LAS VEGAS - Three gaming companies captured two awards each and Isle of Capri Casinos Chairman and CEO Bernie Goldstein was named the top performing CEO of the Year, at the first annual AGA Communications Awards luncheon, sponsored by Goldman, Sachs & Co., here today. Executives with Argosy Gaming Company and MotorCity Casino were also honored.
Argosy Gaming Company, MGM MIRAGE and Sun International Hotels Ltd., each captured two Gaming Voice Awards, while IGT, the Arizona Lottery and the Casino Owners Association of Colorado took the other top honors. The Gaming Voice Awards, presented for the first time this year by the American Gaming Association, recognize excellence in financial and corporate communications in the gaming industry, including annual reports, publications and advertising.
“The quantity and quality of the entrants in our first awards program is a gauge of how far the gaming industry has come in a short period of time,” said AGA President and CEO Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. “It’s appropriate for the communications awards to coincide with the debut of G2E, since both reflect how the industry has grown to become part of the mainstream of the nation’s economy.”
Goldstein was awarded The HVS Executive Search Top Performing CEO of the Year honor, by HVS, a hospitality and human resources consulting firm, for his work as the head of the company he founded in 1992. He has been active in the development of riverboat gaming in a number of states and was instrumental in lobbying for the original legislation for riverboat gaming in Iowa.
Argosy Gaming Company Chairman and CEO James Perry accepted the HVS Top Performing Board of Directors award.
“This event acknowledges the vital role that investor relations and financial communications play in the success of the casino industry and recognizes those companies that have leveraged communications at the highest level to help achieve their business objectives,” said Steven Kent, vice president, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
The award for CMA Gaming Professional of the Year was presented to Rhonda Cohen, general manager of MotorCity Casino in Detroit. Cohen has been involved with the gaming industry since 1979. In 1999, Cohen joined the MotorCity Casino project as director of player development and was promoted to her current position in June 2000. As general manager, Cohen works with the CMA to provide educational opportunities for MotorCity employees, encouraging them to attend CMA workshops through the employee tuition reimbursement program.
“Effective communications with shareholders and customers are critical to the financial success of any company,” said Jay Kornmayer, executive vice president of Wells Fargo and chairman of the board of the AGA Communications Awards. “The program today showcases the best of what our industry is doing to communicate with our audiences at every level, from the executives in the boardroom to the customers on the casino floor.”
Entries submitted to the AGA Communications Awards were reviewed by a blue-ribbon panel of financial and advertising judges - experts in the fields of investor relations, public relations and advertising. The accounting firm Piercy, Bowler, Taylor & Kerns of Las Vegas tabulated the judges’ ballots and certified the winners.
More than 125 people, including gaming executives, advertising executives and gaming analysts, gathered at a luncheon at the Las Vegas Country Club to honor the work of more than 19 gaming companies and their advertising agencies in the categories of best annual report, best customer publication, best consumer broadcast ad and best consumer print ad.
The following is a complete list of companies recognized at the first annual communications awards:
- Best Annual Report Overall Argosy Gaming Company
- Best Annual Report: Large Cap MGM MIRAGE (agency: Schadler Kramer Group) Honorable Mentions: Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., and Park Place Entertainment Corporation
- Best Annual Report: Small or Mid Cap Argosy Gaming Company Honorable Mentions: Ameristar Casinos, Inc., and Mandalay Resort Group
- Best Annual Report: Public Agency The Arizona Lottery and the Casino Owners Association of Colorado Honorable Mention: Illinois Casino Gaming Association
- Best Annual Report: Gaming Vendor International Gaming Technology (IGT) Honorable Mention: WMS Gaming, Inc.
- Best Customer Publication MGM MIRAGE for “Supplier Diversity” Honorable Mentions: Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., for both “Focus” and “Harrah’s World”
- Best Consumer Broadcast Ad Campaign Sun International Hotels Ltd. for “Reason” Honorable Mentions: Casino Arizona for “Casino Arizona” (agency: Reister~Robb) and Hollywood Casino, Shreveport for “Grand Opening” (agency: Launch Partnership)
- Best Consumer Print Ad Campaign Sun International Hotels Ltd. for “Once Upon a Time” Honorable Mentions: Isle of Capri-Kansas City for “Isle of Capri Transition Campaign” (agency: Chesapeake Advertising, Inc.) and Argosy Gaming Company for “Everyone Loves a Winner”
The AGA represents the commercial casino-entertainment industry by addressing federal legislative and regulatory issues. The association also serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops educational and advocacy programs, and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern.