WASHINGTON— The man behind the world’s largest gaming company, the former head of the industry’s top trade association, one of the Strip’s–and the world’s–most spectacular headliners and one of the world’s top culinary artists make up the 2013 class for the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Gaming Hall of Fame.
Gary Loveman, chairman, CEO and president of Caesars Entertainment Corporation; Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., leader of the AGA for its first 18 years; Celine Dion, a performer who led the rebirth of the headlining show in Las Vegas; and Guy Savoy, the creative force behind one of the Strip’s most memorable culinary experiences, will be honored for their outstanding contributions to the growth and stature of the gaming industry. The 25th annual Gaming Hall of Fame Charity Gala and Induction Ceremony will be held on Thursday, Nov. 14 at PURE Nightclub at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and all proceeds from the event will benefit the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG).
“The gaming industry is nothing without its innovators, artists and advocates driving it forward, and we are proud to honor Gary, Frank, Celine and Guy as talents who have helped transform our business into the entertainment juggernaut it is today,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA.
Gary Loveman joined Caesars Entertainment Corporation as chief operating officer in 1998 after serving as an associate professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration. He drew on his background in service management to develop the gaming industry’s most successful loyalty program, Total Rewards, which boasts more than 40 million members.
Since being named CEO in January 2003, Loveman has presided over a period of growth that included the 2004 purchase of Horseshoe Gaming and the World Series of Poker and the 2005 acquisition of Caesars Entertainment, Inc. In January 2008, Caesars went private in a $30.7 billion transaction led by private equity firms TPG Capital and Apollo. In the wake of the recent financial crisis, Loveman has led Caesars’ successful debt reduction and liquidity improvement strategies, while adding Planet Hollywood to the company’s portfolio. Loveman was recognized as the gaming and lodging industry’s best CEO by Institutional Investor magazine for four consecutive years.
Loveman is the past chairman of the AGA, a member of the President’s Export Council and chairman of the Business Roundtable’s Committee on Health and Retirement. He also serves as a director of Coach, Inc. and FedEx Corporation and sits on the Board of Trustees at Children’s Hospital Boston and the Visiting Committee of the Department of Economics at M.I.T.
Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. founded, and for nearly two decades piloted, the commercial casino industry’s leading trade association–the AGA–helping the industry establish a significant presence in Washington, D.C. When the AGA was created, the perception of the gaming industry in Washington and throughout much of the country was based more on myth than reality, and under Fahrenkopf’s leadership, the organization fostered a better understanding of the industry by the general public, the media, elected officials and other decision makers.
Some of the AGA’s key accomplishments during Fahrenkopf’s tenure include the positive findings and recommendations of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, the establishment and good works of the National Center for Responsible Gaming, and the worldwide success of industry trade shows Global Gaming Expo and G2E Asia. The creation and adoption of an industrywide code of conduct for responsible gaming, creation of the AGA Diversity Task Force to promote diversity in industry hiring and procurement, the recent establishment of the Global Gaming Women program and leadership in the pursuit of intelligent regulatory reform also are key successes.
Fahrenkopf was the chairman of the Republication National Committee for six of Ronald Reagan’s eight years in the White House and led the party through successful presidential elections in 1984 and 1988. He continues to serve as co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, which conducts the general election presidential and vice presidential debates in presidential election years.
Celine Dion is one of the most immediately recognized, widely respected and successful performers in pop music history, having sold more than 200 million albums around the world. In March 2003, Celine began “A New Day…” at The Colosseum. Due to the unprecedented sold-out success of the show, the original three-year engagement was quickly extended an additional two years. On March 15, 2011, Dion returned to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace to begin her second three-year residency.
Born in Charlemagne, a small town 30 miles east of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Dion first began to receive recognition for her talent in 1982, winning the Gold Medal at the Yamaha World Song Festival in Tokyo, along with the coveted Musician's Award for Top Performer. During her spectacular career, Dion has been honored with more than 1,000 awards, including five Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, 20 Juno Awards (Canada) and 40 Felix Awards (Quebec). Her recordings also have won two Academy Awards.
Guy Savoy grew up in Bourgoin-Jallieu, near the gastronomic epicenter of Lyon, France, and was surrounded by a culinary culture where seasonal food products were a part of everyday life. This attention to the “perfect” product and the terroir (land) from which it comes is the backbone of his cooking.
In 1980, he opened his first restaurant, RESTAURANT GUY SAVOY, on the Rue Duret in Paris, where he won his first Michelin star only one year later. In 1987, Savoy moved his restaurant to its current location, just a few steps from the Arc de Triomphe, where he quickly established himself and his restaurant as two of the world’s most valued culinary treasures. Its coveted three Michelin stars are widely recognized as the pinnacle in culinary achievement.
The May 2006 launch of RESTAURANT GUY SAVOY Caesars Palace, Las Vegas was one of the most eagerly anticipated restaurant openings in the United States. This intimate fine-dining venue seats approximately 75 guests and was designed to perfectly recreate the elegant and sophisticated design elements of the original RESTAURANT GUY SAVOY.
Induction into the Gaming Hall of Fame is the highest honor accorded by the gaming-entertainment industry. Each year, individuals who have distinguished themselves through significant contributions to the industry receive this honor. More than 70 people have been inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame since its inception in 1989.
For information about sponsorship opportunities for the Gaming Hall of Fame Charity Gala and Induction Ceremony, contact Press Secretary at 202-552-2675.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) is the national trade association for the commercial casino industry. In addition to representing the interests of its members on federal legislative and regulatory issues, the AGA serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops educational and advocacy programs, and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern. Follow the AGA on Twitter (@AGAupdate) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/americangaming).
The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) is the only national organization exclusively devoted to funding research that helps increase understanding of pathological and youth gambling and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder. Founded in 1996 as a 501(c)3 charitable organization, the NCRG is the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) affiliated charity. For more information, visit www.ncrg.org. NCRG funds provide grants to researchers to increase understanding of pathological gambling and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder.