Industry News

A new direction for Betsson as it says goodbye to CEO Ulrik Bengtsson, while Japanese integrated resort hopefuls begin to staff up and a trio of new appointments join Konami’s US outpost.  1. Europe Ulrik Bengtsson , the now former CEO of Swedish-based Betsson, has completed his sudden and immediate resignation from the helm of the international operator. He is to be temporarily replaced by  Pontus Lindwall  until the company can source a permanent appointee. ”Ulrik Bengtsson has done a good job for Betsson during the five years he has been employed by the Group,” said Lindwall, who is also chairman of the board. Bengtsson was quoted in the Swedish press as saying that he and the board were looking to go in “different directions”. Genius Sports has appointed sports lawyer  Kevin Carpenter  to the position of special counsel, Sports Integrity. Carpenter will lead the delivery of Genius Sports’ educational and consultancy services to sports. Most recently he was appointed as the first chair of the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) and as a member of the Badminton World Federation’s External Judicial Experts Group. Scientific Games has appointed  Leigh Nissim  as the company’s managing director, B2B interactive with responsibilities for overseeing the company’s remote game server (RGS) and SG Universe businesses. Nissim will be based in London with global responsibilities. Previously, Nissim served as chief executive of NEKTAN, a publicly traded B2B mobile gaming solutions and services provider.  Jordan Levin , who has been part of the company’s interactive leadership team since 2012, will now move into a full focus on corporate development, mergers and acquisitions and driving key strategic initiatives for Scientific Games. The self-styled "casual-real money games" developer Glück Games has announced the appointment of a new chief technology officer in the form of  Rafael Razim . The former founder of Malta-based GimiGames has also been appointed to the role of "late co-founder", 18 months after the company originally launched.   2. North America Konami Gaming has made several new appointments in support of continued growth and expansion across key operational areas.  Spencer Peterson  has been promoted to vice president, technical compliance. In addition, Konami has promoted  Shanna Grimes  to senior director, human resources, and  Anthony Bocuzzo  was named senior director, manufacturing and logistics to lead games and systems purchasing, inventory, shipping/receiving, production and more. Kevin Brown  has been re-elected chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council for a second four-year term. Brown, who was first elected chairman in 2013, and three other incumbents —  Kathy   Regan-Pyne , William Quidgeon Jr ., and  James Gessner Jr . — were elected to the council.  Sarah Harris , a newcomer, was also elected to the council.  NYX Gaming Group Limited has hired  Steve Mayes  as its new third-party sales director. In his role, Mayes will be responsible for growing NYX Gaming’s network of third-party suppliers including game developers, payment providers and trading services across its sportsbook, casino, lottery and bingo operations. Mayes joins the company from Playtech. Gino Del Pup  has joined JACK Entertainment as vice president of design and construction, pending regulatory approvals. In his new role, Del Pup is responsible for all design and construction activities, including remodels and expansions, and facility capital improvements for the gaming and entertainment company's portfolio of properties. He joins JACK Entertainment from Plante Moran CRESA, where he was senior vice president of project management.    3. Asia-Pacific MGM Resorts bolstered its Japanese team with the appointment of former US Embassy charge d’affaires  Jason Hyland  as president and representative officer of MGM Resorts Japan. Japanese-speaking Hyland’s duties at the embassy in Tokyo included liaising with top government officials and close work with the American Chamber of Commerce and the Japan Tourism Agency, in addition to supervision of hundreds of embassy and consular staff. MGM reiterated it will send specialists from the United States to Japan to reinforce the company’s presence “as it works to realise a Japanese [integrated] resort”. Its new office was scheduled to open on September 1 in Otemachi, Tokyo. Caesars Entertainment also announced a major hire for its Japanese integrated resort campaign with the appointment of banking professional  Yusuke Watanabe  as vice president of Asia development and head of Japan business development. Watanabe previously worked for Morgan Stanley, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and JP Morgan. Southeast and South Asian gaming services provider Silver Heritage announced the departure of  Tim Shepherd , company co-founder and president of business development and marketing, effective from September 30. Conference circuit regular Shepherd will continue to act as an external consultant to the company as the opening of Nepalese border casino hotel Tiger Palace Resort Bhairahawa nears. The company also announced the appointment of finance and business development veteran Robert Benussi as independent non-executive director. Australian gaming mogul  James Packer  rejoined the board of Crown Resorts on August 3 after a period of turmoil and divestment of foreign assets, while  Guy Jalland  was also appointed director on the same day. Jalland is CEO of the Packer family-owned company Consolidated Press Holdings and former general counsel for affiliates PBL and Consolidated Media Holdings. Australian wagering giant Tabcorp Holdings said retiring Wagering and Media business director  Craig Nugent  will be replaced by  Adam Rytenskild  on December 1. Rytenskild has been with the company since 2000, with positions including COO of Gaming Services and Keno, and executive roles in the company’s multi-channel Distribution arm. His new role also assumes the merger of Tabcorp and Tatts Group, now under court review, given that he will take charge of the Tatts Group’s wagering division.
Frustrated casino employees have forced Macau’s government to lecture casino operators and ramp up its role as a go-between on labour practices and safety in the wake of last month’s destructive Typhoon Hato. Typhoon Hato  incapacitated  much of Macau and Hong Kong on August 23, killing at least nine people in Macau alone and triggering flooding, road and bridge closures and days of power and water outages that temporarily closed most casinos, particularly those located on the Macau peninsula. While public ridicule of the government’s handling of the storm continues to place pressure on Chief Executive Fernando Chui’s administration, angry casino employees have now succeeded in forcing the government to deal with long-standing dissatisfaction over work conditions during severe weather. Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) director Paulo Martins Chan and Labour Affairs Bureau officials on Friday called a meeting with the gambling hub’s six major casino operators to “pass on the demands of employees” over safety, work hours and other matters, according to a DICJ statement released by the Government Information Bureau. Chan urged the operators to “actively assist labour and management in optimising and improving the work arrangements of gaming employees”, it said. He also said casino operators should handle “reasonable absence” from work in a “humane” way. The DICJ meeting followed the release of a series of employee complaints and cellphone videos published on labour activist social media outlets, including several videos showing casino staff at one US-owned casino reacting angrily to unilaterally extended rosters and other changes.  Some of the social media outlets included commentary and responses from angry purported employees that used racist Chinese terms to describe white managers. The DICJ on Friday reiterated that it will “scrutinise the safety of employees travelling to and from work during typhoons, as well as their work arrangements, rest periods and family needs”. The statement did not cite individual company responses to the DICJ instructions, instead quoting the companies as a whole as saying the safety of their employees is “paramount” and that the experience of Typhoon Hato will lead to improvements in communication between managers and staff. Trade unions in Macau have complained for years about what they see as irregular and/or unreasonable decisions by casino companies when dealing with staff rosters during severe weather. But it took the worst storm in some 50 years in Macau for the authorities to take employee dissatisfaction seriously enough to call in company executives to deal with the matter.  Following a separate meeting with the DICJ and trade unions on Friday, the Labour Affairs Bureau said both it and the DICJ will continue to collect employee feedback to direct to casino operators. The statement also noted new union demands, including the closure of “some” gaming tables at every casino upon the hoisting of typhoon signal No. 8, the second-highest storm warning in Macau. The union representatives also called for reasonable time allowances for starting work once the No. 8 signal is cancelled, as well as appropriate additional rest and remuneration. Although Typhoon Hato proved to be the most disruptive storm for Macau in decades, August still amounted to a fourth consecutive month of year-on-year growth exceeding 20 percent. Casino revenue rose 20.4 percent to 22.676bn patacas ($2.81bn) for the month, according to DICJ figures released late last week, bringing cumulative growth for the first eight months of the year to 172bn patacas, or a 19.1 percent increase over the same period last year.
In a surprise move, Paddy Power Betfair Group has announced the resignation of its chief executive Breon Corcoran, to be replaced by a Worldpay executive. Corcoran, 46, will be succeeded by Peter Jackson, who has been CEO of the UK unit of the payments group since March, the company said today. As CEO of Betfair, Corcoran weathered an opportunistic 2013 takeover bid from a leveraged-buyout group, turned around the company’s lagging stock price and led Betfair to a  merger  with his former employer, Paddy Power. “Breon has been talking with me and the board about his long-term plans and accordingly, some months ago, we intensified our focus on executive succession planning to ensure an orderly transition,” said Paddy Power Betfair chairman Gary McGann. “This was a very difficult decision to make, and there is never a good time to leave, but this is the right decision for me and my family, and following the successful completion of the merger integration it is an opportune time for the business too,” Corcoran said in a statement. Jackson, 41, is currently CEO of the UK unit of payments group Worldpay. He was previously CEO of Travelex, and held positions at Banco Santander, HBOS and Lloyds Banking Group. He has been a non-executive director at Paddy Power Betfair since last year, and had been a director of Betfair since 2013. Worldpay is in talks with Vantiv about a takeover by the US-based payment processor. The announcement today followed a Sky News’ report on Saturday that Paddy Power Betfair had hired an executive search firm to seek a replacement for Corcoran. Spencer Stuart has been advising the company on its search, according to Sky. During his previous career at Paddy Power, Corcoran helped shape the company’s successful online offering and develop the company’s mobile platform. Paddy Power Betfair also gave a glimpse of its first-half earnings, which are due to be reported on Tuesday. For the six months ended June 30, 2017, it will report revenue growth of 9 percent and underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation growth of 21 percent. It will also confirm that trading is in line with expectations and provide guidance for full-year 2017 underlying EBITDA of between £445m and £465m, Paddy Power Betfair said. Despite the forecast of solid trading results, the surprise resignation of its CEO saw shares in Paddy Power Betfair fall 5.9 percent to 7,450 pence by time of publication this morning.
The Nevada Gaming Commission has scheduled a hearing for later this month on the confidentiality of board and commission employee records, while regulators also consider proposed changes to regulations governing club venues. The gaming commission will hold a hearing on August 24 to consider adopting, amending or rejecting an amendment to Nevada Gaming Commission  Regulation 2  concerning Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) and commission employee records. “To make it clear records concerning board and commission employees are confidential; and to take such additional action as may be necessary and proper to effectuate these stated purposes,” the proposed amendment states. Currently, in Nevada, information on public officials such as salary disclosure or any documents used in negotiations with an employee hiring is considered confidential under  state law . “I’m 99.9 percent sure it’s just a housekeeping measure to make sure we are in compliance with the state mandated rule,” said A.G. Burnett, chairman of the NGCB. How employment records are handled depends on the state in which a person is employed. In Massachusetts, most regulations regarding confidentiality of its board and commission employees fall under the  Massachusetts Public Records Law  and the Open Meeting Law, with minor exceptions. Those exceptions mainly apply to applications for licenses and documents with respect to gaming investigations undertaken by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Mark Hichar, an attorney with Hinckley Allen in Boston, said the laws in place in Massachusetts are fairly standard when it comes to what type of information can be considered confidential. “In terms of public record, bank account numbers, social security numbers, the names and addresses of your kids, all that can be considered confidential,” Hichar said. Massachusetts law provides confidentiality on “personal and medical files, data relating to specifically named individuals or unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” The Louisiana Gaming Control Board’s regulations dealing with employee records are included in a  public records law  that is similar to that of Massachusetts. Meanwhile, the NGCB continues to receive industry input on proposed changes to regulations governing the operations of club venues at casinos and independent agents. Proposed changes to  Regulation 5  would give the board chairman, A.G. Burnett, “additional discretion in determining which venues require regulation as a club venture.” According to the proposed revision, the NGCB may require any venue that holds more than 12 events in a calendar year to register as a club venue. Nevada gaming regulators also want to clarify who is responsible for compliance with club venue