LAS VEGAS - U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and entertainer Paul Anka will be honored tomorrow night at the first annual American Gaming Association (AGA) Awards Dinner Honoring America’s Gaming Greats. Two casino companies - Boyd Gaming Corporation and Park Place Entertainment Corporation - will receive special recognition for leadership in promoting responsible gaming.
The event, part of Global Gaming Expo, the AGA’s international trade show and conference that debuted today at the Las Vegas Convention Center, will benefit the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG).
Sen. Reid will receive the Industry Leadership Award for his tireless advocacy of the gaming industry. He was chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission from 1977 to 1982, and, since his election to the Senate in 1986, has been a voice on Capitol Hill for the hundreds of thousands of people whose jobs are supported by gaming entertainment, and for communities where gaming entertainment provides a strong economic foundation.
Singer/songwriter Paul Anka, who was named one of Billboard Magazine’s most successful artists of all time, will receive the AGA’s 2001 Entertainer Award. Anka, who wrote such classics as “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” and “My Way,” has been a top name in the gaming-entertainment industry for several decades. He has performed in casinos nationwide, and his headlining shows in Atlantic City continue to draw record-breaking crowds. Anka recently signed an unprecedented four-year deal with Bally’s Grand Resorts in Atlantic City and with Foxwoods Resort Casino.
In addition to Sen. Reid and Anka, the AGA will also honor two industry leaders, Boyd Gaming Corporation and Park Place Entertainment Corporation, for their significant financial support of the NCRG, which has funded groundbreaking research on gambling disorders. Boyd Gaming Corporation, owner, operator and developer of 13 casino properties in Nevada, New Jersey Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana and Louisiana, was a founding contributor of the NCRG. Park Place Entertainment Corporation, the world’s largest gaming company, will be recognized as a member of the “Million-Dollar Club,” which has been established for those companies contributing $1 million or more to the NCRG.
“Few define the best of the gaming industry better than this year’s honorees,” AGA President and CEO Frank J. Fahrenkopf said. “I’m proud to be paying tribute to some of the most outstanding leaders of our industry. Each has had a unique impact on our business, and the entire industry will be coming out this week to express our gratitude for their contributions.”
More than 600 people are expected to attend the awards dinner at the Rio All-Suite Hotel. A reception preceding the dinner and ceremony will feature the city’s top chefs. The dinner program will showcase some of the hottest attractions in Las Vegas entertainment, including Clint Holmes from Harrah’s Las Vegas; The Scintas, now appearing at the Rio; and the Salseritos, a Latin dance troupe. Fahrenkopf will serve as master of ceremonies, and KTNV news anchors Cathy Ray and Ken Hamilton will introduce the video vignettes about the participating chefs.
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.