusted EBITDA

$

85,447

$

9,135

$

22,703

$

4,518

$

(23,539

)

$

98,264

  1. Preopening and related expenses include rent, organizational costs, non-capital costs associated with the opening of tavern and casino locations, and expenses related to The Strat rebranding and the launch of the TrueRewards loyalty program.

Entertainment

Capturing the entertainment proclivities of racing fans

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Simon Fraser, XB Net: Capturing the entertainment proclivities of racing fans

Simon Fraser, XB Net: Capturing the entertainment proclivities of racing fans
Image Source: XB Net

Simon fraser, Senior Vice President of International at XB Net, discusses how XB Net is taking the sting out of protracted integration processes for sportsbook operators.

Backed by 1/ST Technology, Fraser walks us through the ways that XB Net is helping bettors to engage in all aspects of horse racing, before explaining how the company plans to use the Breeders’ Cup to broaden North American racing’s international reach.

SBC Americas: For those that might not know, can you tell us a little bit about XB Net? What’s the story behind the company and which markets are you targeting?

SF: XB Net provides a comprehensive North American racing service to international gaming operators across both fixed-odds and pool betting. The service covers the popular codes of thoroughbred, quarter-horse, harness and greyhound racing. Our key markets currently include the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand.

We manage the rights and distribute this premium content (data, odds, live broadcast and video streaming) on behalf of a broad progressive portfolio of global partners, allowing them to deploy ground-breaking technologies to attract and educate new audiences.

We’re lucky enough to be backed by a true powerhouse in 1/ST Group, whose consumer-facing brand forms a world-class technology, entertainment, and real estate development company with thoroughbred horse racing wagering at its heart – anchored by best-in-breed horse racing operations at the company’s premier racetracks, including (to name but a few): Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park – home of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series; Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course – site of the legendary Preakness Stakes.

And now the stateside stage is set for this year’s flagship finale at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships (5-6 November) in Del Mar. It all represents 1/ST’s continued movement towards redefining thoroughbred horse racing for a modern audience, and optimizing the ecosystem that drives it.

As a result, we can draw from an unrivalled network of over 60 North American tracks which account for over 75% of U.S. racing, opening the door to many of the planet’s most prestigious horse races.

SBC Americas: How is XB Net ensuring that it stands out from the competition?

SF: That aforementioned deep well of resources and racetracks isn’t a bad place to start from when you’re trying to positively delineate XB Net from the competition. And as a basic premise, we are planning to work with our partners across the globe to increase the awareness of North American horse racing, both as an exciting sport and as a high-quality betting medium.

By harnessing low-latency feeds from more than 2,500 meetings, showcasing over 25,000 races per year, North American racing is steadily accruing more global viewers and bettors, especially after a spell in which the pandemic has badly disrupted, if not decimated, so many events on the typical sporting calendar. While many of those sports have since recovered from the treatment table, North American racing – which mostly continued unaffected during the outbreak – has largely retained its enlarged audience share.

In the UK, some of that success and enduring retention can be attributed to the popular nightly pictures on Sky Sports Racing, whose friendly, informative GFN was instructive in “home-schooling” many new viewers to North American racing during the lockdowns.

Accordingly, with many heads having been turned by North American racing, the sport is now pulling up a comfortable seat in their wider entertainment choices. Particularly considering the nature of its rapid-cycling events, which conveniently fill the recreational gaps for drop-in audiences who might like a bet. Providing the right content at the right time remains so important, wherever you stick your pin on the international map.

XB Net’s steady stream of short-form premium content captures eyeballs and improves digital hang-time, allowing our partners to engage untapped audiences, deliver 24/7 horse racing, and also guard against any unforeseen impediments to the global sporting calendar.

SBC Americas: Tell us about your EasyGate™ products. How are they eliminating the complexity of North American racing?

SF: EasyGate is a breakthrough multitote technology and software architecture, providing structured race content, betting pathways and secure track video streams to our partners. Long story short, EasyGate navigates an intuitive path through the complexity of North American racing (from streaming formats to different data sources and their multivariate components), and also simplifies access to other content from other countries.

We give operators everything they need to succeed and take the sting out of protracted integration processes – just plug in and go, whatever the channel.

SBC Americas: Tote betting, and arguably horse racing in general, across the UK has had a tricky few years. How is XB Net making sure that racing is still the ‘product of choice’ for your partners?