employee regulations, and modify registration filing and renewal. The update to Regulation 5 is six pages and includes a section updating who needs to be registered to work at a club venue, including any person who provides hosting or VIP services, bartenders and bar backs, restroom attendants, and security and surveillance personnel. In a letter sent to NGCB member Shawn Reid, Nevada Resort Association (NRA) president Virginia Valentine said her main concern was with “the number of events which are allowed before a non-club venue is treated as a club venue.” “There are non-club venues that may technically fall within the definition of a club venue on occasion,” Valentine said. The NRA is proposing an increase in the number of events a non-club venue may host before it is treated as a club venue, along with minor amendment changes to current  legislation . Valentine also argued it would be very costly to register all employees who might work a special event. Valentine said that employee registration, increased security and extensive surveillance coverage throughout a non-club facility are some factors that raise cost for non-club venues such as restaurants and bars that may occasionally charge admission or designate an area for dancing. “The [NRA] appreciates [the board’s] willingness to be flexible in continuing to exclude those venues from the requirements … under appropriate circumstances,” Valentine said.
Caesars Entertainment has made several key hires to steer its growth outside of gaming, with Marco Roca and Michael Daly joining the team, while in Europe Diane Dalli has been chosen as the new group chief financial officer for online sportsbook Wetten. Europe The governing body of equestrian sports in Ireland has appointed  Ronan Murphy  as its new chief executive officer. He replaces Damian McDonald at the head of the body that regulates Irish horse racing. “I am looking forward to working closely with all our stakeholders to deliver our strategic plans, build a sustainable industry and to ensure the continued success of the Irish sport horse sector around the world,” said Murphy. Diane Dalli  has been chosen as the new group chief financial officer for online sportsbook Wetten. She joins the German-serving operator after a period as CFO at EveryMatrix, having also worked at Evolution Gaming and the Nordic Gaming Group. The Sports Integrity Global Alliance has installed Italian  Franco Frattini  as its new independent chair. He will combine the role with his position as a justice and chamber president to the Italian Supreme Administrative Court. Frattini has formerly served as Italian Foreign Minister in Berlusconi administration.   North America   Galaxy Gaming has appointed  Todd Cravens  as the company’s CEO, replacing Robert Saucier , who founded the Las Vegas-based table game company and whose license application was pulled earlier this month in Nevada. Cravens, who joined Galaxy in January as vice president of business development, was CEO of the Americas for TCS John Huxley. Saucier remains with Galaxy Gaming as a director and vice president of business development and chief product officer.  Caesars Entertainment has made several key hires to lead its push to grow outside of gaming. "We have great opportunities to accelerate our top line growth by taking advantage of our significantly reduced balance sheet leverage and strong free cash flow profile," says CEO Mark Frissora.  Marco Roca  joins Caesars as president of global development. Rocca has a long track record in hotel and gaming development, including a recent stint at Hard Rock International.  Michael Daly  joins Caesars as a senior vice president of strategy and merger and acquisitions. He worked previously at GE Capital, where he was responsible for strategy, M&A and corporate development. Ryan Zinke, secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, appointed  Dr. Gavin Clarkson  as the new deputy assistant secretary for policy and economic development — Indian affairs within the Office of the Assistant Secretary — Indian Affairs. Clarkson is a citizen of The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.   Lynn Slaby  has joined the Ohio Casino Control Commission as its newest member, following his recent appointment by Governor John Kasich. Slaby replaces former Commissioner Martin Hoke, who elected not to seek reappointment. Commissioner Slaby’s term expires in February 2021. Everi Holdings, a Las Vegas-based provider of gaming products and payments solutions, announced that  Juliet A. Lim , executive vice president, payments business leader, has been named to the Canadian Gaming Association’s Board of Directors. Everi recently expanded its Canadian cash access capabilities to include ATM services for the first time. Caesars Entertainment has replaced its top executive in Atlantic City after Rick Mazer, regional president since 2013, left the company. Caesars said Mazer was immediately replaced by  Kevin Ortzman  who will oversee Bally’s Caesars and Harrah’s Resorts. Since 2012, Ortzman has been president of Bally’s and Caesars and is president of the New Jersey Casino Association and on the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority board. An MGM Resorts International executive will become the next president of Atlantic City’s Borgata casino. The Las Vegas-based company named  Marcus Glover  as president and chief operating officer of the Borgata. He will succeed Tom Ballance, who is becoming executive vice president of operations for MGM Resorts. Glover will take over after he obtains the necessary approval from New Jersey casino regulators. Glover joined MGM in 2015, serving as general manager and then president and chief operating officer of Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Shawn G. Williams  has been named chief human resources officer at Scientific Games, reporting to CEO Kevin Sheehan. Williams’ appointment follows the retirement of Gary Melampy. Williams will be responsible for developing and executing Scientific Games' global human resource strategy, focusing on talent management, change management, organizational and performance management, training and development, compensation, succession planning, and culture.    Asia   Sands China has appointed eclectic Chinese businessman  Wang Sing  to its board as an independent non-executive director. Sing, 53, is a standing committee member of the Yunnan Province Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Wang is vice general manager of investment services provider CMIG Capital Company, executive chairman of Evolution Media China and chairman of Texas Kang Kai Group. He previously worked with Goldman Sachs and HSBC. Aristocrat Leisure is searching for a new CFO after  Toni Korsanos  cited family reasons for not joining CEO Trevor Croker in an executive move from Sydney to Las Vegas early next year. Korsanos has been in the post since mid-2007. Croker said he “deeply” regretted but respected the decision, according to an ASX filing on July 11. The Australian wing of Aruze Gaming has appointed former Interblock, Ainsworth Game Technology and IGT veteran  Cameron Louis  as general manager, effective July 10. He was most recently senior vice president for Asia-Pacific at Interblock.   Middle East   The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) has selected  Michael Hershmanas the group CEO. Hershman, an award-winning ethics expert, joins the ICSS in its fifth year of existence. “This is a significant day for me and the ICSS. Michael is a highly-respected figure who has operated at the very highest levels in both the security and integrity fields and I am honoured and delighted to have him join as Group CEO at an important period of growth for our organisation,” said ICSS founder, Mohammed Hanzab.
Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission (BCGC) executive director Richard Schuetz has resigned for “personal and professional reasons” less than two years after taking the position and just as the country prepares to issue its first gaming license. On Tuesday, the commission confirmed Schuetz’s resignation, but said he plans to continue to serve in his current capacity until the end of the year and will assist in identifying candidates to replace him. “We understand and support his decision to step down and are grateful for his assistance in positioning the commission and its staff for future growth,” said Alan Dunch, chairman of the gaming commission. Dunch said his immediate priority will be to implement a search process to hire a new executive director. He added that Schuetz would use his remaining time on the commission to “ensure the Hamilton Princess response to the (request for proposal) for a provisional gaming license is appropriately handled without any disruption.” Schuetz was unavailable for comment Tuesday, but said in a statement it was a privilege to work with the commission “to create a viable casino industry.” Schuetz gave his notice before the July 18 General Election to the commission chairman. But the news was not made public in an effort to avoid it becoming “part of the clamour surrounding the political campaigns.” It was also held until after the July 21 deadline for would-be Bermudian casino operators to file their  request for proposals  (RFPs) with the commission.  Last week, the BCGC announced that Hamilton Princess Casino Limited Company had submitted its application before the deadline. The company is proposing a fully-funded casino as an addition to its existing operations within the Hamilton Princess Beach Club. Details of Hamilton’s proposal remain confidential until the company makes a formal presentation at the BCGC public hearing on September 22. Dunch said the meeting is another important step towards “realizing the public policy goals of the Casino Act.” Along with its application, Hamilton submitted a $600,000 fee. Assuming the BCGC approves Hamilton’s RFP, they will then be required to pay a $1.4m provisional license fee and a $1m casino fee before construction begins.   Up to four casino licenses may be awarded in total under Bermuda’s  Casino Gaming Act , which was first passed in 2014 and amended last year.  Schuetz joined the BCGC in September 2015. During his time in office, he helped refine Bermuda’s gaming legislation and regulatory scheme to prepare the country for its own casino marketplace. Prior to coming to BCGC, Schuetz worked for four years with the California Gambling Control Commission. He also served as president and CEO of the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and a board member of manufacturer Shuffle Master.  Schuetz is no stranger to controversy. Schuetz filed a defamation suit in May against an Australian gaming expert over comments made in an e-mail. The BCGC did not discuss the status of the defamation lawsuit in its statement announcing Schuetz’s resignation. After a year-long investigation, the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) in April notified Schuetz that it had completed its investigation into a compliant over failing to disclose travel payments. In a  case closure letter , the FPPC wrote it “did not find any evidence that you were required to report any payments other than those already reported on your annual Statements of Economic Interests.”  “The payments that were not reported for travel to various conferences either fell into the category of self-funded, not attended, or paid for by the State of California. Therefore, we are closing this matter.”  
The head of junket lobby the Macau Gaming Information Association (MGIA) has received another suspended jail sentence, this time for defaming two people on his defunct name-and-shame website over unrecovered VIP gambling debt. The Court of First Instance last week sentenced MGIA chairman Charlie Choi, 45, to six months in prison and ordered him to pay 20,000 patacas ($2,500) in restitution for defaming a former male co-worker and the latter’s girlfriend on the Wonderful World website from 2013. The jail sentence, which confirmed a lower court’s ruling, was suspended for 18 months. The Wonderful World website operator was found to have defamed the co-worker by publishing his photograph and personal details in October 2013 and accusing him of stealing 8m patacas ($994,000) from the company. In August of the following year, Choi repeated the allegation and released the plaintiff’s home address and a photo of him and his girlfriend, alleging the plaintiff was cheating people while gambling heavily in various casinos in Macau and that his girlfriend was assisting him. Choi reposted the material on Facebook and other social media outlets, the court ruled, leading to the plaintiffs’ “distress, annoyance, dejection and anxiety”.  Speaking to reporters outside the court after the verdict, Choi said the courts are providing no assistance to those attempting to recover gambling debt. “Instead, it’s the victims who are owed money who are in the wrong,” he said. “This state of affairs is entirely legal in Macau.” “The gaming industry in Macau is legal, so how can this be? I don’t understand this at all.” Choi was previously convicted in 2015 for privacy law violations and defying the court over the  website’s operations , resulting in a six-month jail sentence suspended for two years. He has consistently denied he had control over the website and is appealing that ruling. Wonderful World was an online forum largely devoted to recovering gambling debt. To prompt repayment, the site would publish personal gambler details such as names, photographs and amounts owed, as well as their contact and location details if available and those of family members and friends. Repayment would see the individual debtor’s case file struck from the website, but substantial rewards were also offered in some cases for information on locating debtors. The website was notable for being the first public forum to announce the notorious and junket industry-destabilising  theft of at least $1bn in cash and gambling debt  by Huang Shan, an associate of the now-defunct junket operator Kimren. Despite his conviction, Choi went on to  co-found the MGIA  and has served as its first chairman, with a number of influential industry figures on board, including gaming industry financier Tony Tong as co-vice chairman, former chief gaming crime investigator Kwok Chi Chung, and Macau Polytechnic Institute gaming scholar Zeng Zhonglu. Tong on Wednesday said the MGIA will not be affected by the court’s decision. “I think the MGIA should function as normal, that’s Charlie’s personal matter,” he told GamblingCompliance. Another MGIA vice chairman, Zhang Zheng, located Huang Shan in Cambodia last year and  transported him to a hotel in Vietnam , where junket owners and other investors were invited to travel to attempt to recover their missing funds. The MGIA has lobbied the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), Macau’s gambling regulator, to approve the formation of a database blacklist of VIP gambling debtors for use by the city’s junkets. The DICJ has yet to rule on the matter. Meanwhile, the MGIA mobile phone application on Monday and Wednesday released photographs and the purported name of a man alleged to have defaulted on gambling debt, warning VIP rooms not to issue him with markers. “This man gambles in Macau. When he wins he gets more money, when he loses he reneges even more on what he owes,” words accompanying the image say, although the amount allegedly owed by the man is not shown. It was not immediately clear if the publication of this pared-back name-and-shame material constituted a potential new breach of Macau’s privacy law.
