Personnel Moves - October 2022

November 2, 2022
New government ministers in the UK and Sweden, MGM adds digital boss, Aristocrat appoints tribal envoy as non-executive and new lottery chief selected in Brazil.




The UK’s newly-appointed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed that Michelle Donelan is to remain as the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS). Paul Scully has been confirmed as the new minister for technology at the DCMS, in charge of gambling policy.

Sweden’s newly-formed government has named Niklas Wykman as the minister of financial markets, with responsibility for gambling policy.

France’s gambling regulator (ANJ) has announced the six members of its Sanctions Committee, chaired by Frédéric Dieu. Dorothée Pradines, Fabrice Delbano, Véronique Boisselet, Nicolas Brunner, and Maud Choquet have all been appointed for a period of six years. The committee can approve, among other things warnings, fines and suspensions.

Playtech has said the company and Andrew Smith, chief financial officer, have mutually agreed that he will step down due to personal reasons. He will leave office as CFO and executive director on November 28.

Allwyn has appointed Sharon Doherty and Victoria McKenzie-Gould as independent non-executive directors. The pair will help provide support for the implementation of the company’s comprehensive transition plan, following the formal award of the fourth National Lottery licence by the UK Gambling Commission.

David Clifton and Suzanne Davies announced the closure of Clifton Davies Consultancy with effect from September 30, 2022, after 25 years of working together.

The World Lottery Association (WLA) membership has approved the suspension for 2022 of the two-term limit for the president and re-elected Rebecca Paul for another term. Andreas Kötterwas has been elected senior vice president and Younes El Mechrafi vice president. Six committee members elected were: Jannie Haek; Francesco Parola; Nigel Railton; Stéphane Pallez; Lawrence Lim; and Silvio Vivas.

Kalamba Games has appointed Marie Claire Aquilina as financial director. Aquilina joins from Relax Gaming where she was the financial controller. Kalamba Games said the appointment will be followed by additional new hires.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the sport’s governing and regulatory body, has appointed John Ferguson as one of the two member-nominated directors. Ferguson is a bloodstock agent and former trainer. The BHA has also hired Sarah Crowther as chair of its independent judicial panel, succeeding Brian Barker.

Sean Trivass has been appointed as the new chair of the Horseracing Bettors Forum, a voluntary body representing GB horseracing bettors. He replaces Colin Hord, who has stepped down after three years in the role.


North America


Gary Fritz, a senior level executive with IAC Interactive Corp., MGM Resorts International’s largest shareholder, will oversee the company’s expansion of its digital platforms, including BetMGM, as president of MGM Resorts Interactive. Previously, Fritz was head of gaming for IAC and oversaw MGM’s acquisition of LeoVegas. Fritz will be a member of the company’s executive committee, BetMGM’s board of directors and chairman of the board of LeoVegas.

Light & Wonder’s board of directors has named Matt Wilson president and CEO. Wilson will also join the company’s board of directors. He has served as interim CEO since August and previously served as CEO of the company’s gaming business. The company also announced that Siobhan Lane, senior vice president and chief commercial officer of gaming, has been named CEO of gaming.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has hired Maureen Beddis as senior vice president, membership and events. In her new role, Beddis will lead AGA member relations, business development and events, including Global Gaming Expos (G2E). Prior to joining AGA, Beddis was at The Vision Council overseeing organizational strategy and operations.

Deputy chief Kristi Torgerson has been appointed chief of the Enforcement Division of the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB). Torgerson, an employee of the NGCB since January 1997, has served as deputy chief of the Enforcement Division since 2019. Prior to joining the NGCB, she served as an interrogator and counterintelligence agent with the U.S. Army. Torgerson replaces James Taylor, who is retiring after 27 years with the NGCB.

Fanatics, a sports-merchandising company, has named Andrea Ellis chief financial officer of its betting division, Fanatics Betting and Gaming. Ellis was most recently CFO for about two years at the electric scooter company Lime and before that held senior finance positions at Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King and other brands. Ellis will report to Matt King, the division’s CEO.

