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Gaming Guru

 

Salvatore Semola Named Gaming Professional of the Year

17 September 2003

Salvatore P. Semola, chief operating officer of Greektown Casino in Detroit, is being recognized by his peers as one of the best in the casino industry by being named "Gaming Professional of the Year for the Eastern United States" by the Detroit/Windsor Chapter of the Casino Management Association ("CMA"). The award will be presented during a special luncheon at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas today, September 17, 2003, by the CMA at the American Gaming Association's Communication Award's Luncheon.

When being told about the Award, Mr. Semola reacted by stating the following; "I am truly humbled and honored to be recognized with such a prestigious award. While it may be my name on the award, Greektown Casino's Team Members are truly the ones who make Greektown Detroit's 'best' casino and made this possible. I've learned a lot about being a manager and being committed to employees at every phase of my career. The people I've worked for, and with, over the past two decades have taught me invaluable lessons about being a good manager. I try to apply these lessons each and every day in my life."

Robert Russell, President of the DetroitWindsor Chapter of the CMA, noted that; "Mr. Semola has been a driving force behind the CMA in Detroit/Windsor and his leadership and commitment to advancing the professionalism of the gaming industry through education makes him a perfect candidate for the 2003 Gaming Professional of the Year Award for the Eastern United States." Mr. Russell said to be considered for the award, nominees must have at least 10 years of casino experience, with at least three years in senior management. Significant contributions to the community and to casino education and training are also required.

Mr. Semola has a diverse and interesting background. His gaming career began as a Las Vegas pit clerk, where his excellent personal communication skills helped propel him into the position of assistant casino manager. Over the next two decades, he served in top management positions with Casino of The Sun in Tucson, Arizona; the Reno Hilton Hotel and Casino in Reno, Nevada; and the Silver Eagle Casino Riverboat in East Dubuque, Illinois. Semola then served as director of table games at Station Casino in Kansas City, where he helped plan, staff, and open a 140,000-square-foot, twin barge gaming attraction with 3,200 slot machines and 180 table games. From there, Semola made his way to Greektown Casino in 1999 as vice president of table game operations and was subsequently promoted to chief operating officer. While he has served in that capacity, the property has enjoyed steady increases in market share and profitability. During this same time frame Greektown has been recognized by The Detroit News as Michigan's "Best Casino," "Best Casino with Winning Slots," "Best Wait Staff Outfits," "Best Craps Tables," "Best Blackjack Tables," "Best High Rollers Area," "Best Casino Crowd," "Best Casino Restaurant," "Best Casino Decor," "Best Casino with Quickest Valet" and "Best Casino Entertainment."

Semola also taught gaming management courses at the University of Nevada-Reno, and was an adjunct professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where he earned a bachelor's degree in hotel administration in 1981.

A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Semola and his wife now make their home in the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Park.

Mr. Semola is the second recipient from this market of this prestigious award. He joins MotorCity Casino's Rhonda Cohen, who received the Gaming Professional of the Year Award in Las Vegas in 2001.

Detroit and the State of Michigan are truly fortunate to have such talented people in the management ranks. It is no wonder that this market continues to be one of the strongest markets (in terms of performance) in the industry.

David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com
David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com