Personnel Moves - June 2022

July 4, 2022
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The newly-active German regulator makes a key appointment, Nevada authority appoints new officials, Star Entertainment gets new CEO amid hearings fallout and Chilean trade group appoints an interim boss.

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Europe

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New German regulator the Joint Gaming Authority of the Federal States (GGL), which takes over partial oversight of the market from this month, has appointed Nadja Wierzejewski as department head for combating illegal online gambling and advertising. She had been head of gaming supervision at the regulator in Rhineland-Palatinate since 2008.

The chairman of Casinos Austria’s supervisory board, Wolfgang Hesoun, has been appointed to the same position in the supervisory board for Austrian Lotteries, the country’s national lottery operator. Robert Chvatal, CEO of Casinos Austria majority shareholder Allwyn, steps down from the position of chairman to become Hesoun’s deputy. Hesoun is also the general manager of technology firm Siemens Austria.

Other new appointees to the Austrian Lotteries board include: Bettina Glatz-Kremsner, former CEO of Casinos Austria; Katarina Kohlmeyer; Hans Niessl; Florian Saiko and Aakriti Chandihock, the appointee nominated by the Ministry of Finance. Chvatal noted the increased female presence on the board.

Entain has appointed Rahul Welde as a non-executive director, with the former Unilever executive also becoming a member of the operator’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) committee.

Changes to boards within gambling giant Flutter include Nancy Dubuc stepping down as a member of the Workforce Engagement Committee, to be replaced by Atif Rafiq. The operator also announced that Carolan Lennon is to be appointed as a member of the Audit and Workforce Engagement committees.

Affiliate company XLMedia has appointed David John King as its new chief executive. King, who also becomes a member of the board of directors, replaced Stuart Simms, who announced his intention to leave the business in April.

Andreas Ternström, the CEO and president of Scout Gaming Group, has left the company with immediate effect, after “a major reorganisation and transformation” at the supplier.

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North America

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Apollo Global Management has named a new top executive to oversee The Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas. The private equity firm appointed Patrick Nichols as CEO of the resorts and the Venetian Expo Center, replacing George Markantonis, who will become a special advisor to the Apollo board.

Nichols most recently served as general manager of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas but left after the resort’s operations were acquired by MGM Resorts International. Apollo paid $2.25bn for the operations of the two resorts and convention center and VICI Properties paid $4bn for a total of 82 acres, including the Venetian complex.

Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) chairman J. Brin Gibson has appointed hearings officer Chan Lengsavath as chief of the Tax and License Division, while also naming supervisor Thomasina Fremont as the next chief of the Audit Division. Lengsavath, an NGCB employee since May 2004, succeeds Dan Douglas, who retired after 25 years with the control board. Fremont will replace Kelly Colvin, who has worked for the NGCB for more than 30 years.

Scientific Games has named Steve Beason as president of digital and sports betting for the company’s global business. Beason previously worked for the company from 2005 to 2016. Most recently, Beason worked for Inspired Entertainment as chief technology officer.

Yaniv Sherman has been named CEO of Bragg Gaming Group. Sherman has spent more than 20 years in the gaming industry including 15 years as a senior executive with 888 Holdings plc. Most recently, Sherman served as senior vice president and head of U.S. operations from 2018 to 2021.

Governor Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, has appointed Kelly Gee as permanent executive director of the Virginia Lottery, after she served as acting director since January. When Gee joined the lottery in 2018, she served as manager of government relations. Gee replaces former executive director Kevin Hall, who left at the end of former Democratic Governor Ralph Northam’s term in January.

Lauralyn Sandoval has been appointed to the board of directors of U.S. Integrity. Sandoval is currently vice president of new markets at Aristocrat Technologies in Las Vegas.

Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) has expanded its client solutions and client services teams with the additions of Steve May as client solutions executive and Samuel Grunther as account executive. Before joining GLI, May was executive director of the Minnesota Racing Commission, while Grunther’s previous roles included time at Conduet, where he served as client relations and conversations specialist.

Rush Street Gaming has promoted two long-tenured executives within the company. Bill Keena is now chief operating officer and Marc Arndt is chief financial officer. Keena most recently served as general manager of Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, while Arndt oversees and manages financial functions for Rush Street land-based casinos and their affiliates.

VICI Properties has appointed Kellan Florio to the position of senior vice president, chief investment officer, and Moira McCloskey as vice president, capital markets. Florio will be responsible for VICI’s expansion and will report to John Payne, president and chief operating officer. McCloskey will lead the company’s capital markets initiatives and report to David Kieske, executive vice president, chief financial officer.

Kathleen McLaughlin has been named vice president of corporate North American sales and market at Novomatic Americas. Since joining the company 2017, McLaughlin has served in various roles, including vice president of North American marketing and vice president of North American product management. McLaughlin will continue to report to Novomatic president and CEO Rick Meitzler.