SF: Our ability to present North American racing as a fixed-odds product allows us to take advantage of the UK market where Tote betting will always be a marginal betting product. Elsewhere, innovation around in-running betting can really allow horse racing to catch-up on any lost ground and reconsolidate its market position.

The complex variables of horse racing have meant this sport, for so long the retention backbone of many operators, hadn’t previously been able to seize the opportunities that other sports have secured with in-play. After all, nowadays, betting products must smoothly transition from pre-play to in-play, which is why operators must employ the latest trading tools and reactive in-play odds to attract modern-day audiences.

XB Net has now successfully trialed a ground-breaking feed that couples the Starting Price with the best of automated trading via Total Performance Data’s (TPD) astonishing array of consequential in-running analytics, including stride length, stride frequency and sectional timings enabled by saddle-cloth GPS tracking. These variables are accordingly harvested in-play by TPD’s machine-learning trading tools whose algorithms train themselves on race pace for precise pricing that delivers a distinct step-change in live fixed-odds wagering.

SBC Americas: How does your company help bolster revenue and support sometimes struggling traditional racetracks?

SF: I’d take issue with the word struggling. On the US side of the pond, the prize money at most tracks is very positive and betting turnover is up significantly. As a core technology in the wider arsenal of 1/ST and 1/ST Technology, XB Net is part of a broader company wide goal to sustain a successful business model while ensuring all stakeholders who work in the industry are cared for and supported.

That means delivering a fresh and holistic racing experience for the fans which captures the entertainment proclivities of every age group at the racetrack, especially the younger generation that is coming through. We are embracing this challenge and opportunity (sometimes two sides of the same coin!) at every touchpoint we have with our customers.

Just take our recent efforts with Historical Horse Racing (HHR) and how these terminals can provide workarounds for their local racetracks, increasing revenues where slots aren’t legal. As a result, HHR games can bolster revenues at traditional racetracks through direct new gaming revenue for operators who are directly tied to horse racing.

We also pay back a percentage to each host racetrack for every single wager placed, using each respective track’s historical races. This is akin to the simulcast live horse racing host-fee structures, in addition to paying horse racing industry stakeholders for the requisite historical race information data (e.g. Equibase).

At the tracks, our teams are working to modernize the horse racing experience, leveraging technology to bring an on-demand, digital experience to our customers. Ultimately, we’re targeting a growing audience looking for quick-fire action and engaging gameplay experiences driven by end-user thinking and the best interfaces that support that. Providing opportunities for consumers to engage in all aspects of horse racing – from live racetrack visits to simulcast viewing, online wagering and mobile – is the best way to grow our sport in a modern world.

SBC Americas: XB Net holds the international distribution rights for the upcoming Breeders’ Cup. In what ways is this agreement helping to broaden North American racing’s international reach?

SF: Self-evidently, our three-year contract extension with the Breeders’ Cup was a welcome endorsement of our team’s efforts over the past few years. The agreement comprises worldwide broadcast and video-streaming distribution rights from the Breeders’ Cup whose 2021 renewal, consisting of 14 Championship races and over $31 million in prize money and awards, is fast-approaching (5-6 November) at Del Mar racetrack in California next month. Del Mar is one of my favourite venues in all of sport, and its most common epithet of “where the surf meets the turf” tells you what sets it apart.

When the standard-bearer for elite North American racing selects you to further broaden the international reach of its world-class festival, you must be doing something right, and I’m pleased to say that sports fans and bettors around the globe can look forward to even more coverage of the World Championships.

You’re even seeing a suite of domestic host broadcasters (for example Sky Sports Racing and ITV in the UK) broadcasting all 14 races this year, which is ideal for growing the sport. Of course, the increasingly international make-up of these fields, bringing the best horses together from all around the world, only adds to the allure and transcendent appeal of the Breeders’ Cup for global audiences.

SBC Americas: And how will you help optimise and increase the returns to North American racing following what has undoubtedly been a challenging economic period?

SF: For us, it’s all about expanding markets and coverage, coupled with enhancements to our cutting-edge technologies. We’ve already launched in India, while we also have new Tote and fixed-odds roll-outs set for Asia and Africa.

Regarding the race tracks themselves, the more we can add to the service, the better-value our proposition will inherently become through sheer economies of scale. Again, we can return these cost advantages to the tracks. That even applies in Australia, where we’ve recently agreed a deal to add thoroughbred racing from the principal racing state of Victoria to our service which runs off the same infrastructure. We’re thrilled to be able to add more world-class contests for our partners, with the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival already capturing players’ imaginations.

