Personnel Moves - August 2021

September 2, 2021
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A major staff shakeup is taking place at GambleAware, Massachusetts has appointed a new regulator and Crown Resorts continues to shed staff amid ongoing controversy.

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Europe

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GambleAware has made a pair of senior appointments as part of what it says is an “extensive restructure”. New chief commissioning officer Anna Hargrave joins with 13 years of commissioning experience in the NHS, building on her experience of working with government departments and senior charity industry figures. Alexia Clifford, a former marketing director at Public Health England, will also be joining the industry-funded charity, as its chief communications officer.

GambleAware has made a range of other new hires. The charity said it had also appointed a new research, information and knowledge director, head of programme and project management, prevention and evaluation leads and a fundraising and engagement manager.

Betting supplier Sportech has announced that its CEO, Richard McGuire, and CFO, Tom Hearne, will be leaving the company on September 9. Two of their fellow executives will be promoted to fill the vacant roles, with ex-COO Andrew Lindley becoming CEO and current group financial controller Nicola Rowlands stepping into the role of CFO.

Denmark and Sweden-centric online casino operator CEGO has appointed Allan Aunin-Hansen as its new chief executive officer. Auning-Hansen joins from hospitality brand Joe and the Juice, but has previously held a senior management role at the Danish state-owned gambling operator, Danske Spil.

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North America

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David Farahi, assumed by many analysts to be the heir apparent to his father John Farahi, as CEO, has left Monarch Casino. He is being replaced by Michelle Shriver, who will carry the title of corporate vice president of operations. David Farahi has held the title of COO for the past nine years. He is leaving the Reno-based company to pursue business interests outside of gaming and hospitality.

Republican Representative Brad Hill has been named to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). Hill will assume the MGC seat vacated by Bruce Stebbins, who was named to the state’s Cannabis Control Commission at the start of the year. Hill will fill the remainder of the term, which runs into 2025. Hill was elected to the Massachusetts House in 1998, appointed minority whip in 2009 and became assistant minority leader in 2015.

Genius Sports Ltd. has hired Steven Bornstein in the newly created executive role of president, North America. Bornstein will oversee the company’s U.S. and Canadian activities. Prior to joining Genius Sports, Bornstein spent 20 years at ESPN and ABC. He was also president, CEO and founder of the NFL Network.

Rush Street Interactive has promoted co-founder and president Richard Schwartz to chief executive officer and Greg Carlin has been named vice chairman. Schwartz, who co-founded Rush Street Interactive in 2012 and has served as the company’s president since inception, will also join the online casino and sports betting company’s board of directors.

FanDuel has hired Brian Borkowski as senior vice president, marketing. Borkowski joined FanDuel from the streaming service Hulu and will oversee the company’s customer acquisition, media, and lifecycle marketing. He will report to FanDuel CEO Mike Raffensperger.

Problem gambling prevention specialist Dan Trolaro has joined EPIC Risk Management as vice president of prevention. Previously, Trolaro was assistant executive director at the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey where he worked to reduce the impact of gambling-related harms through training, strategic advisory and state-specific prevention programming.

Playstudios has brought Stephanie Rosol on board as its first chief people performance officer. Rosol, who previously consulted with Playstudios, will partner with company executives in cultural, coaching and development, diversity, organizational design, and philanthropy initiatives. During her career, Rosol has worked for Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts and Skye Coaching & Consulting.

The company also brought on board Jason Hahn as its new executive vice president and head of corporate business development. Hahn has more than 15 years of experience in strategic and financial planning, mergers and acquisitions with companies including J.P. Morgan Entertainment Industries Group, NBC Universal, and Rothschild Inc. Most recently, Hahn work at Activision Blizzard’s esports division.

Sightline Payments have named Patricia “Patty” Becker to the company’s recently formed compliance committee to further strengthen its regulatory protocols. Becker, who was the first woman to serve on the Nevada Gaming Control Board, will serve as an independent expert specializing in critical compliance and regulatory issues.

Global Gaming Women (GGW) has elected Cassie Stratford as board president by the board of directors. She currently serves as vice president of legal affairs and assistant general counsel for Boyd Gaming.

GGW also added five new members to its board of directors whose terms will run through 2023. They are Dorothy Costa, senior vice president of people and transformation at IGT; Jacqueline Grace, senior vice president and general manager Caesars Entertainment; Grainne Hurst, director corporate affairs with Entain Group; Siobhan Lane, chief commercial officer at Scientific Games; and Kate White, vice president of business intelligence and IT program management with Penn National Gaming.

Vancouver-based sports betting and game technology supplier FansUnite Entertainment have named Michael Lee as vice president of gaming. Lee, the former CEO of Genesis Gaming, will direct the company’s efforts towards expanding its portfolio of online gaming products, as well as create the company’s global distribution strategy for its online casino technology.

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Asia/Pacific

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Australian casino operator Crown Resorts’ era of turmoil continued last month with the resignation of Xavier Walsh as Crown Melbourne CEO, following disparaging commentary on his performance by counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Crown’s activities in Victoria state. Group CEO Steve McCann, in office since June 1, took over Walsh’s duties on August 20, according to an Australian Securities Exchange filing.

On August 26, Crown announced the retirement of Helen Coonan as chairman and the appointment of former Telstra and Optus communications companies' CEO Ziggy Switkowski in her stead, pending regulatory approvals. Non-executive director Jane Halton is interim chairman. On August 27, former SkyCity deputy chairman Bruce Carter began work as a non-executive director at Crown after receiving regulatory approvals.

Australian wagering and lottery giant Tabcorp Holdings announced on August 25 that former Galaxy Entertainment Group and Crown Resorts marketing executive Janette Kendall formally commenced duties as non-executive director that day, after acting as an observer since last September 21. Kendall has multiple directorships and previously served on the boards of Australian media group Nine Entertainment and Wellcom Group.

New Zealand and Australian casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group announced on August 23 the retirement of board member Murray Jordan, effective September 30. Jordan was appointed to the board in December 2016 and focused on hospitality and MICE operations. A replacement is yet to be named.

The online skill gaming lobby All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) has named senior central government public servant PK Misra as president of its Players’ Association advisory group. Misra is a former joint secretary in the defence ministry and additional secretary to the home ministry, among other positions in central and state governments. His role will be to “monitor the education, awareness, protection and grievance redressal of the online skill gaming community”, the AIGF said in an August 17 statement.

Casino operator Grand Korea Leisure on August 20 appointed Korean Casino Association vice chairman and cultural affairs public servant Kim Young-san as CEO for three years. Kim replaces Yoo Tae-yeol after the completion of his three-year term.

Canberra casino operator Aquis Entertainment’s chairman Tony Fung resigned as chairman and non-executive director on August 30. Fung, who acquired the company in 2015, said in a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange that a “conflict of interest” between his family’s role as “financial lender and majority shareholder” and the gaming industry’s growing focus on responsible gambling and combatting money laundering justified his retirement. The statement added that the company’s financial arrangements are unchanged. Independent non-executive director Russell Shields is interim chairman and is expected to take the position formally within weeks. On August 30, the company appointed chartered accountant Mark Purtill as an independent non-executive director to replace Shields.

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A major staff shakeup is taking place at GambleAware, Massachusetts has appointed a new regulator and Crown Resorts continues to shed staff amid ongoing controversy.

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