Personnel Moves - July 2023

July 5, 2023
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GREF has selected a new board of European regulators, Wynn retains its chief executive, an Australian lobby group replaces its disgraced CEO and Latin American operators appoint new executives.

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Europe

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Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, the head of French gambling regulator ANJ, has been selected as the new president of the Gambling Regulators Europe Forum (GREF). She will head up a new board for a two-year term. Other board appointees include Anders Dorph of the Danish Gambling Authority, Tim Miller of the UK Gambling Commission, Sarah Kelly of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, Magali Clavie from the Belgian Gaming Commission, Atle Hamar from the Norwegian Gambling Authority and Kinga Ward of the Malta Gaming Authority.

The Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) has appointed two new independent chairpersons to its Objections Advisory Committee. Adriane Koppe and Monique van Oers took over from Mrs JME Feije from June 1. The regulator said it had selected two chairs as a result of increased enforcement activity.

Paul Foster has resigned as the chief executive of the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) after more than five years in the role. The CEO position is being transformed into “secretary general” and will be taken up by the former chief operations officer at the trade group, Nicholas Macias. Nigel Birell remains the groups chair.

Patrick Kortman has taken up the role of interim CFO at Kindred Group, taking over from Johan Wilsby, who resigned earlier this year. Usha Ganesan has also been appointed as chief finance operations officer and Neil Banbury will assume the role of chief commercial and marketing officer, both on an interim basis as the company continues a strategic review.

Glitnor Group has selected Richard Brown as its new chief executive. Brown joins with more than 15 years of experience in gambling, including a stint as CEO of Gaming Innovation Group.

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North America

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Craig Billings, chief executive with Wynn Resorts, has signed a four-year contract to continue to run the Las Vegas-based gaming company for four more years. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the “Billings Amendment” extends the term of Billings’ employment contract through June 1, 2027. Billings took over as CEO on February 1, 2022, replacing Matt Maddox.

Scientific Games has hired Christine Wechsler to be the company’s senior vice president of public policy and government affairs. Previously, Wechsler worked for Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis. She also served as an assistant district attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

Kelly Gillease has joined the Jackpocket board of directors as a new senior advisor. Gillease will work with the board and executive team to guide their short and long-term marketing goals as it continues to expand its product line and enters new markets. Most recently, she was chief marketing officer at Nerdwallet.

The California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) has elected Chris Creasey to the associate member representative position on the CNIGA executive committee, succeeding Russell Witt. Creasey serves as director at Tutor Perini Building Corp., which has been an associate member of CNIGA.

Fanatics has appointed Gregg Winiarski as its chief legal officer. In his new position, Winiarski will oversee legal affairs across the entire Fanatics company, including its betting and gaming division. He takes on a full-time role after spending the last two years working in an advisory capacity for Fanatics.

The Fontainebleau Las Vegas has named Mark Tricano as president and Michelle Reda as chief marketing officer for the resort ahead of its opening in December. Kimberly Virtuoso, who joined Fontainebleau Las Vegas in 2022, has been promoted to senior vice president.

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians, in Cabazon some 90 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, have named Jason Carrizosa as chief administrative officer for the Morongo Tribal Government and Christopher Reyes as executive director of the Morongo Gaming Agency.

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Asia-Pacific

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Clubs and gaming lobby group ClubsNSW has named former banking executive and Star Entertainment Group and Tabcorp Holdings executive Rebecca Riant as CEO, five months after Josh Landis was fired over a religious slur. Riant moves from her position at Star as COO of wagering and media. She previously worked as Tabcorp’s executive general manager for sustainability, markets and customer experience delivery. Her banking experience includes spells at Westpac and Commonwealth Bank. Riant begins work at ClubsNSW on July 24.

Singapore casino operator Genting Singapore announced the resignation of Resorts World Sentosa deputy CEO Lam Yi Young, effective June 30, after less than six months in the post. The terse June 2 filing to the Singapore bourse said Lam left to “pursue other interests”, and did not thank him as is customary. Singapore’s Business Times daily reported that Lam had been on “family care leave” since the end of March. A replacement for the former Singapore Business Federation CEO and senior public servant has not been named.

Philippine gaming technology provider DFNN has appointed Ricardo F. Banaag as president and CEO, replacing Calvin Lim, who is now an executive director. Both appointments commenced on June 2. Banaag was formerly a president and country manager for Intel Microelectronics Philippines for 16 years after working for IBM Philippines. The same filing reported the appointments of management consultant Donald Limcaco as chief information officer of the parent company and subsidiaries, and Jacob Edel as vice president for marketing.

Japan’s Casino Regulatory Commission on June 27 said it had promoted Takuya Sakaguchi from deputy secretary general to secretary general, effective July 4. The former policeman succeeds Minoru Namiki.

The New Zealand gambling regulator has appointed Ben Gamboni as deputy director of operations, effective July 24, chief regulator Dave Robson said in a newsletter issued on June 28. Gamboni previously served as a regulator at Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

BMM Testlabs Australia has promoted 20-year veteran Mario Zilevski from vice president to senior vice president of client services, according to a statement on June 19.

Mumbai-based online gaming company Play Games24x7 said on June 12 that it had promoted Saroj Panigrahi, vice president of subsidiary My11Circle, to COO. Panigrahi has been with the group for 15 years, following a stint with Accenture Technology Solutions. Play Games24x7 also announced the appointment of Vikrant Goyal as chief human resources officer.

Suntrust Resort Holdings, the builder of a fifth casino-resort in Manila’s Entertainment City and the Philippine arm of Hong Kong listco LET Group, once affiliated with Macau’s disgraced Suncity junket, appointed BDO Unibank senior vice president and head of legal and compliance Alvin C. Go to the company’s board. The attorney formerly served as a prosecutor before acting as chief counsel for the Philippine National Bank. He started his term as director on June 15.

Pachinko parlour operator and Hong Kong listco Dynam Japan Holdings appointed Akira Hosaka as chairman, CEO and president of the company at its AGM on June 23, according to a same-day bourse filing. The former non-executive director has been the representative director of subsidiary DYNAM Co since 2020, and has worked for Dynam since 1995. He replaces Makoto Sakamoto, who will remain on the board as a non-executive director after three years in the top posts. The company also appointed Mayumi Ito, CEO of e-book publisher Epistémè, as independent non-executive director, replacing Kei Murayama.

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Latin America

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Michal Elimelech has been appointed to Codere’s board of directors, to replace the outgoing Óscar Iglesias, who remains on as the CFO. Elimelech served as the chief marketing officer at Space Ape Games and spent 11 years as a vice president at 888 Holdings.

Hugo Baungartner has joined Brazilian operator Aposta Ganha as vice president of global markets. He previously was the COO of RCT Gaming and the CEO of Bet55.

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GREF has selected a new board of European regulators, Wynn retains its chief executive, an Australian lobby group replaces its disgraced CEO and Latin American operators appoint new executives.

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