If they polled all the members of the American Gaming Association’s Gaming Hall of Fame, newly elected member Gavin Isaacs would most likely win the “Congeniality” award. He has an infectious smile and a twinkle in his eye and he’s always ready with a grand story or two to entertain anyone in earshot.
He credits his father, a gifted Australian salesman, with teaching him the basics: “Always treat people like you like to be treated; never tell a lie; listen and be respectful.”
“There are few people I’ve met that I don’t like,” he says, “It doesn’t matter whether you’re the CEO or the chief dishwasher, I treat everyone the same.”
While it doesn’t hurt, you don’t get into the Hall of Fame just by being a nice guy. Isaacs has held executive positions at some of the gambling industry’s top organizations and all of them seemed to flourish while he was there.
After law school, he joined the global law firm of DLA Phillips Fox, working on analyses, transactional negotiations, commercial real estate, and contracts. His entry to gaming came with Aristocrat Leisure Limited, where he started in legal/compliance and quickly rose to the position of president of the Americas. Along the way, Aristocrat began its rise to record revenues.
His next stop was as the COO of Bally Technologies in 2006, before leaving to become CEO of ShuffleMaster in 2011. He completed the circle when he became the president and CEO of Scientific Games in 2014, overseeing the mergers of ShuffleMaster, Bally, Barcrest, Global Draw, SG Lottery, and WMS.
With that packed resumé, Isaacs has now cut back to a reduced role that still puts him at the leading edge of gaming today. He holds senior positions at Galaxy Gaming and Games Global, working on online-gaming products. In the interim, he had advisory positions with SB Tech, DraftKings, Jackpocket, and I.C. Intelligence.
He says his proudest accomplishment in gaming has been assembling the successful teams at each stop along the way, with a slight preference for his work at ShuffleMaster.
His primary team today consists of Donna, his partner and wife who has been by at his side for of 29 ½ years, along with his son Thomas and daughter Sophie, who both live and work in New York.
While he’s never lost any of his charming Aussie accent, Isaacs says he’s a true-blue Nevadan today and proud to be a Las Vegas local. He earned his U.S. citizenship in 2015.
Isaacs is an avid outdoorsman who loves golf, hiking, and swimming; his favorite spectator sport is American football, with Australian rugby taking second place. As a proud fan and a long-time stockholder of the Green Bay Packers, he’s also a season-ticket holder of the Las Vegas Raiders. He says he’s looking forward to handling the complex personal conflict of watching the Raiders battle the Packers in a future Super Bowl.