Inside Gaming: Drew Las Vegas Enlists Bobby Baldwin as CEO

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Bobby Baldwin

Bobby Baldwin Named CEO of Drew Las Vegas

Late last week owners of the currently under construction Drew Las Vegas announced that Poker Hall of Famer and longtime gaming executive Bobby Baldwin will serve as Chief Executive Officer for the Drew, per CDC Gaming Reports.

Baldwin assumes the CEO position immediately, as well as a role as vice chairman of the Witkoff Group, the New York-based real estate firm that purchased the property and struck a partnership with Marriott International in order to open the new casino resort.

The property is located near Circus Circus and SLS at the north end of the Strip where the never-finished Fountainbleau Las Vegas had been located.

It was at the end of last year that Baldwin stepped down from his positions as Chief Customer Development Officer of MGM Resorts and CEO and President of CityCenter. Baldwin had become CEO of Project City Center back in 2005 after having previously served as president of the Golden Nugget and the Bellagio — where he’s the namesake of “Bobby’s Room” — over the course of a career as a casino executive dating back to the early 1980s.

Such a background was highlighted by Steven Witkoff, CEO and Chairman of the Witkoff Group, when he described Baldwin as “a transformational leader who has unrivaled experience” in the industry.

“Given Bobby’s industry reputation and experience, we believe he’s both the ideal individual to successfully launch this project and the ideal person to help drive strategy within the overall Witkoff enterprise,” said Witkoff.

Baldwin was similarly positive in his statement, noting he was “thrilled to be part of the Witkoff organization” as well as those at Drew Las Vegas. “Witkoff’s proven track record in global real estate development, financing, and operations makes this the right opportunity, particularly when combined with the introduction of the Drew.”

Originally scheduled to open next year, back in the spring it was announced that the Drew is now set to open in 2022. Along with the casino the Drew will feature a 67-story hotel with approximately 3,800 rooms, with convention and meeting space, retail shops, restaurants, a spa and pool, and other amenities.

The photo above shows Baldwin in action at the €1,000,000 Big One for One Drop at Monte-Carlo in 2016. Highlights of Baldwin’s poker playing career include four World Series of Poker bracelets, including a victory in the 1978 WSOP Main Event at age 28, at the time the youngest-ever champion. That record is currently held by Joe Cada was was 21 when he won the Main Event in 2009.

American Gaming Association Names Trevor Croker Next Chairman

This week the American Gaming Association announced that Trevor Croker, CEO and Managing Director of the slot machines manufacturer Aristocrat Technologies Limited has been selected to serve as the AGA’s next Chairman starting in January. Croker will succeed Tim Wilmott of Penn National Gaming after he completes his two-year tenure in the position.

In the announcement, AGA President and CEO Bill Miller highlighted Croker’s “invaluable insights from our supplier members and fresh perspectives on how to propel the industry into the next generation of gaming.”

Croker has been serving on the AGA’s board and in executive committees since he became CEO at Aristocrat in 2017. “It’s a great privilege to lead the AGA during a time of great growth and change in the gaming industry,” said Croker of his new position.

Located in Washington, DC, the AGA advocates for the gaming entertainment industry in a variety of ways, including via lobbying lawmakers regarding laws, regulatory issues, and other concerns. The association also sponsors the Global Gaming Expo each year.

Vegas Casino Sues NHL Player Over $500K Debt

The Las Vegas Golden Knights made quite a debut two years ago in the National Hockey League, making it all of the way to the Stanley Cup Finals before losing to the Washington Capitals. The Golden Knights had a winning record again last year and have started the 2019-2020 season positively as well.

Over the course of its history thus far Las Vegas has beaten Pacific Division rival San Jose Sharks nearly two out of every three times the teams have competed. However, when the teams met in the first round of last year’s playoffs, the Sharks were able to knock out the Golden Knights in a close 4-3 series.

It was during that series that one San Jose player apparently did not come away a winner. We know that because on Monday The Cosmopolitan sued Sharks forward Evander Kane over unpaid gambling debts he accrued at the casino earlier this year in mid-April — that is, when the Sharks were in Las Vegas during their playoff series.

As the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports, the lawsuit states Kane took out eight markers or credits totaling $500,000 which he failed to pay back. The Cosmopolitan is seeking that amount plus legal fees in its lawsuit.

Last year Kane signed a seven-year, $49 million deal with the Sharks.

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Sharelines

  • Inside Gaming: Bobby Baldwin named CEO of Strip resort Drew Las Vegas, now slated to open in 2022.

  • Baldwin CEO of Drew Las Vegas, AGA names new chairman, NHL player sued by LV casino over debts.

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