The ramifications of criminal investigations and arrests are being felt at the executive level in Asia-Pacific, while in the United States a former Las Vegas mayor joins Caesars' board and in Europe a continental trade association has elected a new president.   Europe   Novomatic’s online gambling subsidiary Greentube has announced the appointment of  Trevor De Giorgio  as chief legal officer. Having been with the company for the past seven years, De Giorgio has previously acted as both managing director of Greentube Malta and international compliance manager for Greentube Austria. The European Gaming and Amusement Federation (Euromat) has elected  Jason Frost  as its new president. The former president of Bacta, the UK's low-stakes gaming and amusements trade association, is joined at the European trade body by  Uwe Christiansen  and  Mirjana Acimovic  as vice president and treasurer respectively. Hard Rock International has announced the appointment of three key executives:  Jon Lucas  has been installed as chief operating officer, having served as executive vice president of hotel and operations, and is joined by  Dale Hipsh  who becomes senior vice president and new hire  Sean Caffery , who will lead the company’s quest to find development opportunities in North and South America. Online bingo operator Jackpotjoy has appointed  Irina Cornides  as its new CEO. She moves over from Intertain Bahamas, a Jackpotjoy subsidiary which manages its operating assets, where she was chief revenue officer. "I am very excited about this role,” said Cornides. “Although Jackpotjoy is already the leading bingo brand in the UK, we have big plans to further enhance player experience and grow the business.”   North America   Jerry Bowskill  has been named chief technology officer of Amaya Inc., and will be responsible for the overall technology performance and strategy of the online gaming business. Bowskill will report to CEO Rafi Ashkenazi and lead a team of about 300 developers worldwide.  The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA) has appointed former Las Vegas mayor and current Caesars Entertainment executive  Jan Jones Blackhurst  to its board of directors. Blackhurst is the second person to join the LVGEA’s board of directors from the gaming industry. MGM Resorts International senior vice president and chief sustainability officer  Cindy Ortega  was recently added to the board.   Golden Entertainment named Montana native  Travis Woltermann  vice president of operations for Golden Route Operations Montana, the company’s distributed gaming subsidiary in the state. In his new position, Woltermann will oversee relationships with current bar/tavern and casino partners while working to expand the division’s operations.  Jamie K. Black , a senior research specialist and investigations division agent for the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) since 2014, will now lead the agency’s administrative division. Black will replace  Sally Elloyan , an NGCB employee since 1988. Elloyan retires August 2. Black is also a former U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit law clerk and a domestic violence staff attorney with Washoe Legal Services. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission has approved the appointment of five directors of Caesars Entertainment Corporation, as part of its ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. The board has approved:  Thomas M. Benninger ,  John M. Boushy ,  John M. Dionne ,  James S. Hunt , and  Marilyn G. Spiegel . Amaya has confirmed the promotion of  David Carrion  to the leadership position of director of marketing for its PokerStars division. Carrion has been involved with PokerStars marketing and operations since 2010, joining the online poker room under the management of Rational Group. Prior to being appointed PokerStars director of marketing, Carrion served as group director of Performance Marketing, spearheading Amaya's player acquisition strategies and initiatives.   