Keeps role as president; Chairman James B. Perry to become executive chairman

Isle of Capri Casinos President and COO Virginia McDowell is being promoted to the position of chief executive officer, and Chairman James B. Perry will become executive chairman.

McDowell will remain president of the multijurisdictional operator, and she and Perry will continue in their current roles until a “transition date” to be determined by the board of directors, Isle said. The changes, which are subject to regulatory approval, are expected to occur before the end of the year. The company will, in the meantime, launch a search for a new chief operating officer.

“It is clear to the board and me that Virginia is the ideal person to lead this company forward,” Perry said. “She has led our operations through sweeping improvements as chief operating officer, and her dedication to providing the best quality entertainment experience for our customers will serve our company well as we grow into the future.”

McDowell, one of the industry’s most respected executives, has 30 years of experience in casino operations, marketing, technology and management. At Isle she has overseen day-to-day operations of 15 casinos since July 2007. She joined the company from Trump Entertainment Resorts, where she served as executive vice president and chief information officer. Prior to that she served eight years at Argosy Gaming Co. as vice president of sales and marketing and finally as senior vice president of operations. She began her gaming career in Atlantic City, holding a variety of executive positions over a period of more than 15 years.

Isle of Capri owns and operates casinos in Mississippi in Biloxi, Lula, Natchez and Vicksburg; in Lake Charles, La.; in Iowa in Bettendorf, Davenport, Marquette and Waterloo; in Boonville, Caruthersville and Kansas City, Mo.; in Black Hawk, Colo.; and in Pompano Beach, Fla.

The company’s 16th casino, in Cape Girardeau, Mo., is expected to open in late 2012.