WYOMISSING, Pa. & JOLIET, Illinois -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Penn National Gaming, Inc. (Nasdaq: PENN) announced today that subject to customary regulatory approvals, Wayne Smith has been named General Manager of Hollywood Casino Joliet effective in early January 2012. He succeeds Jon Johnson, who served as General Manager of Hollywood Casino Joliet since September 2009 and will be assuming the role of Chief Financial Officer of the M Resort in Henderson, Nevada. Smith will report to John Finamore, Senior Vice President of Regional Operations at Penn National Gaming.
Mr. Smith brings over 18 years of successful and diverse gaming industry experience to Penn National, including senior management roles at properties in large metropolitan regional markets as well as at a destination resort casino in Las Vegas. He joins the Company from Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway in New York where he served as Chief Operating Officer since 2008 and Chief Financial Officer from 2007 to 2008. During his time as Chief Operating Officer, Smith was responsible for over 1,100 employees and had direct oversight for operations, finance, marketing, information technology and human resources. Under his leadership, Empire City Casinos slot win per day per unit increased approximately 50% from 2009 to 2010 and property operating costs declined approximately 10%. Prior to joining Empire City Casino, Smith served as Vice President, Finance at Harrahs St. Louis from 2005-2007. From 1996 to 2005, he served in senior management positions at MGM Mirage, including over five years in the accounting department at both MGM Grand Las Vegas and MGM Grand Detroit followed by his tenure as Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer at MGM Grand Detroit from 2001 to 2005. Earlier in his career, Smith was a Senior Internal Auditor at ITT Sheraton and an auditor at Pannell Kerr Foster, a public accounting firm where he focused on the hospitality sector.
John Finamore commented, “Wayne brings many years of senior management experience and accomplishments at casinos located in competitive large metropolitan markets as well as a strong financial background to his new role at Hollywood Casino Joliet. Since Hollywood Casino Joliets reopening in mid-2009 after a temporary closure following a fire earlier that year, Jon Johnson and his property operating team have done a an excellent job of successfully repositioning the remodeled facility in the market. We look forward to benefiting from Waynes extensive experience as he builds upon Jons success at Hollywood Casino Joliet to further the propertys evolution as well as further benefiting from Jons expertise as he assumes his new role at M Resort.”
Hollywood Casino Joliet features a casino floor and interior that combines classic luxury and glamour of 1930s art deco style with the latest technology and amenities designed for guest comfort. The 50,000 square foot casino features over 1,100 slots, including popular video, reel and progressive games, as well as 23 table games including live poker as well as high limit and VIP areas. The property also features four restaurants including the Final Cut Steakhouse fine dining offering and the 250-seat Epic Buffet.
About Penn National Gaming
Penn National Gaming, through its subsidiaries, owns, operates or has ownership interests in gaming and racing facilities with a focus on slot machine entertainment. The Company presently operates twenty-five facilities in eighteen jurisdictions, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Ontario. In aggregate, Penn Nationals operated facilities feature approximately 28,500 gaming machines, approximately 600 table games, 2,400 hotel rooms and 1.1 million square feet of gaming floor space.
Effective Date: December 23th 2011.
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