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Hard Rock Hotel & Casino At Fire Mountain Names New Executive Leaders

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Hard Rock Hotel & Casino At Fire Mountain Names New Executive Leaders
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Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain, slated to become the premier entertainment destination in Northern California once open in fall of 2019, announces its team of top-tier executives.

“We are excited to have a great mix of passionate industry leaders joining our Hard Rock Sacramento family,” said Mark Birtha, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain. “Some are new to the brand and some are seasoned veterans, but most important is that we have an enthusiastic executive team with over 150 years of collective experience working together to develop and operate what will become a top gaming, entertainment and hospitality venue that provides ‘authentic experiences that rock’ in Northern California.”

Kicking off the property’s new executive team, the vice president of financeChristopher Balaban, is a numbers savvy-guru with over 20-years of gaming experience. Balaban possesses a successful track record of delivering results and value through strategic direction and financial operations leadership. Most recently, he held VP finance positions with Affinity Gaming and Penn National Gaming in the Las Vegas and mid-west regional markets. Additionally, Balaban has held positions with Seminole Gaming in South Florida and Kerzner International in Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Balaban also led hotel and F&B operations, developing a diverse operational background. He has an MBA from Florida Atlantic University and a BS from the University of South Florida.

Joining as vice president of human resourcesRyan Flieger, has been with the Hard Rock brand since 2012, holding leadership roles at both Hard Rock Hotel San Diego and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. In Las Vegas, Flieger successfully led a five-year initiative to redefine the property’s mission and core values, while increasing team member engagement to an all-time high. Flieger also played a lead role in talent acquisition, pre-opening training and culture setting for several Hard Rock Hotel expansions. Prior to joining the Hard Rock team, he spent nearly a decade with MGM Resorts where he helped guide the company’s award-winning diversity training initiative and MGM University. During his career, he’s been credited with leading successful internal cultural transformations and greatly improving talent retention. Flieger has been honored with several recognitions for his effective training programs and facilitation, including “Best Overall Trainer,” “Young Trainer to Watch” and was included in a “40 under 40” list of influential Las Vegas professionals.

A native of Las Vegas, Anika Gaskins serves as the vice president of marketing for the new property. An industry veteran, Gaskins has more than 17 years of experience, most recently opening the $1 billion MGM Resorts Springfield casino property as the vice president of national marketing where she was responsible for all loyalty and casino marketing initiatives. She has also held VP of marketing positions with Penn National Gaming, where she developed and executed marketing strategies and led efforts to increase revenue. Prior to joining Penn National Gaming, Gaskins held various marketing positions with Caesars Entertainment on the Las Vegas Strip and Caesars Windsor in Canada. She received her bachelor’s in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from Simmons College in Boston.

A casino executive with close to four decades of experience, the new vice president of table games, Paul Mollo, has been with the Hard Rock family since 2008, where he helped usher in the introduction of class 3 table games in Florida. He now joins the team in Sacramento, California. His management philosophy necessitates creating and maintaining a professional work culture that is built on a foundation of trust, respect, confidence and support. Mollo has worked with several gaming companies over the years to open properties, including Harrah’s, Trump Plaza and Borgata in the Atlantic City market. In addition to his table games role, he assisted HBO Productions with casino gaming aspects on “The Sopranos” and was even cast for several extra spots and one speaking role.

The vice president of IT, Matthew Morgan, brings more than 20 years of gaming industry technology experience from the Northern California, Las Vegas and Midwest markets. Morgan’s wealth of expertise in IT strategy, combined with the application of technical innovation, brings both operational efficiency and product differentiation to each property he leads at. Most recently, Morgan served as the chief information officer at The D Las Vegas, where he was responsible for two casino/hotel properties and technical operations of an 11,000-person entertainment venue. He also served as a vice president at Red Hawk Casino, PlayerSoft Technologies and Thunder Valley Casino.  Morgan’s focus over the last decade has been to bring mobile products to the casino market to solve common hospitality-industry problems. In May 2019, he will graduate with an MBA from Southeast Missouri State.

Will Provance serves as the vice president of slot operations and has spent more than 20 years in the hospitality industry, working in operational and leadership roles ranging from restaurants, entertainment, hotel operations and casino gaming. Starting at Station Casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada as a corporate slot analyst, he participated in their Management Development Program and worked his way up to director of slot and ancillary gaming operations at Sunset Station. From there, he was recruited by Mark Birtha to run the VLT (Slot) Operations at Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park, Ohio’s No. 1 ranked gaming facility. He was interviewed and featured as a contributor in David G. Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research’s book “Tales from the Slot Floor: Casino Managers in Their Own Words” and was named to the Emerging Leaders of Gaming’s “40 Under 40.”  Provance has a Master of Science degree in hotel administration with a focus in gaming from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, an MBA in international hotel and tourism management from Schiller International University and an executive certificate from Cornell University in customer-driven marketing.

Kaywan Samadani is the vice president of hospitality. His career began in 1990 at Caesars as a room chef at Harvey’s in his hometown of Lake Tahoe. During that time, Samadani opened two buffets, a steakhouse and a noodle bar, along with four casino bars and butler suites. He also assisted with the opening of Harrah’s Rincon (now Harrah’s Southern California) and the rebranding of the Rio in Las Vegas. In 2006, he relocated to Harrah’s St. Louis as director of F&B before being promoted to director of hospitality. Samadani also served as VP of casino services at Horseshoe Cleveland and Thistledown Racino. He moved to Cleveland in 2011, helping to open the property’s Beverage, Buffet, Culinary, Diamond Lounge and Slots operations.  Most recently, Samadani served as senior director of hospitality at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, where he opened the Mystic Lake Center, a 70,000 square foot convention space. Samadani attended Cabrillo College and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The property continues to build the employee team ahead of the fall 2019 opening and is expected to create more than 2,000 construction jobs upon its completion, with nearly 750 working at peak times on the project any given day. Upon opening, the property will employ over 1,000 full and part-time team members.  For more information, visit hardrockhotelsacramento.com.

 

About Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain:
Set to open in fall 2019, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain will feature the latest in live music and entertainment, hospitality, world-class gaming and exceptional cuisine. The property will be Hard Rock’s first Vegas-style casino in California and will offer a hotel with multiple suite options, a large gaming facility with more than 1,800 slot machine and table game positions, along with an outdoor pool and deck area, large meeting space and a vast selection of bars and restaurants. The property will also include signature brand amenities like the Sound of Your Stay® in-room music program, a Rock Shop® and a Body Rock® fitness center. Additionally, the project marks a historic partnership between two Native American Tribes – The Seminole Tribe of Florida, owners of Hard Rock International, and Enterprise Rancheria. Owners of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain property, the Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe of the Enterprise Rancheria is a sovereign Native American Nation offering diverse tribal government services and programs that improve the quality of life for its some 1,000 tribal citizens and surrounding communities in Northern California.

 

About Hard Rock International:

With venues in 75 countries, including 185 cafes, 27 hotels and 11 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s most valuable collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise available in Rock Shops and online at https://shop.hardrock.com. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands including Hard Rock Live performance venues. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, FL., both owned and operated by HRI parent entity The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Atlantic City, Bali, Cancun, Daytona Beach, Desaru Coast, Ibiza, Orlando, Shenzhen and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street in the United Kingdom, Kathmandu, Nepal, Kyoto, Japan and Chandigarh, India. New Hard Rock Hotel, Casino or Hotel & Casinoprojects include Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, London, Los Cabos, Madrid, Maldives, New York City, Ottawa, Sacramento, Dalian and Haikou in China. In 2018, Hard Rock International was recognized as a Forbes Magazine Top Employer for Women and Land Operator of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards. For more information on Hard Rock International visit www.hardrock.com.

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Gambling in the USA

Gaming Americas Weekly Roundup – September 12-18

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Welcome to our weekly roundup of American gambling news again! Here, we are going through the weekly highlights of the American gambling industry which include the latest news and new partnerships. Read on and get updated.

Latest News

Entain announced that its Sports Interaction brand has secured an online gaming license to operate in the recently regulated Ontario market, from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

BetMGM and Arizona Cardinals debuted the first sportsbook at a National Football League (NFL) stadium. The BetMGM Sportsbook at State Farm Stadium is a two-story, 17,000-square-foot entertainment destination featuring state-of-the-art sports wagering amenities.

PointsBet, in partnership with The Riverboat on the Potomac LLC, announced the opening of PointsBet Retail Sportsbook, Maryland’s newest retail sportsbook.

NOVOMATIC Americas is going to attend the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas. At this year’s G2E, the company will stage fresh and exciting gaming highlights as well as new premium hardware and winning solutions.

World Champion Fantasy is looking for experienced esports gamers to beta test its new groundbreaking product, PlayerX. PlayerX is set to be released in Q4 2022.

Caesars Entertainment has announced the launch of the Caesars Sportsbook & Casino Truck Tour, an expansive fan engagement campaign featuring a fully branded 18-wheeler traveling across the US.

CT Gaming is going to showcase its latest innovations at G2E Las Vegas on October 11-13 at the Venetian Expo. The leading manufacturer and gaming solutions provider will be located on stand 2050.

The We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort in Arizona has launched its new sportsbook in partnership with Betfred.

Partnerships

Churchill Downs Incorporated announced a multi-year agreement with FanDuel Group (FanDuel) involving multiple facets of FanDuel’s sports wagering, advance deposit wagering (ADW) and television businesses.

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and FanDuel announced a multiyear partnership extension, making FanDuel an Official Sportsbook Partner and Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the WNBA.

Kindred and the Philadelphia Eagles extend the agreement of their partnership until the end of the 2024/25 season. The deal acts as a three-year extension, but will include a new “Unibet Landing” location at Lincoln Financial Field, which will host a range of fan engagement activities throughout the year.

BC.GAME and the Argentine Football Association have entered into a global agreement that will open an international pathway for both brands to reach a broader audience and create new activities that will bring the companies and its players closer together.

Vanta has announced its official partnership with Wisdom Gaming as the official coaching partner for the Minnesota Varsity League (MNVL).

Aristocrat Gaming and the New England Patriots announced a multi-year partnership making Aristocrat an Official Partner of the Patriots and Gillette Stadium.

XLMedia PLC announced an expanded partnership with Advance Local to create premium betting content and a new revenue stream for their MassLive.com brand.

Anomura has partnered with Atari, a founding member of the arcade game, game console and personal computer industries.

New Appointments

Allied Esports Entertainment announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has appointed Yinghua Chen as CEO. Chen had previously served as the Company’s President, Chief Investment Officer and Board Secretary.

Fanatics, a leading global digital sports platform, has appointed Jason White as Chief Marketing Officer of Fanatics Betting & Gaming, the company’s online sports betting and iGaming division.

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Gambling in the USA

Gaming Americas Weekly Roundup – September 5-11

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Welcome to our weekly roundup of American gambling news again! Here, we are going through the weekly highlights of the American gambling industry which include the latest news and new partnerships. Read on and get updated.

Latest News

Betr has launched the Betr app, the world’s first micro-betting-focused app, which features a user experience exclusively focused on enabling users to predict the outcomes of every moment of every sporting event.

Betfred USA Sports has partnered the Lummi Nation to launch its newest retail sportsbook at Silver Reef Casino Resort in Northern Washington. The Betfred Sportsbook officially opened its doors with the honorary first bet made by American former football quarterback Warren Moon.

Conajzar, the gambling regulator of Paraguay, has launched a tender for the exclusive rights to operate a national sports betting franchise. The decision was disclosed to local media via an advertising campaign sanctioned by Conajzar, informing the public and businesses of tender proceedings.

Pragmatic Play goes live in Brazil with Chutebet. Chutebet customers can now enjoy Pragmatic Play’s complete slot portfolio, including much sought-after Wolf Gold and Gates of Olympus and Fire Hot, apart from Live Casino titles, such as Baccarat and Dragon Tiger.

BetMGM has released a star-studded advertisement campaign. The commercials, titled “IT’S ON” and released across social media platforms, features a host of actors, athletes and all BetMGM branch ambassadors.

Hard Rock Sportsbook launched its mobile app in Indiana and Tennessee. The company intends to engage its players with customised integrated in-person and online experiences.

Casino Del Sol of Tucson is going to launch a new Cross Game Matchup in Arizona for the upcoming NFL season, through its Solsports sports betting brand. The new product will be available through its Solsports sports betting brand, boasting of 450 games on which users can place bets.

Internet Vikings has expanded its range of hosting services in New Jersey. The company has been operating in the state for a year.

Catawba Nation has launched a 24-hour sports-gambling venue in North Carolina, featuring 30 betting kiosks and betting voucher redemption services. The sportsbook offers betting on the National Football League, auto racing, baseball, basketball, boxing and soccer.

Cxmmunity Media, a Black-owned organisation company working for ensuring minority representation and equity in the gaming sector, is launching the third season of its HBCU Esports League. The new season will start on September 13 and will feature student teams from 16 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

New Partnerships

BetMGM, a leading sports betting and iGaming operator, has entered into a multi-year partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs to become one of the team’s first sports betting partners.

Paysafe has entered into multi-state deal with ClutchBet, a Denver-based mobile sportsbook owned by Australia’s BlueBet Holdings Ltd. Paysafe’s new Skrill USA digital wallet and its Paysafecash eCash solution will facilitate online payments for ClutchBet’s sportsbook.

New Appointment

Caesars Entertainment announced that Matt Sunderland has been named senior vice president of iGaming, effective October 1. Sunderland joins the team with over 20 years experience in the online gambling industry.

New Acquisition

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), a major gaming operator in New Hampshire, has finished the formalities of its acquisition of Chasers Poker Room in Salem. Earlier, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission had provided its nod for the transaction.

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Gambling in the USA

New Legends Bay Casino Opens in Nevada

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The opening of a new casino is always a major event, and it becomes even more important when it’s a brand new casino in a gambling hotspot that hasn’t seen a lot of new developments in recent times. This is the case with the new Legends Bay Casino that has recently been opened in Sparks, Nevada.

The Full Story

Legends Bay Casino is the first new casino to be opened in this part of northern Nevada in more than 20 years. In fact, the plans for its development have been in place for well over a decade and have suffered a series of setbacks that delayed the construction time and time again.

The work on the 80,000-square-foot casino complex finally started in March last year, and an opening date of August 30 this year was set. The opening celebrations included a speech by the Sparks mayor and a fireworks display.

There are more than 650 slot games available at the new location, as well as ten live table games and five blackjack tables. Among their more eye-catching games is a live keno offering with a progressive jackpot that can rise to a value of up to $1 million. As well as classic table games, the location also includes dining and sports betting options.

The Variety of Games in Casinos Keeps Growing

This new casino is a good example of how new ways of playing are popping up in different games, as they’ve included the likes of Pai Gow Power and Three Card Poker in their collection. This is part of an overall trend for different types of casino games that have been led by online casinos and their sizeable collections of titles.

This look at some of the current UK casino table games shows us names like Casino War, Casino Hold ‘Em, and Mahjong Exchange, which not all players will be familiar with. The fact that these games can be tried for free allows players to try something new with no risk. They also sit alongside traditional casino games like roulette, blackjack, and baccarat, giving choices that more people will be used to.

The growing variety of slots now offered is another factor in this industry’s growth, as the top developers bring out new games based on different themes and with interesting new titles such as Camino de Chili Bonus Buy by Evoplay. By adding branded titles and progressive jackpots, these developers are able to appeal to a wider range of potential players, some of whom might never have considered playing slots before.

What Are the Chances of Success for Legends Bay?

There are currently about a dozen casinos in Sparks, although there are plenty of other options nearby, in places such as Reno. Further afield, the giant gambling hub of Las Vegas is about a seven-hour drive away, as it’s located at the opposite end of the state of Nevada from Sparks and Reno.

The fact that the plans for this casino have been in development for so long and have overcome a series of delays suggests that the people behind it believe that there’s room in the local market for it to succeed. The Reno-Sparks area broke the five million visitors barrier back in 2018, although those numbers have declined slightly in the last few years.

There’s no sign of casinos losing their appeal anytime soon, so it could be that the owners and the local authorities are basing their optimism on being able to attract visitors who would otherwise have gone to Las Vegas.

Their mixture of a big selection of games and high-quality places to eat makes sense, and they’ve also added extra touches like ergonomic chairs and warm lighting to make players feel at home. When describing the level of comfort in the casino, their spokesperson mentioned extra space being left between machines, high ceilings and a cutting-edge ventilation system.

Taking all of these points into consideration, the Legends Bays Casino seems like a comfortable, modern setting for people to play their favourite games in. We’ll need to wait for the first customer reviews and feedback to appear online before seeing whether that will be enough to get players to go there instead of Reno or Las Vegas, though.

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