Asia-Pacific  Fallout from the Universal Entertainment  suspension of and probe  into its own boss,  Kazuo Okada , is continuing, with the company removing Okada as a director in elections on Thursday. Philippine subsidiary and Okada Manila casino-resort operator Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment also removed Okada from its board on June 16. He was replaced as chairman by board member  Justice Manuel Lazaro . Reuters on Monday reported that Okada has sued his estranged son, daughter and board-member wife in a Hong Kong court to try to regain power over his empire. Macau gaming patriarch  Stanley Ho  has retired as group chairman and executive director of key Hong Kong-Macau company Shun Tak Holdings after 44 years and has been replaced by daughter  Pansy Ho , according to a June 23 Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing. The ailing Stanley Ho, who is no longer seen in public, was awarded the title of chairman emeritus. Billionaire Pansy Ho, 54, is the most powerful of Ho’s many children and has numerous politically significant committee and chamber appointments in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as numerous business interests, including the co-chairmanship of MGM China. She takes up the new post after a long period as managing director. Former Crown Resorts chairman  Robert Rankin  resigned as a director of the company on June 21, a company filing to the Australian Securities Exchange said. Rankin was chairman from August 2015 to January this year but  fell victim  to a major management restructuring in the wake of the arrest of the company’s China-based staff and visiting executives. On June 30, Crown also announced the departure of company secretary  Michael Neilson . His replacement  Mary Manos  will also become general counsel, the filing said. Following Chinese online lottery services provider 500.com’s  substantial takeover  of Melco Group lottery subsidiary MelcoLot, hedge fund director  Wang Bingzhong  and internet marketer  Wu Jian  were named MelcoLot executive directors on June 19, according to a Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing.  Huang Lilan , a financial director of a 500.com subsidiary and former Ernst & Young auditor, was appointed MelcoLot CFO on June 6.
Personnel Moves - May 2017   A radical overhaul of the British Horseracing Authority, controversial casino executive Jack Lam departing Jimei International and some changes at the top for Pinnacle are among the staff shake-ups taking place across the gambling industry.  Europe The UK Gambling Commission has confirmed that David Pemberton is to become its new chief operating officer. ... North America Anthony Sanfilippo has been elected chairman of the board at Pinnacle Entertainment, succeeding James Martineau. Sanfilippo will continue in his position as chief executive of Pinnacle and Martineau will continue as an independent director on the company's board. Charles L. Atwood has been appointed to the newly-created position of lead independent director. Sanfilippo joined Pinnacle in 2010. ... Middle East A pair of senior executive appointments has been confirmed at 888, as the online firm promotes two long-serving namesakes. Yaniv Schwartz, currently the head of B2B subsidiary Dragonfish, will become senior vice president, head of customer risk management. ... Asia-Pacific Jack Lam, the wanted gaming and property mogul whose Fontana casino-resort in the Philippines was raided and shut down in November, resigned as chairman and executive director of his Hong Kong-listed gaming vehicle Jimei International Entertainment on May 31. ...  To read the full content,  click here . 
Personnel Moves - April 2017   The departures continue at William Hill, as a busy month for European hiring is joined by casino movement in North America and Asia. Europe Sportech is set to begin the hunt for a new chairman of the board, after industry veteran and current chairman Roger Withers announced that he will be retiring and stepping down from his role at the company’s next annual general meeting on May 24. ... North America Kewadin Casinos named Ron Olson its new CEO, the Sault Ste. Marie-based tribal enterprise announced. Olson replaces Mike Olujic , who left after less than one year for other opportunities. Olson joins Kewadin after serving as CEO of Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise for three years in North Dakota. ... Asia-Pacific Las Vegas Sands’ Macau subsidiary Sands China has named Dave Sun MinQi as senior vice president and CFO of the company, according to an April 24 stock market filing. ...  To read the full content, click here.