The list of members inducted into the American Gaming Association’s Hall of Fame is a long and impressive record of the founders and developers of the casino industry. Each year, the American Gaming Association chooses individuals who fit the criterion of having changed and influenced the industry in one way or another.
This year’s cast of new members fits those categories and more. Led by Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, the stellar nominees also include University of Nevada-Reno Professor Bill Eadington, restaurateur Charlie Palmer and the Blue Man Group, represented by co-founder Philip Stanton.
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. Proceeds from the event benefit the National Center for Responsible Gaming, the only national organization devoted exclusively to public education about and funding of peer-reviewed research on gambling disorders.
Sheldon G. Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., a company with world-class gaming properties in Las Vegas, Macau, Singapore and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is widely credited with helping transform the city of Las Vegas from a gaming-centric regional location into an international business and leisure destination, and laying the groundwork to turn Macau and Singapore into two of the world’s most lucrative gaming markets.
“Our industry was built by iconoclasts—visionary, creative and confident risk-takers who challenged conventional wisdom, people whose strong convictions, self-confidence and ability to bring their dreams to fruition propelled them to the peak of their profession,” said Gary Loveman, chairman, president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment Corp. “Anyone who has had firsthand experience in dealing with him can attest that each of these descriptions applies to Sheldon Adelson.”
In his acceptance remarks, Adelson said, “We are all so much more than the label ‘gaming industry,’” noting that hotels, shows, spas, restaurants, meeting space and shopping are now integral to the business. He also gave praise to the industry’s most valuable—and often forgotten—asset: industry employees.
“The most important part of who we are as a business is probably the last thing people think of when they think of us: the hard-working, caring people who work hard to provide for their families and keep customers coming back for more.”
Blue Man Group has been a Las Vegas headliner for more than a decade, and during that time has become one of the Las Vegas Strip’s most popular acts. The wildly successful show began its Las Vegas run at the Luxor Las Vegas before moving to the Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino. Starting in the fall of 2012, Blue Man Group will entertain guests at a third Strip property—the Monte Carlo Las Vegas Resort and Casino.
Charlie Palmer has received critical acclaim for his signature progressive American cooking, and over the years, has opened 13 notable restaurants across the country—including five associated with gaming properties. Las Vegas visitors can experience Palmer’s handiwork at Michelin-starred Aureole at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino and Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons, Las Vegas; and while in Reno they can visit Charlie Palmer Steak, Fin Fish and Briscola, all in the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino.
Dr. William Eadington is a professor of economics and director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada-Reno. He is an internationally recognized authority on the legalization and regulation of commercial gaming and has written extensively on issues relating to the economic and social impacts of the industry.
“We owe Bill much of the credit for our current understanding of the economic and social impacts of commercial gaming,” said Keith Smith, president and CEO of Boyd Gaming Corporation and chairman of the AGA. “His deep knowledge of the industry’s economics and his insights on the legalization and regulation of commercial gaming have been invaluable. Indeed, his work has not only served our industry; it also has served the countless communities that have benefited from commercial gaming.”