News

Three Industry Leaders to be Inducted into the American Gaming Association’s Gaming Hall of Fame at G2E 2015

Press Release
September 14, 2015

LAS VEGAS – The American Gaming Association (AGA) announced today the induction of three honorees into the Gaming Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015: Victor Salerno of William Hill US, Lynn Valbuena of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and Navegante Group founder Larry J. Woolf.

The inductees will be honored at an invitation-only ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 30 at MGM Grand as part of the annual Global Gaming Expo (G2E), presented by the AGA.  

G2E registration for attendees and media is open. Follow the links below for more details:

Media:http://bit.ly/G2E2015MediaRegistration

Attendees: http://bit.ly/G2E2015AttendeeRegistration

Seminar Information:http://bit.ly/G2ESeminarHighlights

“Victor, Lynn and Larry are pioneers in the gaming industry and worthy of induction into a very special fraternity,” said American Gaming Association CEO Geoff Freeman. “Victor has been on the cutting edge of the sports gaming industry for decades, Lynn has been a staunch advocate for tribal rights and Larry’s business acumen has been the driving force for the success of several renowned properties.”

Salerno, originally a dentist by trade, moved to Las Vegas in 1978 to take the reins of Leroy’s Horse & Sports Place from his father-in-law, Leroy Merillat. Over the next three-plus decades, he became one of sports gaming’s great innovators and the pioneer in satellite race and sports books statewide. In 1984, he replaced handwritten betting tickets with a computerized betting system called Computerized Bookmaking Systems, allowing sports books to eliminate fraud while expediting the betting process. Salerno was one of the first sports book operators to offer telephone account wagering and developed the first self-service sports wagering kiosk in 2002. In 2010, he was the mastermind behind LEROY’s® App, Nevada’s first mobile sports betting app. Salerno currently serves as chairman of the board of William Hill US.

Sports Betting at G2E: The future of sports betting will be a hot-button topic at G2E, with seminars ranging from the ongoing debate surrounding daily fantasy sports and how to tap into the millennial market.

Valbuena is Chairwoman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and is in her 20th year as the Chairwoman of the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations (TASIN).  In her role with TASIN, she works tirelessly to advance tribal sovereign governmental rights, cultural identity and the interests of those tribes located in the Central District of California. As executive secretary of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) from 1997-2011, Valbuena was the liaison for the largest organization of gaming tribes in the country.

Tribal Gaming at G2E: Tribal gaming will be a key focus at this year’s expo. “State Incursions into Tribal Government Gaming: Recent Developments” will focus on the recent increase of state taxation and regulatory threats, while “Council Considerations: Tribal Roundtable” will be a wide-ranging discussion centered on ensuring a successful casino operation. In addition, Valbuena will be a featured speaker at the Global Gaming Women (GGW) seminar, “Women in Gaming: State of the Industry.”

Woolf’s 40 plus-year’s gaming industry career includes many firsts that changed and improved the industry nationwide.  As President of Caesars Tahoe, he initiated the first companywide drug hair-testing program, which has become a standard that has improved not only the industry, but the communities they serve.  As Chairman, CEO and President of MGM Grand, his input was integral in the design, planning and construction of the first billion-dollar integrated resort, which opened in 1993 with more than 5,000 guest rooms and 9,000 employees. Woolf broke new ground at MGM Grand by being the first to open a Las Vegas casino with a roster of celebrity chefs, a trend that exploded and is now the norm.  He also introduced TITO, another first and now an industry standard. Woolf founded the Navegante Group in 1995, which provides development, management and consulting services for casinos worldwide.  He is also an investor/owner in several casinos.

Integrated Resort Experience at G2E: Casino development will be prominent at G2E this year with the debut of the Integrated Resort Experience (IRE), where approximately 20,000 square feet of floor space will be devoted to non-gaming amenities offered by casino-resorts. The “Smart Trends: Technological Touch to Integrated Resorts” seminar will emphasize how technology drives customer behavior, while “Inside the Integrated Resort: IR’s Meaning to Jurisdictions and Companies” will provide attendees with an all-encompassing overview of the integrated resort.

Click here to see past Hall of Fame inductees.

About Global Gaming Expo 2015

Global Gaming Expo 2015 , the world’s premier event for the casino gaming industry, is broadening its scope to match the changing gaming-resort landscape and position its attendees for the future. Complementing an expanded gaming focus, the 2015 show will introduce the “Integrated Resort Experience at G2E,” presenting innovative non-gaming technology, products and services as guests would experience them in a gaming-resort setting. This new effort will deliver a complete “end-to-end” solution to help casinos attract more guests, encourage them to stay and play longer, and increase revenue per visitor. The annual event showcases the latest developments in gaming technology and features keynote addresses by high-profile leaders from within and outside of the gaming industry.

The Global Gaming Expo takes place September 28 – October 1 in Las Vegas at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. For more information about the Global Gaming Expo 2015, please visit www.globalgamingexpo.com.


press release contact
Caroline Ponseti

(202) 552-2675