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Micucci to head Magna Gaming Div.

Apr 1, 2003 5:52 AM

Prior to its most recent acquisitions, Magna Entertainment Corp. (MECA) officials showed little interest, if not disdain for racinos, focusing instead on a goal of developing North America’s largest provider of content for racetrack simulcasting operations.

That changed, however, with movements in both Pennsylvania and Maryland toward approving slot machines for racetracks, some of which are owned or operated by Magna Entertainment.

With a view of preparing for such movements, Magna Entertainment has lured away Paul Micucci from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and named him executive vice president of its Gaming Division. Micucci has previously served as vice president of slots at racetracks as well as development and operations for the Ontario’s provincial gaming division.

In announcing the appointment of Micucci, Jim McAlpine, president and CEO of MEC, said, "Legislators in several states in which we operate are studying the merits of introducing slot machines or video lottery terminals at racetracks as a means of maintain the competitiveness of the horse racing industry in their state and generating revenues for various state-initiated programs. The addition to our management team of someone of Paul’s stature in the gaming industry will better equip us to pursue these opportunities and to develop and effectively execute our business plan should gaming licenses be obtained."

At the Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. (ISLE), four promotions were announced. They involved Jeff King, vice president and general manager of the casino in Lula, Miss.; Kim Hardy, vice president and general manager of the Boonville, Mo., property; Michael J. Hirsch, vice president and general manager of the casino in Black Hawk, Colo., and Nancy Donovan, vice president and general manager in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Prior to joining the Isle of Capri management team, King managed the Vicksburg, Miss., casino for Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET).

Hardy’s gaming experience was gained working at the Reno Hilton in Reno Nev., and at the Hilton Casino in New Orleans.

Hirsch held management positions with companies in Bossier City, La., and in Laughlin and Las Vegas, Nev., before being hired by Isle of Capri.

Donovan entered the gaming industry in 1997 working with Lady Luck Gaming Corp., Hyatt Grand Victories and Resort in Rising Sun, Indiana, and at Jumer’s Casino in Rock Island, Ill.

On Monday, Eric Endy resigned as executive vice president and corporate secretary of Paul-Son Gaming Corp., a company that his father, Paul Endy, founded. The company was acquired by a French firm last year.