Personnel Moves - January 2022

February 3, 2022
Norsk Tipping is to get a new chief executive, changes at the top for IGT and leading Australian trade group appoints a new CEO.




Åsne Havnelid has announced she is stepping down as the CEO of state-owned Norsk Tipping, a role she has held since the autumn of 2016. Havnelid will spend some time considering her options going forward. The board has started the search for a new CEO. However, Havnelid is prepared to lead the company during this recruitment period and is also available in a transitional phase.

UK-headquartered charity YGAM has appointed health expert Dr Jane Rigbye as its new chief executive. Rigbye is a chartered psychologist, a fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health and has nine years' experience in several senior leadership roles at charity GambleAware, including her most recent position as prevention director. She started her new role on January 17. Helen Martin will continue in her role as chief operating officer after taking on additional responsibilities during the recruitment process.

The Netherlands has a new cabinet office, with Franc Weerwind named the new minister for legal protection, who is responsible for overseeing gambling policies. Weerwind took up his new role on January 10, replacing Sander Dekker. Prior to his departure, Dekker promised to examine a proposed gambling advertising ban and report on issues such as its impact.

Groupe FDJ, which operates France’s national lottery, has named Isabelle Bastien as its new chief commercial officer. Bastien leaves their role as Coca-Cola’s global account director to spearhead FDJ’s commercial development, following two-years of COVID-19 constraints.

Sports-betting media group Better Collective has appointed Britt Boeskov as its new senior vice president of strategy. Boeskov brings with them years of gambling industry experience, having spent 17 years at Kindred Group, where she most recently held the role of chief experience officer. Boeskov will join Better Collective on March 1, 2022.

Christopher Bell, non-executive director and senior independent director of The Rank Group, resigned from the board on January 18, 2022. Bell notified the board of his decision after he accepted the role of non-executive chairman with Nueva Codere. Karen Whitworth was appointed by Rank as senior independent director when Bell resigned.

UK-listed XLMedia also announced Christopher Bell will be stepping down as its non-executive chairman to focus on his new role with Nueva Codere, following shareholder approval of him at its EGM on February 2, 2021. Bell will assist in the transfer to a new chair and leave his role as chair in due course.


North America


International Game Technology has announced changes to its executive staff and board of directors following the decision by Lorenzo Pellicioli to retire as chairman of the company’s board, but remain a non-executive director. Marco Sala, currently CEO of IGT, will become executive chair of the board and Vincent Sadusky will become CEO and executive director of the board. The company also appointed Maria Pinelli and Ashley Hunter to the board of directors.

Churchill Downs has named Ben Murr as president of TwinSpires and Online Gaming. In his new role, Murr will be responsible for the overall strategy and operations of these businesses. During his 14 years with Churchill Downs, he has served in multiple leadership roles, including president of United Tote and interim president of TwinSpires and Online Gaming.

The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) has appointed Ilkim Hincer, executive vice president and chief legal officer with Hard Rock International, as chair, and George Sweny, vice president of compliance at Flutter Entertainment, as vice-chair of the CGA’s board of directors. Ilkim and Sweny will join Danielle Bush, a partner with McCarthy Tetrault, and Robert Scarpelli, managing director at HLT Advisory, who hold the roles of corporate secretary and treasurer on the association’s board.

The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) has elected a new slate of officers to work with president David Lucchese, who is vice president sales, marketing and digital for Everi. Lucchese’s position as president was not up for election as he begins the second year of a two-year term.

One-year terms as a vice president with AGEM were approved for Ryan Comstock, COO of Ainsworth Game Technology; Elaine Hodgson, president and CEO of Incredible Technologies; and Luke Orchard, senior vice president compliance and risk management officer with IGT.

Also elected as a vice president on the board of directors was Robert Parente, senior vice president and chief revenue officer gaming at Scientific Games. Thomas Jingoli, executive vice president and COO at Konami Gaming, was elected secretary; and Hector Fernandez, president Americas & EMEA with Aristocrat Gaming, will serve as treasurer.

Anna Sainsbury has resumed her duties as CEO of GeoComply. Sainsbury replaces David Briggs, with whom she co-founded the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company in 2012. Briggs, whose new title is director, will focus on strategic initiatives including the expansion of GeoComply’s cybersecurity services into new markets.

The company has also hired Sarafina Wolde Gabriel as its senior director of global markets. Gabriel brings nearly two decades of experience in digital technology to GeoComply, having previously been vice president of strategy with Income Access, a Paysafe company.

Deputy chief Carl Hoffman has been appointed as the next chief of the Investigations Division at the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB). Hoffman, who joined the NGCB in 1993, has served as deputy chief since 2016. He replaces Mike LaBadie, who retired in December after more than 35 years with the control board, which regulates gaming in Nevada.

OpenBet, the sports-betting business of Scientific Games, has named former DAZN chief technology officer Florian Diederichsen as chief technology officer, and Jessica Feil, formerly of the American Gaming Association, as vice president of regulatory affairs and compliance.

EQL Games has added gaming industry executive Seth Young to its board of directors. Young currently serves as the chief strategy officer at Fifth Street Gaming Digital, joining from PointsBet, where he most recently served as the company’s chief innovation officer. Young also serves as managing partner at The Strategy Organization.

Sports data firm Sportradar has hired Jim Brown as head of Integrity Services and Harm Prevention in North America. Based in the U.S., Brown will report to Andreas Krannich, managing director of Integrity Services. Previously, Brown was managing director of enterprise risk management at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

PointsBet has named Dr. Eric Lee as vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). In his new position, Lee will oversee the company’s DEI-related efforts and initiatives. Prior to joining PointsBet, Lee was assistant vice president of DEI at Colorado College.

Travis Lunn was named the new president for Atlantic City’s Borgata, according to MGM Resorts International. Lunn takes over from Melonie Johnson, who became the president and chief operating officer at National Harbor in Maryland. The gaming company also promoted Brandon Dardeau to replace Lunn as president and chief operating officer of southeast operations for MGM.

Eclipse Gaming has appointed Laura Olson-Reyes as senior vice president of marketing. Olson-Reyes will oversee marketing, communications, and community relations for the software gaming company. Previously, she was vice president of marketing and corporate communications at American Gaming Systems. She has also worked in corporate relations for Scientific Games and Bally Technologies.




The Gaming Technologies Association (GTA), Australia’s peak industry body and organiser of the Australasian Gaming Expo, has appointed public affairs specialist Jinesh Patel as CEO, replacing Chris Muir. Patel moves from public affairs work at GRACosway, where he consulted for GTA, and has previously served as advisor to New South Wales state government ministers.

The board of Genting subsidiary, cruise liner operator and Manila casino investor Genting Hong Kong has stood down ahead of its likely liquidation. Alan Smith, Ambrose Lam Wai Hon and Justin Tan Wah Joo resigned as independent non-executive directors on January 18 in anticipation of the company applying to appoint provisional liquidators, according to a January 19 Hong Kong bourse filing.

With the appointment of the liquidators, Genting Group chairman Lim Kok Thay resigned as chairman, CEO and executive director of Genting Hong Kong, and Colin Au Fook Yew resigned as deputy CEO, group president and executive director, both on January 21, according to a January 24 filing. Finally, executive director Chris Chan Kam Hing resigned on January 26, along with company secretary Yung Mei Yee.

Rich Goldman Holdings, the Hong Kong-listed company that once presided over the Neptune junket empire in Macau, announced the resignation of Andy Lin Chuen Chow on January 12 as chairman and executive director. The January 13 filing said financial consultant Lin Yee Man, 30, had taken up both positions.

Manila casino operator International Entertainment on January 11 announced the resignation of CFO Lee Chi Wai and his replacement by Hong Kong-trained accountant Chan Chun Lam. The company also announced the replacement of company secretary Wong Chun Kit by Li Wing Wah on January 20.


Norsk Tipping is to get a new chief executive, changes at the top for IGT and leading Australian trade group appoints a new CEO.

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