Velardo takes on added Mohegan duties

Aug 31, 2004 7:09 AM

Looking to grow their business by involving the tribe in gaming projects outside their Connecticut venue, officials of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority have set up an office to oversee the tribe’s other investments.

Former Las Vegas casino executive Bill Velardo, who has been guiding the fortunes of the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn., will now give up his post as CEO of the Connecticut property to accept responsibility for the tribe’s investments in the Cowlitz Tribe proposed casino in Washington State and the Menominee Indian Tribe activities in Kenosha, Wisc.

Velardo’s casino activities will be taken over by Mitchell Etess who becomes president and CEO of the Mohegan Sun casino. Also moving up are Jeffrey Hartmann, who becomes the casino’ COO and Leo Chupska, who becomes the Authority’s chief financial officer.

At the recently purchased Las Vegas Hilton, Rudy Prieto, CEO and general manager, has appointed Bobby Choi as director of Asian marketing. He previously was director of Asian marketing at the Flamingo Hilton.

Major changes are taking place at Churchill Downs racetrack, according to the Louisville, Ky., Courier-Journal, but there has been no explanation from track officials.

Owned by Churchill Downs Inc. (CHDN), the track reportedly has fired Kevin Marie Nuss, vice president of marketing, and Larry Sinclair, director of promotions. They said they were told the corporate marketing department of Churchill Downs Inc. would take over their duties.

Nuss has been with the track since 1988 while Sinclair joined the operation in 1984.

And at Magna Entertainment Corporation (MECA), Brian Tobin reportedly has resigned as corporate vice chairman and a member of the board of directors. Also leaving the board, the company reported, is William Davis.

In Macau, the incumbent chief executive Edmund Ho was re-elected to another five-year term, a move highly heralded by the gaming community.

It was Edmund Ho that was responsible for the recent expansion of gambling in the Chinese enclave, thus opening the door to investment from such gaming entrepreneurs as Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn.