On the Move
On the MoveWho's going where and doing what in the gaming industry
AMERICAN CASINO & ENTERTAINMENT PROPERTIESRakesh Bhatnagar has been named vice president of purchasing for the Las Vegas-based parent company of the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino and Arizona Charlie's hotel-casinos. He joined the company in 1995 as director of purchasing and was a member of the executive team that opened the property. In his new position, he is responsible for the procurement, contracts and leases for all three properties.
Kim Davis has been named vice president of human resources. In her new position, she will be responsible for centralized human resources functions for all three casino properties. She will also conduct human resources functions for financier Carl Icahn outside of the gaming industry.
Mary Beth Long has been named vice president of finance for the company. She joined the company in 2002 as financial controller. In her new position, Long will be responsible for coordination and management of all functions pertaining to finance, including general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, revenue audit and financial analysis for all American Casino properties.
Sean Evans has been named vice president of sales for the Las Vegas-based company. He will coordinate and lead Aristocrat's North American and Caribbean sales efforts. He joined the company in 2000 and has served in a variety of sales positions, most recently as general manager of gaming.
Rich Rabin has been appointed chief operating officer for Century's North American operations, which include the United States and Canada. Rabin has held management positions in a number of casino companies, including PDS Gaming, International Thunderbird Gaming and the Colorado Gaming and Entertainment Co.
Cornelius Klerk has been named chief financial officer of the Reno, Nev.-based company. Klerk will be responsible for all the company's financials. He has over 27 years of senior-level management experience in the gaming industry, most recently served as vice president of finance for Aristocrat Technologies.
Rollie Hill has been named vice president of capital. He will head a new business unit called IGT Capital that is designed to assist casino customers with machine purchases, development loans and other financial assistance. Hill has been with Sodak for 12 years and will continue to work out of the company's Rapid City, S.D. headquarters.
NIAGARA CASINOSLarry L. Lewin has been named president of the Niagara Falls, ON-based company. He will be responsible for daily operations of both Casino Niagara and the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. He previously served as president of Hyatt Gaming Management.
POTAWATOMI BINGO CASINOHartford Shegonee has been named security director for the Milwaukee, Wis. Property. In his new position, Shegonee will oversee all of the property's operations to ensure the integrity of the gaming operations and maintain the casino's policies. He will also oversee security for the Potawatomi's administration building.
SHUFFLE MASTERGordon Dickie has been promoted to vice president of compliance and government affairs for the Las Vegas-based company. Dickie joined Shuffle Master in February from the Cabazon Gaming Commission, where he served as executive director. He has also held operations, security and surveillance positions at Harrah's Entertainment, Hilton Gaming Corp. and Primadonna Resorts.
SILVERTON HOTEL & CASINORobert Kunkle has been promoted to assistant general manager of the Las Vegas property. He will help oversee the daily casino operations and corporate gaming, hotel, dining and entertainment functions for the casino and hotel. Kunkle has served as the property's food and beverage director for the past five years.
Shelley Wang has been named to the newly created position of assistant to the CEO for the Garden City, N.Y.-based company. Wang is the daughter of Tony and Tai Wang, the founders of the company, and she will work closely with President and CEO Tony Wang to help him coordinate operations.
OBITUARIESBennett Abrams, renowned "eco-artist" and co-founder of Carlsbad, Calif.-based NatureMaker, Inc., passed away on August 3 at his home in San Marcos, Calif. He was 72. In the 1980s, Abrams and his life partner, Gary Hanick, founded California Country Trees, and later the public studio, NatureMaker, Inc. Abrams gained worldwide recognition and fame for inventing, innovating, and promulgating an entirely new art form: "Steel Art Trees." These true-to-life sculptures were introduced to the casino industry when Steve Wynn commissioned them for his former Mirage Resorts properties in the 1990s.
Rex Buntain, columnist for the Terre Haute Tribune-Star died of heart-related health issues in June. He was 47. Buntain was perhaps best known to the gaming industry for his stints as a writer for International Gaming & Wagering Business and as editor of Casino Executive during the late 1990s. After leaving Casino Executive, Buntain returned to his home state of Indiana and became an award-winning columnist for the Tribune-Star.