Personnel Moves - September 2021

October 4, 2021
The fledgling German regulator makes a pair of senior appointments, FanDuel selects its permanent CEO and yet more trouble at the top for Crown Resorts.




Ronald Benter and Benjamin Schwanke have been appointed to the board of Germany’s new federal gambling regulator, set to be launched on January 1, 2023. However, in mid-2022, the first responsibilities from individual states will begin to be transferred to the new regulator. Schwanke previously headed up the Hamburg Gambling Authority. Benter was the head of Schleswig-Holstein’s gaming and municipal business law department. They are tasked with establishing the new regulator as well as enforcing the country’s new federal gambling laws.

Marcus Boyle has become the new chair of the UK Gambling Commission. He was appointed by former culture secretary Oliver Dowden for a term of five years. Boyle replaced Bill Moyes, who had held the position since 2017. Boyle was selected in part due to his financial background, having been an equity partner at Deloitte, where he served as board member, chief strategy officer and chief operating officer. He is also chair of the British American Drama Academy.

Betsson AB chairman Patrick Svensk has resigned from the board of directors after shareholders stated they no longer have full confidence in them. Shareholders took issue with the dismissal of the group’s former CEO, which the company announced on September 17. The board appointed one of its members, Johan Lundberg, as the new chairman. Svensk has been a member of Betsson’s board of directors since 2005, and chairman of the board since 2017.

UK Olympic hero Lord Sebastian Coe has been named as Sazka Entertainment board’s first non-executive director. The appointment comes as Sazka bids to become the next operator of the UK National Lottery.

Aspire Global's Pariplay has announced Joey Hurtado as its new managing director of its games division. Hurtado is an industry veteran that has worked for 888 Holdings, Unibet Group, GVC and Betsson, where he was managing director of operator brands including Casino Euro, Norges Automaten and Suomiarvat.

The German Federal Association of Vending Machine Entrepreneurs (BA) has elected both Thomas Breitkopf and Andy Meindl to be its new joint presidents. The appointments were made at a two-day annual conference during which Gundolf Aubke was named vice president and treasurer. The other vice presidents selected to be on the board are Dirk Fischer, Freddy Fischer and Michael Stang.

Sports, betting and gambling PR and communications firm Red Knot has announced that Robin Chhabra is its new chairman. He has previously headed up corporate strategy, M&A, and business development at The Stars Group and William Hill, as well as serving as CEO of Fox Bet.


North America


Flutter has selected Amy Howe to lead its FanDuel subsidiary. The former Ticketmaster executive has been at the company since February 2021 and has been interim CEO since July.

Former Caesars Entertainment CEO Tony Rodio has been named CEO of Great Canadian Gaming by Apollo Global Management, which acquired the gaming company. Rodio will be based at the company’s headquarters in Toronto. Rodio will also join the company’s board of directors. He was CEO of Caesars from April 2019 through its acquisition by Eldorado Resorts in July 2020.

Tammi Barlow has been named director of corporate social responsibility with Rush Street Interactive (RSI). In her new role, Barlow will lead the development and execution of RSI’s corporate social responsibility strategy, including the continued implementation of the company’s responsible gaming initiatives, as well as promotion and expansion of the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Sightline Payments announced that co-founder Omer Sattar will serve as the company’s co-CEO alongside Joe Pappano. In his new role, Sattar will oversee internal operations including product and compliance. As co-CEO, Pappano will continue to lead Sightline’s strategy, sales, client success, and marketing organizations.

The company also promoted Mandi Hart to the role of chief client solutions officer. In her new role, Hart will lead Sightline’s execution and deployment of new cashless gaming solutions for the digital and land-based casino and sports-betting market. Hart will also continue to lead client relationship management.

Connie James has been named chief financial officer with Scientific Games. James has been CFO of Scientific Games’ gaming business since January 2020. Current CFO Mike Eklund will be stepping down to pursue other opportunities. Prior to joining Scientific Games, James served as corporate vice president finance – business operations and supply chain at Cargill.

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) has appointed Jody Madigan as chief operating officer. Madigan, who previously served as general manager of the Paragon Casino and Resort, will oversee the development and execution of short and long-term strategic business plans across all MGE properties. Madigan will report to Ray Pineault, MGE’s president and CEO.

Dale Fallon has been hired as senior director of product at PointsBet’s Canadian operations. Previously, Fallon led digital products at Rogers Sportsnet. In that role, he was responsible for product strategy and delivery for a suite of apps and websites, with a particular focus on National Hockey League content.

Mike Bean has taken over as the new CEO of Desert Diamonds Casinos & Entertainment in Arizona. Previously, Bean has held senior management positions for gaming operations with Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Harrah’s Entertainment, and Boyd Gaming. Deserts Diamond Casinos are run by the Tohono Oódham Nation.

GAN Limited has promoted Michael Arouh to the position of chief legal officer and corporate secretary. Arouh will replace Todd McTavish, who resigned from the company for personal reasons and is expected to continue to provide consulting services to the company. Arouh served as deputy chief legal officer and senior vice president of GAN since February.