Gaming and Leisure Properties have promoted Brandon Moore from executive vice president, general counsel and secretary to chief operating officer, while Desiree Burke, who currently is senior vice president, chief accounting officer and treasurer, was named chief financial officer.

Underdog Fantasy has hired Brianne Doura-Schawohl as a consultant to bolster the company’s responsible gaming efforts. Prior to starting her own consulting firm, Doura-Schawohl Consulting LLC, she most recently served as vice president of U.S. Policy and Strategic Development for Epic Risk Management and as legislative director with the National Council on Problem Gambling.

Brian Lessman and Kristian Milne have been hired as account executives with Gaming Laboratories International’s (GLI) North American client services team. Lessman most recently served as hub operations supervisor and oddsmaker at USBookmaking. Milne comes to GLI from Global Payments where he served as client services account manager for iGaming.

Gaming Laboratories International also has hired tribal gaming regulator Thorsten Toms as a client solutions executive. Most recently, Toms was the director of gaming administration for the Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Commission, where he oversaw the audit, licensing, and information technology departments.




Australian gaming machine manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure has announced the nomination of Chickasaw Nation leader Bill G. Lance Jnr as a non-executive director, pending regulatory approval and shareholder approval at the company’s February AGM. As a former Chickasaw Nation secretary of commerce, Lance presided over “more than 60 gaming, hospitality, retail and media commercial operations”, Aristocrat said in a press release on October 19. Lance remains a tribal envoy for state and national negotiations in the United States and is a board member of Nasdaq-listed BancFirst.

Aristocrat Leisure also announced on October 10 the promotion of renowned game designer Joe Kaminkow to chief innovation officer of subsidiary Aristocrat Gaming. Kaminkow has been with Aristocrat since 2013 after serving as chief creative officer for social gaming at Zynga.

Genting Singapore announced the appointment of Singapore Business Federation CEO Lam Yi Young as deputy CEO of Resorts World Sentosa. Lam, who previously spent “11 years in senior public sector leadership positions”, will begin work on January 1, 2023, Genting Singapore said in a statement. The statement included a belated announcement of the appointment of Andrew MacDonald as chief casino officer. MacDonald, a former linchpin of Las Vegas Sands' casino operations, started work at his former rival on September 1.

Blackstone Group-controlled Australian casino operator Crown Resorts has named MGM Resorts International veteran executive David Tsai as CEO of Crown Perth. Tsai will take up the post “later this year”, Crown said in a statement on October 15. Tsai’s 15-year stint with MGM included serving as president of the Midwest Group of operations including MGM Grand Detroit, and before that serving as president of the Gold Strike casino in Mississippi and CFO for Las Vegas’ Monte Carlo Resort and Casino.

Macao Fisherman’s Wharf owner Macau Legend Development, whose bruising pandemic years have been worsened by the criminal prosecution of its former owner Levo Chan, has lost its CFO, executive director and company secretary Tsang Ka Hung. Tsang resigned on October 31, according to a company filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company has yet to announce a replacement.

Macau gaming lawyer Jorge Neto Valente will not run for the presidency of the Macau Lawyers Association this year, ending an uninterrupted 20-year occupation of the post, the Macau Business media outlet reported on October 28. Valente initially served as president of the association from 1996 to 1999. The long-time Galaxy Entertainment Group advisor is one of a rapidly dwindling number of Macau elites who criticise the Macau and Beijing governments on legal and political issues.


Latin America


Waldir Eustáquio Marques Jr. has been appointed chief executive of Brazil’s Caixa Lotteries SA by the board of directors, a position which comes with a term of two years. He previously held the position of special advisor to the presidency of Caixa and undersecretary for prizes and sweepstakes at the Ministry of Finance.

José Ramón González is Betsson Group’s new regional manager for Latin America and Spain. He previously worked for Betsson as the Spain and Latin America site manager.

Alejandro Rodino has resigned as director of Codere Online, he has been replaced by Borja Fernández. In addition to his new role, Fernández is currently a managing partner at Ahorro Finance Corporation where he directs the private equity and corporate investment banking divisions.


New government ministers in the UK and Sweden, MGM adds digital boss, Aristocrat appoints tribal envoy as non-executive and new lottery chief selected in Brazil.

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