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Digital Development

Christopher Jewett, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Bally’s Corporation

Digital Development

Christopher Jewett was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. He has lived all his life in Buffalo and is an avid Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres fan. During his free time, he enjoys playing hockey and golf, attending sporting events, real estate investing, and traveling.

So his favorite quote is from former Buffalo Bills head coach Marv Levy: “Where else would you rather be, than right here, right now?”

Jewett grew up in the hospitality industry working in various positions, including working at a local pizzeria, delivering produce to local restaurants and country clubs, and working at a high-end Italian steakhouse waiting tables.

The prospect of working for a global hospitality company to get his feet wet in finance appealed to Jewett, so he applied for an internship at Delaware North, a global hospitality company which felt like a perfect fit. He spent the first 10 years of his career with Delaware North, first as a finance intern, then under various associate and analyst roles within the financial planning and analysis division with a particular focus on new business opportunities. Jewett then transitioned to the gaming division, directly overseeing all financial, planning and analysis functions, financial reporting, and new business opportunities for the $1 billion-plus division.

Jewett next took a role as director of corporate development, focusing solely on gaming development opportunities across the globe. He had direct oversight and responsibility for many key acquisitions and asset divestures that occurred over his five-year tenure working in gaming, including during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jewett then joined Bally’s Corporation in December 2020. Since joining Bally’s, he has been responsible for strategic growth initiatives, including most recently as the project executive for Bally’s successful bid for the Chicago casino license. Jewett has really enjoyed Bally’s, as it is an entrepreneurial organization with significant growth trajectories in the three-plus years since he joined. He finds that this entrepreneurial culture enables his team various opportunities somewhat similar to a startup company, and as a result, he has been able to gain exposure to various functional areas and projects that sometimes do not exist in more traditional companies.

Jewett is thankful for finding the right mentor during the early part of his career to support him and to develop key skills needed to progress as a mid-level to executive-level manager. While there are many great teachers and influential coworkers that impacted Jewett over the years, he truly excelled under the right mentor who took the time to invest in him and in his career goals, beyond “just getting the day-to-day job done.”

Given that everything is going digital, Jewett is excited to see how technology will continue to be a huge differentiating factor for gaming operators in the years ahead. Whether through digital wallets or simply communicating with customers through a smartphone app, he believes that these opportunities represent just the beginning of where the industry will continue to develop. Jewett advises emerging leaders and young professionals to embrace technology and to keep an open mind that will enable them to differentiate their skill sets and the values that they can add to an organization.

Key advice that Jewett offers for professionals beginning their careers is that hard work is No. 1, and most important. He encourages others to spend time immersing themselves in roles outside of their own, and to take on additional responsibilities outside of day-to-day duties. Volunteering for projects and self-initiative offer huge opportunities for personal development.

Says Jewett, “Be comfortable being uncomfortable!”

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