Personnel Moves – February 2023

March 4, 2023
Italy's gambling regulator has a new director, Bally's is to switch its CEO and Racing Australia's boss resigns in protest.




Italian civil servant Roberto Alesse was chosen as the new director of Italy’s Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM) which enforces the country’s gambling laws. Alesse replaced Marcello Minenna, who left his role at the end of January.

Erwin van Lambaart was selected by the board of the European Casino Association (ECA) at its recent General Assembly during ICE London 2023. He replaces Per Jaldung who stepped down as chairman following eight years at the helm of the ECA. Lambaart has been the CEO of Casinos Austria and Austrian Lotteries since March 2022.

Operator Entain has announced that Stella David will become chair of its Remuneration Committee and Rahul Welde will become a member of the Remuneration and Audit Committees.

Central and Eastern European-focused Superbet Group has named Hans-Holger Albrecht as its new chairman. Albrecht replaced Superbet founder Sacha Dragic as chairman at the end of February, with Dragic remaining a board member.

Malta-based B2B supplier Neatplay has appointed Carla Maree Vella as CEO. Vella has a raft of industry experience, including working for Betsson Group, where she held the position of managing director of the multi-market brand

UK-based online gambling firm Checkd Group has promoted Sam Turnock to the position of Finance Director. Turnock, who joined the company in 2019, will now manage all of the Group’s finances across its Checkd Media, Checkd Dev and Checkd International subsidiaries.


North America


Bally’s Corporation has announced that Lee Fenton will step down as CEO and be replaced by Robeson Reeves, who is currently president of Bally Interactive Division. Fenton, who became CEO of Bally’s on October 1, 2021, following the acquisition of Gamesys Group, will also step down from Bally’s board of directors. Prior to his current role with Bally Interactive, Reeves was chief operating officer of Gamesys.

Former Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) chairman Brin Gibson has returned to Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck in Las Vegas. Gibson left the law firm in 2020 when former Governor Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, named him as chair of the three-member NGCB. Gibson will be a shareholder in the firm where he'll work with clients on gaming matters, water, cybersecurity, and government relations.

Robert Ziems has joined PlayAGS Inc. as the company’s chief legal officer. He will lead the company’s legal and compliance affairs, as well as oversee Latin America and interactive business strategy. Ziems most recently served as president, global chief legal officer and corporate secretary for Aruze Gaming Group.

The International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG) has chosen Mark Lipparelli to be the new chairman of its governing board. Lipparelli replaces University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute Distinguished Fellow Alan Feldman, who will continue to serve as ICRG chair emeritus. Lipparelli is a former member of the Nevada Gaming Control Board and currently serves as board chairman of Galaxy Gaming.

The Nevada Resort Association (NRA), a casino industry trade group, has re-elected Wynn Resorts General Counsel Ellen Whittemore as chairwoman. Ayesha Molino, senior vice president of public affairs at MGM Resorts International, was elected vice chairwoman, while Boyd Gaming's senior vice president of government and industry affairs, Paul Anderson, was re-elected treasurer, and NRA CEO Virginia Valentine was re-elected secretary.

Republican state Representative Skyler Rude has been named an ex officio member of the Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC). He replaces fellow Republican Brandon Vick who announced in April 2022 he would not run for re-election, making his fifth term in the state legislature his last.

The members of the International Gaming Standards Association (IGSA) have chosen the members of their board of directors for 2023, who selected Earle Hall, president and CEO of, as chairman, and Nimish Purohit, global vice president of quality – gaming at Aristocrat Gaming, as vice chairman.

The other newly elected IGSA board members include Syed Hussain, chief information officer with the Oregon Lottery, Martin Pedak, director of technical compliance at Playtech, and Keshav Pitani, vice president of research and development with Light & Wonder.

Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) has named David Elmore as its head of commercial services for North American Casinos. The appointment marks Elmore’s second tenure at GLI. Previously, he served as division head of global sales and development for GLI’s Kobetron Division for 14 years.




Racing Australia director Robyn Whishaw has resigned from the board of the peak industry body after serving for 18 months in protest at unsolved issues of animal welfare, staff shortages and conflict between state racing authorities. Whishaw said the dominance of the New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria state racing authorities led to Racing Australia's “dysfunction” and “toxicity at meetings” amid the absence of a chairman for a year, The Age newspaper reported on February 15. The Tasracing (Tasmania state’s peak body) director’s resignation comes as the NSW authority sues some state counterparts over a possible breakaway rival body.

Australian casino operator The Star Entertainment Group announced on February 13 that Westpac bank’s general manager for financial crime and chief compliance officer Scott Saunders was appointed chief risk officer. Previously a compliance officer at Macquarie Group, Saunders is the latest addition to Star Entertainment’s compliance upgrade, amid a spate of heavy fines, casino licence suspensions and costly reform requirements.

New Zealand and Australian casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group also announced the appointment of a former Westpac compliance official as its new chief risk officer, amid regulator litigation against SkyCity’s Adelaide operation. Carolyn Kidd worked as chief risk officer for Westpac New Zealand for six years, following stints with various financial institutions. The Financial Services Institute director’s posting begins on April 1 pending regulatory approval, according to the company’s February 28 filing to the Australian and New Zealand bourses.

The Western Australia state government on February 23 named Michael Schaper as the independent chair of the Gaming and Wagering Commission for three years, the first such appointment since the Perth Casino Royal Commission (PCRC) upended gaming regulation in the state. Schaper is a board member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and chairs an advisory forum for the national tax authority. He also served as deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and on the boards of several industry and professional groups. Two other board members – PCRC commissioner Colin Murphy and consultant director Katie Hodson-Thomas – were reappointed until 2025, the statement said.

Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group said on February 20 that long-serving CFO Robert Drake would leave his post on March 1, to be replaced by Galaxy’s Japan development COO, Ted Chan. Prior to joining Galaxy, Chan had been COO of the then-named Melco Crown Entertainment for six years and gained fame for developing Melco’s premium mass business.

Galaxy also announced on February 28 that non-executive director and retired president and COO Michael Mecca would be re-designated as an independent non-executive director from March 1.

Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) installed a second deputy director on February 8. Chui Hou Ian will serve an initial one-year term at the gaming regulator. Chui previously served as a consultant to the economy and finance secretariat, and was a spokesperson for Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng’s election campaign in 2019. He studied gaming and hotel management at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas before working for Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas, the MNA portal reported.

Melbourne-based gaming law firm Senet announced the appointment of former Tabcorp Holdings deputy general counsel Bree Ryan as a senior associate on February 14. The wagering, racing and media specialist has also worked at Sportsbet and law firm MinterEllison. Ryan is the fourth member of the Senet line-up to have worked in senior Tabcorp posts.


Latin America


Ignacio Alonso was elected to another four year term as president of the Uruguayan Football Association. The only other candidate, Pablo Ferrari, who serves as the National Undersecretary for Sport, withdrew just before the second round vote amidst controversy.

Ignacio García Leirado has been appointed as the chief technology officer of Gaming Innovation Group’s (GiG) player account management platform, Alira. He spent 17 years working for Spanish online gaming distributor DIGIDIS SL, and comes to GiG to focus on their expansion into Latin American, Spain and Portugal.


Italy's gambling regulator has a new director, Bally's is to switch its CEO and Racing Australia's boss resigns in protest.

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