Derrick Beetso has been named director of Arizona State University’s (ASU) Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Indian gaming and tribal self-governance programs. Beetso, a citizen of the Navajo Nation, replaces law professors Lawrence Roberts and Ann Marie Bledsoe Downs, who helped launch the programs in 2019. Both recently went on leave from ASU to serve in President Biden’s administration. Prior to joining ASU, Beetso served as general counsel for the National Congress of American Indians.

Harrah’s Resort Southern California, owned by the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, has appointed Jill Barrett to senior vice president and general manager. In her new role, Barrett will oversee the property’s operations. She joined Harrah’s as vice president of finance and stepped in as interim general manager for three months last year, leading the property during the coronavirus pandemic.




Australian casino operator Crown Resorts has lost yet another director, with Antonia Korsanos to retire after the company’s AGM on October 21 to “focus on my extensive other commitments”, according to a September 16 Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) filing. Korsanos was one of a small number of directors to avoid the wrath of the Bergin Inquiry into Crown’s suitability to operate its Sydney casino, and was described as “honest” and an “asset” to the company by commissioner Patricia Bergin in an otherwise scathing report on Crown.

Crown then announced on September 29 that e-commerce and communications entrepreneur Anne Ward will join its board as an independent non-executive director, pending regulatory approval. The former commercial lawyer has chaired several government and medical commissions or institutes. Ward is also a council member at RMIT University, a posting that could invite trouble given that current CEO Ziggy Switkowski was forced to resign as chancellor of RMIT because of staff and union anger over his gambling industry connection.

Also on September 29, Crown Resorts named Craig Durham as its new company secretary and legal counsel, effective October 4. Durham has served as company secretary to several ASX listcos. Durham belatedly replaces Mary Manos, who resigned in February as fallout from the Bergin Inquiry spread.

One of the counsel assisting the Bergin Inquiry into Crown has been named by the New South Wales (NSW) state government’s Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) to lead its regular review of The Star Entertainment Group’s Star casino in Sydney. The ILGA said on September 14 that Adam Bell will deliver his report by March 31 next year.

Australian slots manufacturer Ainsworth Game Technology announced the resignation of CEO Lawrence Levy for personal reasons, effective September 10. The company’s filing to the Australian Securities Exchange said his replacement from October 1 is Harald Neumann, former CEO of majority shareholder Novomatic and an Ainsworth director since early 2017. Neumann will retain his seat on the board.

Ainsworth Game Technology also said in an October 1 filing that digital entertainment industry veteran David Bollesen has been appointed chief product officer, effective October 7. Bollesen moves from IGT, where he worked for 11 years.

Former Tabcorp Holdings general counsel for wagering and media Daniel Lovecek has been secured by the Melbourne consultancy and all-gaming law firm Senet, joining recent arrival and former NSW gaming regulator Paul Newson as a co-principal. Senet founder and co-principal Julian Hoskins is a former Tabcorp general counsel.

Hong Kong Jockey Club CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges has been elected chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA). Engelbrecht-Bresges succeeds Louis Romanet, who had led the federation since its founding in 1994. The IFHA’s newly elected vice chairs are Japan Racing Association president and CEO Masayuki Goto, and Horacio Esposito, an advisor to South America’s OSAF. United States Jockey Club COO Jim Gagliano and outgoing Horse Racing Ireland chief executive Brian Kavanagh were re-elected to the board.

Davis Fong, a professor in integrated resort management at the University of Macau and gaming scholar, is out of Macau’s Legislative Assembly after being dropped from Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng’s list of seven direct appointees. The election for other members took place on September 12. It was not immediately clear why Ho removed Fong, one of the assembly’s most knowledgeable contributors on gaming policy matters. Regarding Fong and two other appointees that he removed, Ho told reporters on October 1 that he could not “concentrate too many members from the same field”. Fong argued in 2018 that the market should take the lead over government in non-gaming diversification, and had noted problems with Beijing’s “Greater Bay Area” agenda for the integration of Macau into the wider region.

Philippine integrated resort operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp announced the appointment of former Philippine Supreme Court chief justice Diosdado M. Peralta as an independent director in a September 24 filing to the nation's Securities and Exchange Commission. Peralta, an appointee of President Rodrigo Duterte, retired from the Supreme Court on March 27. On August 6, Peralta was appointed as an independent director of ports giant International Container Terminal Services, a company also controlled by Bloomberry owner Enrique Razon.

Philippine gambling regulator PAGCOR has elevated vice president for corporate social responsibility James Patrick Bondoc to its board to replace the late Reynaldo Concordia, according to a September 16 statement. Bondoc, 46, is a prominent musician and performer and previously headed the entertainment department for PAGCOR-controlled casinos.


The fledgling German regulator makes a pair of senior appointments, FanDuel selects its permanent CEO and yet more trouble at the top for Crown Resorts.

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