James F. Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and chairman of Hard Rock International, has received the Casino Marketing Lifetime Achievement Award. Allen was honored at the Casino Marketing & Technology Conference presented by Casino Journal magazine and its parent company, BNP Media.
The Casino Marketing Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2004 to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the area of casino marketing, promotions and customer service.
“He’s an MVP in our industry, no doubt about it,” said Casino Journal Executive Editor Charles Anderer. “With the Hard Rock, he’s been so smart about how they have leveraged that brand, and they’ve done it perfectly.”
Allen, who grew up in the area of Atlantic City, N.J., was presented with a large framed historic photograph of the Atlantic City Boardwalk, in honor of his Lifetime Achievement Award. Allen launched his gaming industry career in 1979 at Bally’s Park Place in Atlantic City. He continued at the Hilton Atlantic City, the Trump Organization, Hemmeter Enterprises and Sun International Resorts, before teaming with the Seminole Tribe of Florida in 2001, prior to the openings of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla., two of the most successful casinos in the world.
Allen was named CEO of Seminole Gaming and has led the Tribe’s gaming operation to record results, including a 673 percent increase in gaming revenues. He also engineered the Tribe’s 2007 purchase of Hard Rock International, the largest purchase of an international company by an Indian tribe in North America. Hard Rock International revenues have more than doubled under Allen’s leadership.
“The Seminoles had amazing success long before they met Jim Allen,” said Allen, in remarks at the award ceremony, noting that joining forces with the Seminole Tribe, “was the luckiest and wisest decision I’ve ever made in my life.”
“It’s what I do and what I love,” he added. “I have had the opportunity to work with and for some of the legendary people in industry. For 38 years, the industry has been so good to me, but I’ve never forgotten where I have come from.”