Personnel Moves - December 2021

January 4, 2022
Senior officials depart the Malta Gaming Authority, a trio of appointments at the Florida gaming regulator and Wynn Macau names its new CEO.




Yanica Sant, the general counsel of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), has resigned from her role at the regulator to take up a position in the private sector. She will remain in office until February 2022, but will only “continue to fulfil functions that the MGA’s management consider to not give rise to any real or apparent conflict of interest”, the authority said.

The MGA also dismissed its chief technology office, Jason Farrugia, and issued a press release stating it no longer had any connection with its former top official over accusations that he had made improper use of regulatory data. The case has been referred to the police, according to MGA statements given to local media.

Swiss lottery and betting regulator Gespa has selected Jean-Michel Cina as its new president. He begins a four-year term by taking over from Jean-François Roth, who had served as president since Gespa, under its original name of Comlot, was founded in 2006. Gespa has also appointed Mirjam Webber and Pascal Mahon to its board, replacing the outgoing Bruno Erni and Jean-Marc Rapp.

Meanwhile at Switzerland’s casino gambling regulator, ESBK, Thomas Fritschi has been appointed as the new head of the secretariat. Ruedi Schneider, who has been leading the regulator on an interim basis, will return to her role as deputy director from April 1.

The Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) has added three external experts to a board that advises it on the running of its self-exclusion system CRUKS, which endured a rocky start to the opening of the country’s reformed online market in October last year. Bas Brones, a lived-experience problem gambling expert; Mieke Hoste, a clinical psychologist; and Marcel Marijnissen, an addiction specialist, have joined the panel.

The Labour Party, the UK’s largest opposition party, has chosen Lucy Powell as its new shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport. The party has also appointed a deputy with specific responsibility for scrutinising the government’s gambling policy, in the form of Alex Davies-Jones. The pair will shadow the DCMS ministers as they complete the high-stakes review of the country’s Gambling Act.

Tom Byrne is to become the new head of racing and betting at the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) from February. The new role replaces the position of head of racing and racecourse, previously held by Paul Johnson, who is leaving to join the National Trainers Federation as its new chief executive. The new role incorporates a greater degree of interaction with the betting industry, the BHA said. The group also announced that regulatory specialist Raj Parker has been appointed to its board as an independent non-executive director.

Global gambling giant Flutter has reworked its Risk Committee into the Risk and Sustainability Committee, adding a responsibility for environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, as well as material risks. Atif Rafiq, formerly of MGM Resorts, has also been appointed as an independent non-exec director and a member of the new committee.

UK gambling operator Rank Group has appointed Richard Harris as its chief financial officer, starting from May 1. Simon Hay, current director of group finance, will step in as interim CFO from January 1, the company said. Harris joins from estate agents Foxtons.

Scout Gaming has selected Niklas Jönsson as its new CFO. He joins the Sweden-headquartered company from January 10, having had previous gambling industry experience at Global Gaming 555 and Evolution Gaming Malta.

Paul Carpenter has dramatically resigned from his position as director representing greyhound owners on the Greyhound Board of Great Britain. In an open letter announcing his departure, he blamed oversized influence on the board from directors representing operator Entain and track owner Arena Racing Company (ARC).

Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) founder Lee Willows has been appointed as a non-executive director at responsible gambling consultants Better Change. “It is a real privilege to be joining the talented team at Better Change. Its founder and I have known each other for several years and what I am particularly impressed by is Better Change’s mission and values as a social business,” said Willows, who left YGAM after seven years in October 2021.


North America


Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has appointed Julie Imanuel Brown, Michael Yaworsky and Charles Drago to the Florida Gaming Control Commission, naming Brown as chair and Yaworsky as vice chair. Brown, of Tampa, is secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and Yaworsky, of Tallahassee, is chief of state at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Drago, of Chuluota, is founder and president of Drago Professional Consultants.

The board of directors of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association (ICGA) has appointed Thomas A. Thanas to serve as executive directors of the association. Thanas replaces long-time executive director Thomas F. Swoik who served in that position since 2002. Prior to joining the ICGA, Thanas severed for 23 years as corporation counsel and city manager of the city of Joliet, including negotiating agreements that brought two riverboat casinos to the city in 1992 and 1993.

Everi Holdings has appointed CEO Michael Rumbolz to the position of executive chairman of the board and promoted current chief operating officer Randy Taylor to replace Rumbolz as CEO. Taylor was also appointed to the company’s board of directors.

James Siva has been re-elected chairman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA), while Isaiah Vivanco was re-elected as treasurer. Siva is also the vice-chairman of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and Vivanco serves as chairman of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians. Additionally, Russell Witt of Incredible Technologies was re-elected as the associate member representative position on CNIGA’s executive committee.

The National Council on Problem Gambling has hired Cait Huble as director of communications. Huble originally served as NCPG’s first communications manager from 2017 to 2019 and returns to the organization to lead communications strategy, including public awareness and education, media relations, and brand partnerships. This expansion of NCPG’s communications team serves as one of the capacity-building initiatives outlined in the $6.2m grant from the National Football League Foundation (NFLF). In this role, Huble will be responsible for managing national information campaigns including public service announcements and the website

Greg Billings has been appointed CEO of Wynn Macau and take over the position once current Wynn Macau CEO Matt Maddox leaves by the end of January. Billings is also replacing Maddox as CEO of Wynn Resorts. He will assume the role of executive director at the end of January, while Maddox will continue as a non-executive director through the end of 2022.

Wynn Resorts has also appointed Julie Cameron-Doe as its new chief financial officer. Cameron-Doe will join the company after three years as CFO at Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. She replaces Billings.

The Strategy Organization, a gaming and hospitality consulting firm, has named Seth Young as managing partner. Young currently serves as the chief strategy officer at Fifth Street Gaming Digital, joining the Las Vegas-based company from PointsBet, where he most recently served as the company’s chief innovation officer and remains an advisor.

The Nevada Gaming Commission has approved the license application of Felicia Rae Hendrix as executive vice president and chief financial officer with Penn National Gaming.

Seneca Gaming Corporation has named Craig Clark as the company’s new chief operating officer. Clark will be responsible for overall business efficiency, including driving profitability and growth at Seneca’s three upstate New York casinos. Clark will collaborate with Seneca president and CEO Kevin Nephew to develop and implement an overall strategic plan for the business.

Galaxy Gaming has appointed Cheryl Kondra to its board of directors. Kondra currently serves as vice president of international audit at Tractor Supply Company, the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States. Prior to Tractor Supply, she had an extensive career in gaming, having served as the vice president of internal audit and chief compliance officer at Pinnacle Entertainment and as the chief audit executive at Caesars Entertainment.

Inspired Entertainment has named Suki Sandhu as its new director of iGaming product development. Sandhu’s responsibilities include the innovation, delivery, and growth of the company’s product lines, including Virtual Plug & Play online and mobile, interactive games and iLottery. Prior to joining Inspired Entertainment, he was an executive with BetBull, where he helped with the relaunch of WynnBET in 2021.




Wynn Macau has named Wynn Resorts CFO and CEO-designate Craig Billings as its CEO, effective from February 1. A December 5 company filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange said Billings will also change his board status from non-executive director to executive director. Outgoing group CEO Matt Maddox will shift from executive director to non-executive director of Wynn Macau and hold his new post until December 31 this year.

Two directors of Vladivostok casino operator Summit Ascent resigned within a week of the late November arrest in Macau of Summit Ascent’s beneficial owner, junket supremo Alvin Chau. Non-executive directors Philip Wong Pak Ling and U Chio Ieong resigned on December 2 and December 6, respectively.

Ainsworth Game Technology (AGT) CEO Harald Neumann resigned as company director on December 22, according to a company filing with the Australian Securities Exchange. Neumann will remain as CEO. His resignation “ensures AGT’s compliance with governance best practices with a majority of independent, non-executive directors on the Board”, it said.

Australian casino operator Crown Resorts on December 22 named Bronwyn Weir as group company secretary, replacing Craig Durham after his resignation. Weir was Durham’s deputy and has been with Crown since March 2021. She previously served as company secretary for Ardent Leisure Group. Interim company secretary Alan McGregor will remain in his post until Weir receives various regulatory approvals.


Senior officials depart the Malta Gaming Authority, a trio of appointments at the Florida gaming regulator and Wynn Macau names its new CEO.

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