As for what’s under the hood, we’re always refining and fine-tuning, despite having some of the most durable and trusted tech around. For instance, we actually just classified our pari-mutuel totalisator and fixed-odds wagering platform as a “legacy” product.

Instead, we’re replacing it with a next-gen wagering platform that will play a key role as 1/ST Technology continues to deliver on our vision to build upon the strengths of our current gambling platform while also extending its capabilities (e.g. quickly adding new bet types) – increasing speed to market, enhanced support of our customers’ needs, and unlocking the ability to efficiently onboard new consumers via verticals such as sports betting, esports, and other emerging opportunities. In short, it will allow us to react to the market with peerless agility.

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Entertainment

Window on Arts & Entertainment: Oct. 14, 2021 | Diversions

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Window on Arts & Entertainment: Oct. 14, 2021 | Diversions

The Majesty of Rock set to perform at First Friday Seminole

SEMINOLE — The Majesty of Rock, one of Florida’s most prestigious bands, will salute the music of Journey and Styx at First Friday Seminole, on Friday, Nov. 5, 6 to 9 p.m., on the main street in front of Studio Movie Grill at Seminole City Center, 11201 Park Blvd. N., Seminole.

Sponsored by Seminole City Center and The Rotary Club of Seminole Lake, this will be the final First Friday Seminole of 2021. The event will feature a variety of Seminole City Center merchants, food, prizes, and games, as well as a special concert by The Majesty of Rock. Attendees are asked to bring their own chairs. Coolers are not allowed. Vendors other than Seminole City Center tenants are not permitted.

The Majesty of Rock features the voice of John D’Agostino, coupled with the exceptional musical talents of four equally sophisticated and experienced musicians. That combination soon propelled the group to become one of the premier Journey reverence bands of our time. The band strives to re-create the exact sounds and nuances of Journey. Their passion for authenticity and attention to detail go a long way toward ensuring that the audience feels like they’re at a real Journey concert.

While the band has enjoyed performing the music of Journey, front man John D’Agostino also loves another American super group: Styx. Turns out the rest of the band are huge Styx fans, too. So, they began adding some of Styx’s best tunes to their already expansive repertoire of Journey material.

CWP to stage ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’






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The cast and crew of the Carrollwood Players Theatre production of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” include, front row, from left, Kaedin Cammareri, stage manager; Jason Goetluck as Spike; and Pauline Lara as Nina; and, back row, Se’a Ryan as Sonia; Stephanie Russell Krebs as Cassandra; Kenneth Grace as Vanya; Kari Velguth as Masha; and Alicia Spiegel, director.




TAMPA — Carrollwood Players Theatre will present its production of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang, running Oct. 15-30, at the theater, 4333 Gunn Highway, Tampa.

Tickets are $24. Tickets now on sale at tinyurl.com/vanyacwp. Performances will be Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m.; and Sundays, 2 p.m. For information, call 813-265-4000 or visit carrollwoodplayers.org.

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play.

Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia share a home, where they bicker and complain about the circumstances of their lives. When Marsha, their movie-star sister, swoops in with her new boy toy, Spike, old resentments flare up, eventually leading to threats and chaos. Contributing to the excitement are a sassy maid who can predict the future, and a lovely young aspiring actress who can’t. Audiences will discover why Durang is lauded as the master of mining the absurdities of human folly.

Presented with the support of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, this production will be directed by Alicia Spiegel.

“‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ is not exactly a well-known show, and the title can be a bit hard to remember … but audiences won’t soon forget the hilarious storyline,” Spiegel said. “I think everyone will relate to the family/relationship dynamics in this modern comedy laced with emotional baggage and heartfelt moments.”

The cast features Kenneth Grace as Vanya, Se’a Ryan as Sonia, Kari Velguth as Marsha, Jason Goetluck as Spike, Pauline Lara as Nina, and Stephanie Russell Krebs as Cassandra.

“Our cast has been perfecting their characters for almost a year a half since we were supposed to put this show on in April 2020 before the world changed,” Spiegel continued. “Luckily, CWP has decided to put it on this season and we are very ready to entertain audiences. They will be treated to sibling rivalry, a sexy young man barely wearing anything, a clairvoyant housekeeper whose predictions can’t be trusted, and a sweet girl next door who doesn’t know what she’s in for.”

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service Inc., New York.

Carrollwood Players offers a limited number of free tickets to every performance for low-income families receiving Florida SNAP benefits. For more information, visit carrollwoodplayers.org/theatreforall/.

Syd Entel Galleries to present Borowski glass exhibition

SAFETY HARBOR — An opening reception for a new glass exhibition by the world-famous Glass Studio Borowski will take place Friday, Nov. 12, 4 to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 13, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass Etc., 247 Main St., Safety Harbor.

The Borowski’s “Odd Birds Walk of Fame,” a tribute to 20th century celebrities in glass, will run through Nov. 27. The show is open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For information, call 727-725-1808 or email linda@sydentelgalleries.com.

Borowski is one of the leading modern glass studios worldwide. Stani Jan Borowski transforms the iconic Fat Gonzo light object into the wildly successful Odd Bird Series. The Odd Bird series has continued to grow into a collection of 22 famous celebrities from the world of art, music, media and science. These hand-blown glass creations are a work of art, unique and distinctive. All are wildly imaginative with recognizable characteristics of the many famous characters, such as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Elton John, Micheal Jackson, and Marilyn Monroe.

In addition to the Odd Bird Series, the gallery will have on hand a huge selection of work from the Borowski art objects, studio line and outdoor collection.

Cool Art Shop presents artisan holiday ornament tree

DUNEDIN — The Professional Association of Visual Artists will celebrate the upcoming holiday season with the annual Holiday Ornament Tree featuring handcrafted artisan ornaments, holiday décor, small gift items, and holiday greeting cards by various PAVA fine art and fine craft artists.

The tree is on display at The Cool Art Shop, 1240 County Road 1, Dunedin, in the Independence Plaza Square, through Thursday, Dec. 23. An open house reception will take place Friday, Oct. 15, 6 to 8 p.m., at the shop.

In addition to the Holiday Ornament Tree, The Cool Art Shop also displays and sells PAVA’s artists’ artwork which is comprised of an impressive collection of both visual and functional art for sale in both 2D and 3D mediums including painting, ceramics, photography, mixed media, drawing, pastels, sculpture, and jewelry in all price points. The artwork is rotated on a 6- to 8-week basis to keep the artwork fresh and new. Shop hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

PAVA is a nonprofit organization run by volunteer artists to serve local artisans and support the arts community in the Tampa Bay area. It provides exhibition, education and grant opportunities for its members. Additionally, PAVA supports local art centers, and is a local sponsor of the Pinellas County Regional National Scholastic Art Awards where scholarships are provided to students for art instruction. Visit www.pava-artists.org.

Mat Kearney concert canceled

CLEARWATER — The Mat Kearney concert scheduled at the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre on Wednesday, Nov. 3, has been canceled.

Ticket holders will be contacted about refunds. For more information, visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

Creative Clay virtual exhibit opens

ST. PETERSBURG — Creative Clay presents “Celebrating Disability Employment Awareness,” October’s virtual exhibit, featuring artwork by Creative Clay’s member artists who actively create, market and sell their work. The exhitib opened Oct. 9.

This new exhibit coincides with National Disability Employment Awareness Month. According to the United States Department of Labor, the theme this year is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” which reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Creative Clay promotes inclusion by empowering its artists to create art that is exhibited in its Good Folk Gallery, exhibited throughout the community and online, and market themselves as working artists. Many of Creative Clay’s member artists engage in training for potential employment. Creative Clay’s artists receive commission on all works sold.

NDEAM is held each October to commemorate the many and varied contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy. Employers, community organizations, state and local governments, advocacy groups and schools participate in celebrating NDEAM through events and activities centered around the theme of America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.

Creative Clay’s Virtual Gallery also includes the artwork of many of Creative Clay’s member artists. All artwork is for sale through our online gallery at creativeclay.org.

St. Pete Arts Alliance awards to help young artists

ST. PETERSBURG — Awards received from the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s Funding Futures Program allowed 14 talented Pinellas County students to attend an arts camp this summer.

These students aspire to be musicians, actors, dancers, writers or visual artists. Creative Clay, American Stage, St. Pete MAD and others nominated creative, aspiring at-risk and/or low income students to attend their arts programs for the summer while parents of these students filled out applications showing artistic and financial need.

St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s Funding Futures programs are dedicated to helping students nurture their creative interests and develop their expressive talent by providing funding to eligible students and connecting them to local after school arts programs or summer arts camps.

“It’s not just about the art for these students,” said Tracy Kennard, associate director of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance. “It’s about gaining confidence, understanding collaboration and feeling compassionate towards others and how the simple act of learning new artistic traits, can teach skills that are the building blocks of a promising future in any industry.”

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s Funding Futures Student Award program is designed to identify and encourage talented at-risk and/or low income emerging artists, ages 10-17 in Pinellas County seeking St. Petersburg programs in the categories of dance, music, jazz, voice, theater, digital arts, photography, cinematic arts, literary or visual arts. Funding Futures is open to all talented artists regardless of ethnic, social or economic background, or ability/disability.

Major funding sources from Tampa Bay Times Employee Matching Gifts, Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, and the Jacarlene Family Foundation have helped build the Funding Futures Grant Program for the past six years. For information on supporting this program, visit stpeteartsalliance.org/donate.

Livingston Taylor, Tom Chapin concert rescheduled

CLEARWATER — Due to a scheduling conflict, Livingston Taylor and Tom Chapin have rescheduled their concert at the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre.

Tickets purchased for the concert on Friday, April 1, will be honored on the new date, Sunday, April 3, at 8 p.m. Tickets, starting at $29, are on sale now. Visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

Sinbad show postponed

CLEARWATER — The Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre recently announced stand-up comedian Sinbad has postponed his upcoming performance scheduled for Saturday, April 16, at 8 p.m.

Tickets will be honored on the new date to be announced soon. For more information, visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

Steep Canyon Rangers reschedule Capitol Theatre show

CLEARWATER — The Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre recently announced that the Steep Canyon Rangers concert originally scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m., has been rescheduled.

Tickets will be honored on the new date Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, at 8 p.m. Tickets, starting at $25, are on sale now. Visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

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Window on Arts & Entertainment: Oct. 7, 2021 | Diversions

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Window on Arts & Entertainment: Oct. 7, 2021 | Diversions

Dunedin Wines the Blues music lineup set

DUNEDIN — The Downtown Dunedin Merchants Association recently announced the lineup for this year’s Dunedin Wines the Blues event, set for Saturday, Nov. 13, noon to 11 p.m., on Main Street in downtown Dunedin.

The 30th annual Dunedin Wines the Blues will offer attendees an opportunity to walk around the downtown area businesses, shop, eat, and browse a selection of street vendors. This year’s festival will present three stages of nonstop blues, with live music performances beginning at 2 p.m.

VIP tickets are on sale and include unlimited drinks and food as well as access to the VIP lounge area with couches, tables, stage views, big screens and VIP-only desserts and signature drinks. The VIP tent is open from 5 to 11 p.m. VIP tickets cost $125. For tickets, visit www.winestheblues.com.

Following is the music lineup for this year’s Dunedin Wines the Blues event:

Main Stage

  • 2 to 3:15 p.m. — Selwyn Birchwood
  • 3:45 to 5 p.m. — Beth Mckee Funky Time Band
  • 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. — Johnny Rawls Band
  • 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. — Damon Fowler
  • 9:15 to 10:45 p.m. — Vanessa Collier

West Stage

  • 2 to 3:15 p.m. — Ellie Lee Band
  • 3:45 to 5 p.m. — Steve Arvey
  • 5:30 to 7 p.m. — Alex Lopez
  • 7:30 to 9 p.m. — Sarasota Slim

East SBS Stage

  • 2 to 3:15 p.m. — Trey Wanvig
  • 3:45 to 5 p.m. — T Bone Hamilton
  • 5:30 to 7 p.m. — Brian Leneschmidt Band
  • 7:30 to 9 p.m. — Dottie Kelly Band

Performers and show times are subject to change without notice. For information, visit www.winestheblues.com.

Author releases new book, announces book signings

Reedy Press recently announced the release of “Tampa Bay Scavenger,” by Joshua Ginsberg.

You might think you know Tampa Bay, maybe even the weird, wonderful, and obscure parts of it, but get ready to take your exploring in an innovative and interactive new direction. With “Tampa Bay Scavenger,” you’ll embark on a gamified experience in the Tampa Bay area, complete with over three hundred clues to solve spanning seven counties.

From museums to natural wonders, historical markers, bars and restaurants, sports stadiums, and public artworks, you’re bound to discover something new and unexpected. Be the first one to solve all the riddles, take the whole family out on an adventure, or just find a creative excursion for a few hours as you unlock the hidden face of the Tampa Bay area.

