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The American Gaming Association’s (AGA) board of directors has appointed Everi Holdings CEO Michael Rumbolz as its new chairman.

The Las Vegas veteran will replace Hard Rock International chairman and Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen in the role when he begins his two year-term in January 2024.

Rumbolz began his career on the Las Vegas strip 1968 as a busboy in the infamous mob-owned Stardust casino.

Ironically, the executive later played a role in the suspension of the Stardust’s licence in 1983, by that time working as a regulator in the Nevada State Gaming Control Board (NSGCB).

He later rose to become chair of the body, leading the NSGCB from 1987 to 1988.

After his stint with the regulator, Rumbolz worked with Donald Trump. In this role he was supposed to smooth the mogul’s licensing ambitions in Las Vegas, although the venture never came to fruition.

The executive has also served as president and CEO of Everi, chief deputy attorney general of Nevada, as well as holding several board member roles.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to help shape gaming’s future as the AGA’s next chair,” said Rumbolz.

“From stopping illegal gambling to evolving responsible gambling, the AGA is tackling transformational issues and I am eager to build on the progress made during Jim’s tenure.”

Can the AGA defend against regulatory pushback?

Rumbolz will take over oversight in the lobbying group during a time of flux for the industry.

Since the Supreme Court struck down PASPA in 2018, regulated gaming has swept the country, with online sports betting now legal in 37 states and Washington DC.

However, some argue that regulatory pushback is starting to pick up force.

Last year, a bill was tabled in the House of Representatives that would have seen a wide-reaching ban on sports betting advertising.

The AGA’s role will be to see if it can maintain a friendly regulatory environment as the face of the gaming industry in Washington, as concerns about responsible gambling gain traction.

“It’s an honour to welcome Mike — an industry legend in his own right — as the next AGA chairman,” added AGA president and CEO Bill Miller.

“Mike’s career as an operator, manufacturer and regulator is unparalleled and will be vital to driving meaningful progress on industry priorities.”

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