Nevada regulators give incoming Bally’s CEO rave reviews

March 8, 2023 9:11 PM

Nevada regulators give incoming Bally’s CEO rave reviews

Photo: composite CDC Gaming Reports/Shutterstock
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
March 8, 2023 9:11 PM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
  • United States
  • Nevada
  • Commercial Casinos

Robeson Reeves, Bally’s incoming CEO who replaces Lee Fenton, received glowing reviews Wednesday as he went through the Nevada licensing process.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board unanimously recommended that the state’s Gaming Commission approve Reeves’s suitability as an officer and director.

In February, the Rhode Island-based gaming operator announced that Lee Fenton would step down at the end of March and be replaced by Reeves. Fenton has served in the role only since October 2021 when Bally’s acquired UK-based Gamesys, where he was the CEO.

Reeves, currently director of Bally’s interactive division and who sits on the board of directors, had previously served as chief operating officer and director of gaming operations at Gamesys.

Bally’s private counsel Dan Reaser told the Board that Fenton’s departure was for personal reasons and not for any misconduct.

Reeves was born in the UK and is a 2005 graduate of the University College of London where he received an honor’s degree in managerial statistics and operations’ research. He joined Gamesys in 2009 as a business-process officer for games and bingo and was subsequently promoted to gaming operations manager and director of gaming operations, then chief operating officer that he assumed in July 2015 and held until the company merged with Bally’s. Reeves has been licensed in Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee so far, with other applications pending in several states. He has temporary licenses in New Jersey and Rhode Island.

The Board didn’t ask Reeves about Bally’s managing the newly acquired operations of the Tropicana Las Vegas and its plans for the property. That could be addressed at the Nevada Gaming Commission meeting on March 23.

Board Chair Kirk Hendrick said he didn’t have any issues with the application, while Board member George Assad said he was impressed with Reeves’s resume. Board member Brittnie Watkins said she was impressed as well and asked Reeves about currently chairing the ESG committee of the board that deals with environmental, social, and corporate governance.

Reeves, who is black, said that diversity is a priority and Bally’s has made progress increasing it at the management level at all of the properties. He said there’s room for improvement with minority groups and female representation and that it’s good business for a business to represent the customers it serves.

“ESG is very close to my heart,” Reeves said. “Talent should always shine through and we should let people reach their full potential.”

In April, Bally’s will have five minority members on its Board and two women, Reeves said. “We would like to go further, but that’s pretty good and going in the right direction.”

Bally’s Corporation owns and manages 15 casinos in 10 states and a horse racetrack in Colorado and has access to OSB licenses in 18 states. It also owns Bally’s Interactive International, formerly Gamesys Group, a global online-gaming operator; Bally Bet, a sports-betting platform; and Bally Casino, an igaming platform.