Ginsberg — an author and local explorer — brings years of research and a poet’s sensibility to each of his carefully outlined quests. Follow along with the website www.tbscavenger.com and the #TBScavenger Facebook group for a truly interactive experience. It just might be the most elaborate and ambitious scavenger hunt that Tampa Bay has ever seen.

“Tampa Bay Scavenger” is available wherever books are sold.

Ginsberg will host several book signing events in the coming weeks. Book signings are free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be available for purchase. The author will take part in the following book signings:

  • Saturday, Oct. 9, 2 to 5 p.m., at Cueni Brewing Company, 945 Huntley Ave., Dunedin
  • Saturday, Oct. 23, 5 to 8 p.m., at Bastet Brewing, 1951 E. Adamo Drive, Tampa
  • Saturday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Clearwater Historical Society, 610 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater

Studio 1212 to launch new exhibition

DUNEDIN — An opening reception for “What a Relief” will take place Sunday, Oct. 17, noon to 3 p.m., at Studio 1212 Art Gallery, 234 Monroe St., Dunedin.

Participating artists will be on hand. Light refreshments will be served. The exhibit will run through Nov. 28. Studio 1212 is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit the gallery’s online store at studio1212.org.

Gulfport venue to present Amazing Acro-cats show

GULFPORT — The Amazing Acro-cats will perform four shows, running Friday through Sunday, Oct. 22-24, at the Catherine A. Hickman Theatre, 5501 27th Ave. S., Gulfport.

Performance times will be Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 3 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m. Tickets start at $30. Visit www.rockcatsrescue.org or www.brownpapertickets.com/event/5233235.

The Amazing Acro-cats — featuring Tuna and the Rock Cats — are a troupe of rescued house cats. This one-of-a-kind, two-hour long “purrformance” features talented felines roll on balls, ride skateboards, jump through hoops, and more.

The finale is the only all-cat band in the entire world: Tuna and the Rock Cats. The current band lineup features St. Clawed on guitar, Bowie on drums, Nue on keyboard, Ahi on woodblocks, Albacore on cowbell, Roux on trumpet, and Oz on saxophone. There is even a chicken named Cluck Norris rockin’ the tambourine.

Featured on the Netflix docu-series “Cat People,” Tuna and the Rock Cats have also appeared alongside Stephen Colbert on his late night show, as well as PBS and Animal Planet.

Murals coming to two Pinellas Trail tunnels

LARGO — Creative Pinellas and Pinellas County Public Works have partnered to bring four new murals by Pinellas County artists to the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail tunnels at U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs and Alternate U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor.

The artists’ mural designs for each tunnel face have been inspired by public surveys and meetings that were part of the artist selection process that occurred this summer and revealed a community that enjoys the sunshine and outdoor life, and appreciates the scenic landscape filled with Florida native plants and wildlife. The locations for the murals were selected as part of the Pinellas County Public Works Graffiti Abatement Art Program.

“Creative Pinellas is proud to be part of this multi-mural project on the Pinellas Trail,” said Barbara St. Clair, CEO of Creative Pinellas. “It is an opportunity to not only assist in Pinellas County’s effort to combat graffiti, it also brings talented Pinellas County artists in to create pieces that will engage the trail users in a new way. The new murals will add to the identity of the Pinellas Trail as a destination location in Pinellas County.”

The Palm Harbor location, just north of Wall Springs Park, will feature Taylor Smith’s design “Wetland Herons” that includes two great blue herons with an organic color scheme meant to highlight the beauty of Florida’s coastal wetlands on the south tunnel face, while the north tunnel face design by Yhali Ilan, “Island People,” celebrates the coastal lifestyle in North Pinellas through the use of vibrant plant life, people enjoying the beaches, and water related activities.

The Tarpon Springs location, just north of Live Oak Street, will include the design “Sun Tribute” created by Daniel Barojas (a.k.a. R5, Rope5) on the west tunnel face. The design is a stylized representation of the sun, an essential part of Florida lifestyle. Ricardo Delgado’s (Reda3sb) design “Birds and Flowers” also incorporates the sun, setting into the sea, vibrant flowers and tropical birds, to celebrate nature and Florida life on the east tunnel face.

