The American Gaming Association (AGA) announced Monday the Gaming Hall of Fame Class of 2023, honoring four leaders for their contributions to the industry.
They are Bill Anoatubby, Governor of Chickasaw Nation; Robert Miodunski, Former CEO of American Gaming Systems, Former President & CEO of Alliance Gaming and President of Bally Gaming; Jim Murren, Former Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International; and Ellen Whittemore, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Wynn Resorts
"This year's Gaming Hall of Fame class enshrines industry leaders that have positively transformed businesses and communities through their contributions to gaming," said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. "From leading casino and supplier operations to advancing industry regulation and tribal gaming, Bill, Ellen, Jim and Robert's far-reaching impacts on gaming are indelible—and undoubtedly worthy of inclusion in the Hall of Fame."
Since 1989, the Gaming Hall of Fame has recognized "gaming legends, pioneers, and business leaders for their lasting impacts on the industry." The Class of 2023 will be honored during an invitation-only induction ceremony at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas this October.
"The Gaming Hall of Fame honors the diverse ways gaming leaders elevate our industry," said AGA Chairman of the Board & Hard Rock International Chairman and Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen. "This year's class epitomizes this principle, and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments at G2E 2023."
Hall of Fame honorees are selected by an independent panel of gaming executives. This year's selection committee members include:
💥 RELEASE: Welcome to the Gaming Hall of Fame, Bill Anoatubby, Robert Miodunski, Jim Murren, and Ellen Whittemore!— American Gaming Association (@AmericanGaming) August 7, 2023
Read how their contributions to gaming have earned them a place in the pantheon of industry legends, leaders, and pioneers ➡️ https://t.co/1UO2gmsgwM pic.twitter.com/1LxFyCuC2r
Bill Anoatubby has served as Governor of the Chickasaw Nation since 1987. Early in his tenure, Anoatubby recognized the important role gaming could play in advancing sustainable economic development and self-determination for the tribe. Since 1987, gaming operations have helped drive the number of Chickasaw Nation employees from 250 to more than 14,000, expanding tribal assets two hundredfold.
As Governor, Anoatubby oversees the tribe's operation of more than 100 diversified businesses, including 24 tribal gaming locations, generating funding for 200-plus programs and services that benefit education, healthcare, housing, and more for Chickasaw families, Oklahomans, and their communities.
Anoatubby also played an integral role in establishing the Indian Gaming Association and Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, as well as negotiating the 2004 Oklahoma gaming compact which solidified the future of tribal gaming in the state.
As President of United Coin Machine Co. (a division of publicly traded Alliance Gaming Corp.) from 1994-99, Robert Miodunski built the nation's largest gaming route operation, totaling more than 8,000 gaming devices. He also led the development and launch of Gamblers Bonus, the first patented cardless player tracking and bonusing system for route operation in Nevada.
Promoted to President and CEO of Alliance Gaming and President of Bally Gaming in 1999, he led a team that resurrected the venerable Bally brand to its place as "one of the global gaming industry's top casino suppliers, eventually transforming into Bally Technologies."
Miodunski retired in 2004, then returned to the industry in 2010 to head American Gaming Systems (AGS) as CEO, expanding the company's footprint in Class II and Class III gaming before AGS was acquired by a private equity firm in 2014. Most recently, Miodunski served as a board member of Golden Entertainment from 2015 to 2021.
Jim Murren is the former Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, serving in the role from 2008 to 2020. During his time leading MGM, Murren guided the company through the wake of the Great Recession, overhauled the company's healthcare policy to better serve employees, led technological innovation in gaming, and drove increased tourism to Las Vegas.
Following his tenure at MGM Resorts, Murren headed Nevada's COVID-19 Response, Relief, and Recovery Task Force as its gubernatorially appointed chairman, working closely with local government leaders and the private sector to secure personal protective equipment, establish a robust statewide testing system, and ensure Nevada students were provided with the resources to learn remotely.
Murren has also been an integral figure in bringing professional sports to Las Vegas, leading the construction of T-Mobile Arena, becoming a founding partner of the Vegas Golden Knights, organizing the purchase and relocation of the Las Vegas Aces, and more. He currently serves as Chairman and CEO of the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.
Ellen Whittemore serves as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary for Wynn Resorts. In her role, she leads the company's global legal affairs as well as the entirety of its philanthropic, community relations, and government affairs activities. She has been instrumental in Wynn Resorts' efforts to enhance its workplace culture as well as its corporate ethics and governance and was integral in crafting the company's global response to the pandemic.
Whittemore is also a member of the board of directors of Wynn Macau. Her legal career spans more than 30 years in gaming and hospitality, during which she has represented many of the industry's largest companies in noteworthy regulatory matters.
Before her career in private and corporate practice, Whittemore served in the Nevada Attorney General's Office, Gaming Division, where she authored several Nevada Gaming Commission regulations that remain in place today. Whittemore has long been an active community and industry leader and is the current Chair of the Nevada Resort Association and the former President of the International Association of Gaming Advisors.