AGA seeks a new face

Jul 3, 2018 3:10 AM

SEARCHING: The American Gaming Association (AGA) recently appointed Stacy Papadopoulos, general counsel and senior vice president of industry services at AGA, as interim CEO, replacing Geoff Freeman who will be leaving at the end of the month to lead the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association.

And next the AGA, which represents the $261 billion casino industry, will tackle the difficult task of finding a permanent replacement for Freeman, who served for five years and was instrumental in leading the industry during the long battle to have sports betting available across the nation.

It will not be an easy task, but the AGA has formed a seven-member search committee to tackle the job. It will be led by Tim Wilmott, CEO of Penn National Gaming and chairman of the board.

Others assisting Wilmott will include Greg Carlin, co-founder and CEO of Rush Street Gaming; Trevor Croker, CEO and managing director of Aristocrat; Mark Frissora, president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment; Bill Lance, Jr., secretary of commerce of Chickasaw Nation; Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International; and Ron Reese, SVP, global communications and corporate affairs of Las Vegas Sands Corporation.

The search will be supported by Spencer Stuart, one of the world’s leading executive search consulting firms. Leslie Hortum, managing director, will lead the search.

Sure sounds like they have put together an All Star team.

SOUS NICE! If you are a fan of Japanese, Brazilian or Peruvian cuisine, you need to put Sushisamba at the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Palazzo on your “must try” list as you are sure to discover some exquisite gourmet delights.

Last week the restaurant’s executive sous chef, Thomas Tapat, took home the grand prize on “Chopped,” a popular reality-based cooking show on the Food Network. Tapat beat out three other chefs with his creativity, presentation and taste, taking a mystery basket of ingredients and turning them into the grand prize of $10,000.

That kind of talent can’t help but create winning tastes on the menu at Sushisamba.

STILL GROWING: The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) announced recently they have added nine new members: Ace Systems (Monterrey, Mexico), BDO USA (Chicago), Capco (Washington, D.C.), Deloitte LLP (Las Vegas), Nanoptix (Dieppe, Canada), PDS Gaming (Las Vegas), Plus Studios (Las Vegas), United States Playing Card Co. (Erlanger, Ky.), and Weike Gaming Technology (Singapore).

The non-profit international trade association, which includes the world’s leading gaming suppliers, now has a total of 166 members in 22 countries. Congratulations to all.

ON THE MOVE: The Snoqualmie Casino in Washington, just 30 minutes from downtown Seattle, announced that Las Vegas gaming executive Stanford Le is the new chief marketing officer. Le’s area of expertise is in Asian marketing, database analytics and gaming technology, and he honed his skills over the past 20 years at some of the biggest and best casino operators – Caesars Entertainment, Sands China and Wynn Resorts.

In other moves, Cheryl Duhon became the new manager at SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia. The casino is operated by Rush Street Gaming… Geoff Bough of New York is now the new strategic advisor for Esports Entertainment Group, which is based in Antigua… Sportech, an online gambling and entertainment company headquartered in Great Britain, appointed Thomas Hearne to the Board of Directors as chief financial officer.

See you around town.