The Pinellas Trail Mural program is a partnership between Creative Pinellas and the County with goals of defeating graffiti, building excitement and interest, and fostering community beautification projects. Since the beginning of the program, local artists have completed two murals in Palm Harbor and one along the Pinellas Trail overpass in Largo.

“Extending the graffiti abatement program to the Pinellas Trail exemplifies the County’s strategic plan goals to invest in our transportation infrastructure, maximize partner relationships and support a vibrant community,” said Tom Washburn, Pinellas County Public Works Transportation Division Director. “We are pleased to partner with Creative Pinellas and the Florida Department of Transportation in this effort to improve the quality of life for our residents and visitors.”

Artists will be working over the coming weeks and through mid-October. Both locations will remain accessible for trail users while the artists work.

For information about the project, visit creativepinellas.org/opportunity/pinellas-trail-artworks/.

Cracker Country to presents annual Tall Tales of Old Florida

TAMPA — Tall Tales of Old Florida will be presented Saturday, Oct. 23, beginning at 6:45 p.m., at Cracker Country, a living history museum found at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. Hwy. 301 N., Tampa.

Each walking tour will last 60 minutes. This event is recommended for ages 6 and older. Admission is $14 per person and includes a snack. An advance purchase price of $12 per person is available through Oct. 17. Tickets are sold in time blocks. Tickets and more information available at www.crackercountry.org.

Attendees will explore Tampa’s 19th century living history museum by night. Along the way, they will meet storytellers who will spin wild yarns about a few of Florida’s unexplained oddities. A little scary, a little funny and always family friendly, the Tall Tales tour is a Florida history adventure by lantern light.

Cracker Country is a living history museum that represents aspects of home life, commerce and transportation as it was in many rural Florida communities at the end of the 19th century. During the Tall Tales of Old Florida tour, “tellers” will share uniquely Florida stories about skunk apes, misbehaving trains, cow hunting giants and other legendary creatures. Guests will also enjoy a magic lantern show, featuring a turn-of-the-20th-century projection technology that led to the birth of the film industry.

Guests are invited to come early and enjoy Victorian games and activities before their tour begins. Afterward, have a complimentary snack and do some holiday shopping in the General Store.

Chic Décor & Artisan Market set

SAFETY HARBOR — The Fall Chic Décor & Artisan Market will take place Sunday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 411 Main Street, Safety Harbor.

The Chic Décor & Artisan Market is returning to its home location in Safety Harbor.

This unique hybrid market highlights some of the best home décor artists, vintage pickers, and indie artisans in the Tampa Bay area. The Fall Chic Décor & Artisan Market will feature over 120 local décor artisans, vintage treasures, and furniture featuring assorted styles like coastal chic, farmhouse, shabby chic, cottage glam, and industrial. There also will be food vendors and live entertainment.

Parking and admission are free.

L.O.L. Surprise! Live show rescheduled

CLEARWATER — L.O.L. Surprise! Live scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 20, at Ruth Eckerd Hall, has been rescheduled.

L.O.L. Surprise! fans in Clearwater will be able to rock out in real life when the all-new hologram concert tour crisscrosses the United States and makes a stop at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Thursday, May 5, at 6 p.m. Tickets purchased for the Oct. 20 performance will be honored on the new date. Tickets, starting at $28.75, are on sale now. Visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

St. Pete Arts Alliance to present Second Saturday ArtWalk

ST. PETERSBURG — The Central Arts District, EDGE District, Grand Central District, Warehouse Arts District, Uptown Arts District and downtown Waterfront District will united to celebrate “ARTober” for the St. Petersburg Second Saturday ArtWalk, set for Saturday, Oct. 9, 5 to 9 p.m.

ArtWalk is opening night as some 40 galleries and studios premiere new works, with artists and demos on-site. It’s impossible to take in the entire ArtWalk in one night. Attendees should plan to drive, walk, or take the trolleys to visit the districts of their choice — or utilize the free Downtown Looper, which will run every 15 minutes.

To download the map and list of participants, visit www.stpeteartsalliance.org.

‘Legendz of the Streetz’ show rescheduled

TAMPA — Amalie Arena recently announced that the “Legendz of the Streetz” Tour has been rescheduled.

Originally set for Sunday, Oct. 17, the show will now be presented Friday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. All tickets bought will be honored for the rescheduled date. The tour will feature hip-hop heavyweights Rick Ross, Jeezy, Gucci Mane and 2 Chainz. Tickets, starting at $50, are on sale now. Visit Ticketmaster.com.

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