Lanni gives up MGM MIRAGE Board seat

Dec 2, 2008 5:05 PM

by Ray Poirier | With the media continuing to focus on whether his resume contained false claims, Terry Lanni has announced that he will not maintain his position on the MGM MIRAGE Inc. (MGM) board of directors as previously indicated.

He said that as of Nov. 30 he had completely severed all relationships with the company that he led for more than a dozen years. During his tenure, the company, with its acquisition of Mandalay Resorts Inc., grew into the state’s largest employer.

At 65, Lanni said, he planned to spend more time with his wife, Debbie. The couple, he said, would devote greater efforts toward their philanthropies.

For Lanni’s supporters – those who pointed to his many accomplishments during his 30-year career – the cloud under which he resigned, created by questions about whether he actually received an MBA from his alma mater, University of Southern California, was not befitting a true leader of the gaming industry.

And, strangely, the career ending focus was almost bypassed because of the timing of his retirement.

A year ago, Lanni was at the top of his game and decided it was time to pack it in after a dozen years as Kirk Kerkorian’s top man at MGM MIRAGE.

But, with the company’s newest project, CityCenter, on its way toward changing the image of the Las Vegas Strip, he elected to stay on a little longer.

Were GamingToday founder Chuck Di Rocco still around, he would be using his column "Heard on the Strip" to blast away at those who have enjoyed denigrating Lanni’s reputation.

The two innovators bonded in the early 80’s when Di Rocco changed the way Nevada race books did business by introducing race simulcasting. Lanni saw the value of having race players wager on televised races and helped Di Rocco develop content for the simulcasting program.

Nevada’s pioneering race betting soon became standard throughout the country and led to the development of advanced deposit wagering that dominates the industry.

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