Sean Pattwell new CRDA's head

Atlantic City casino reinvestment agency to be led by experienced insurance executive

Sean M. Pattwell, new Executive Director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA).
United States
Reading time 2:57 min

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has appointed Sean M. Pattwell, a longtime insurance industry executive, as Executive Director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), the state agency tasked with helping to redevelop Atlantic City using reinvested casino money.

According to a press statement made public last Friday, Pattwell will lead the CRDA in its mission “to facilitate community-oriented redevelopment” in Atlantic City. He was unanimously approved by the CRDA’s Board of Directors on March 15.

“Sean brings a wealth of experience to the table as the CRDA’s new Executive Director,” said Governor Murphy. “He is the right person to lead the CRDA as it plays a critical role in Atlantic City’s recovery from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to working with Sean on our Administration’s efforts to attract investment to Atlantic City that will be for the benefit of the city’s residents and workers.”

Pattwell takes over the role from Monica de los Rios, who had been serving as the agency’s interim executive since former executive director Matthew Doherty stepped down in January to take a job in the private sector.

According to the Governor’s office, Pattwell has “spent decades” in the American and international insurance industry, where he served as the Co-CEO of Herbert L. Jamison & Co and as the founding Chairman of Grosvenor Brokers in London. He has an “extensive background” in the areas of Directors and Officers liability insurance and professional liability for major firms.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy

Prior to his work as an insurance broker, Pattwell was an officer of Chubb & Son and held senior executive positions with American International Group. He has been active in educational endeavors and has served on the Board of Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, NJ and currently chairs the Dean’s Advisory Board of the School of Graduate Studies at Rutgers University and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Rutgers Foundation.

“We welcome Sean to the CRDA and look forward to closely working with him to serve the residents of Atlantic City and expand economic opportunities and development in the city,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves on the CRDA Board in her capacity as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. 

According to Oliver, Pattwell’s background in business and “his reputation for team building and innovation” will serve the CRDA well as it continues to advance its mission of being “a catalyst for meaningful, positive change” for Atlantic City.

“I would like to thank Governor Murphy, his Executive Leadership team and the staff at the New Jersey Authorities Unit for the opportunity,” said Pattwell. “I look forward to joining the highly dedicated and experienced staff of the CRDA and to working with all the key stakeholders in Atlantic City to continue the important redevelopment work in this historic and vibrant city.”

Founded in 1984, the CRDA directs the spending of casino reinvestment funds in public and private projects to benefit Atlantic City and New Jersey. Casinos in the state are required by law to contribute 1.25% of gross revenue funds toward projects that are approved by the agency.

Last month, the authority cleared Florida-based Continent 8, an iGaming data center and global network solutions provider, to build an online gaming data center at the Atlantic City Convention Center. It will be a 5,330-square-foot modular addition to the outside of the center and comes amid the growth of online sports gaming both nationwide and in the state.

The expansion would reportedly house a data center built in Phoenix and assembled on-site, according to a company representative. The expansion is set to allow Atlantic City to serve as “a hub for online gaming.”

In an exclusive video interview with Yogonet last month, Hard Rock Atlantic City President Joe Lupo, who has also been recently appointed as President of the Casino Association of New Jersey (CANJ), said there is a lot of new leadership in the Atlantic City casino industry. "I'm new to CANJ, there's new leadership at the CRDA, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, who really dictates a lot of our dollars here in the city. And so we really need to work together to establish more beautification, safer atmosphere here, more growth, more reinvestment," he told Yogonet.

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