Marker Trax, a Las Vegas-based fintech company, has named Jason Yeghiayan as director of product development. Yeghiayan previously worked for gaming and technology companies, including Wynn Resorts and the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. He will concentrate on expanding the company’s national footprint.

Robert Miguel, chairman of the Ak-Chin Indian Community, has been elected chairman of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association (AIGA). The AIGA supports Indian gaming in Arizona by advocating, educating, partnering, and promoting tribal government gaming to benefit tribes and all of Arizona.

Sightline Payments has appointed three executives to lead the company’s expansion into Canada and strategic projects in the U.S. Tamara Tenenbaum was named senior vice president, business development and managing director – Canada, overseeing Sightline’s Canadian market launch and new market development.

Will Hill will be Sightline’s vice president, business development – Canada, a newly created position that entails interacting with regulators, operators, leading officials and suppliers across the country. As senior vice president, client solutions strategy, Brian Cottengim will focus on cashless gaming for integrated casino resorts.

Mohegan Sun has appointed Heather Menzano to the position of vice president, web communications to oversee corporate and casino branded website and app development in North America. Menzano will lead all related data analysis capabilities and digital return on investment strategies for the Mohegan corporate and casino property brands.

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Asia-Pacific

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Australian casino operator The Star Entertainment Group has appointed former Tatts Group CEO Robbie Cooke as CEO, replacing Matt Bekier, who resigned in March over severe company compliance failures. A June 29 filing to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) said Cooke's starting date has yet to be confirmed. Cooke most recently served four years as CEO of the bank Tyro Payments, following five years at former lotto giant Tatts Group and seven years as CEO at hotel booking website Wotif.com.

Corporate bookmaker PointsBet Holdings announced the appointment of Andrew Catterall as CEO, effective July 4, according to a June 1 filing to the ASX. Catterall is a former CEO of digital media outlet Racing.com and previously worked at industry peak body Racing Victoria and at the Australian Football League (AFL). Meanwhile, Manjit Gombra Singh has shifted from executive to non-executive director after being replaced as head of technology by Jerry Bowskill. Bowskill takes up the newly-created position of group CTO on July 18 after similar roles at Capital International Group, The Stars Group, Scientific Games Interactive and Playtech.

Racing Victoria’s executive general manager for racing Greg Carpenter has resigned to take up a “senior post” at the Hong Kong Jockey Club after 17 years with the industry peak body, according to a June 14 statement. Carpenter previously worked at the Malayan Racing Association for five years. His replacement has yet to be named.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club on June 10 named Bernard Charnwut Chan to the Board of Stewards, replacing the retiring Margaret Leung. Chan is chairman and president of Asia Financial Holdings and chairman of Asia Insurance, as well as a deputy to China’s National People’s Congress and convenor of the non-official members of Hong Kong’s Executive Council, among numerous other corporate and civic positions.

Aruze Gaming Australia on June 14 named Mitsuhiro Miyazaki as senior vice president of product management for Asia-Pacific markets and as a director of the company. Miyazaki previously served as managing director of Konami Australia and in various US-based roles for Konami Gaming.

Macau casino operator SJM Holdings announced the retirement of two directors and the appointment of another at the conclusion of its June 15 AGM. Non-executive director Ng Chi Sing and independent non-executive director Chau Tak Hay stood down after not standing for re-election. Financial management and property development veteran Norman Ho Hau Chong, 66, was elected independent non-executive director to replace Chau. Ho is also a director of the Pansy Ho-controlled Shun Tak Holdings and the cousin of former Macau Chief Executive Edmund Ho.

Carmen Pedrosa, a member of the board of gambling regulator PAGCOR under the current Duterte administration, died on June 8, local media reported, just weeks before the end of Duterte’s presidency. She was 80. The long-time journalist, columnist and once-exiled activist served on the board since 2016.

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Latin America

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Juan Francisco Muñoz has become the interim director of the Chilean Association of Gaming Casinos (ACCJ) after the resignation of Mariana Soto after just five months. In addition to his new role, Muñoz acts as the corporate general manager of Marina del Sol. He was the operational support manager and corporate operations manager at Enjoy for five years.

Leticia Palacios has been announced as the new director of online gaming operations for Mexico at Codere Online. Her previous role was the director of business development for Latam at Microgaming. Palacious was also a product director at Playtech.

André Filipe Neves has been appointed as the new chief operating officer of Salsa Technology. He was previously the CIO and CTO of Bet Entertainment Technologies and the owner of Kik Agency, an online betting consultancy, both based in Lisbon.

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The newly-active German regulator makes a key appointment, Nevada authority appoints new officials, Star Entertainment gets new CEO amid hearings fallout and Chilean trade group appoints an interim boss.

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