American Gaming Association Hall of Fame 2018 Class Inducts Four Behind-the-Scenes Powerhouses of Yore

Posted on: September 20, 2018, 03:45h. 

Last updated on: September 20, 2018, 03:51h.

Four new members will join the American Gaming Association (AGA) Hall of Fame as part of the 2018 class. The latest inductees — Philip Hannifin, Richard Haddrill, Peter Carlino, and Steven Perskie — represent both the regulatory and gaming industries that have helped shaped the modern casino industry.

Former Bally Technologies CEO Richard Haddrill is among the four casino industry pioneers being inducted into the American Gaming Association’s Hall of Fame Class of 2018. (Photo: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“From expanding the presence of gaming across the country to maintaining the integrity of the industry, each honoree of the Class of 2018 has played an important role in advancing the casino gaming industry,” AGA interim CEO Stacy Papadopoulos said in a statement released on Thursday.

The newest Hall of Famers will be recognized in a private ceremony during the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas in October.

What They Brought to the Game

First inductee Richard Haddrill is credited with helping expand Powerball across multiple states and expanding video lottery gaming. He formerly CEO of Powerhouse Technologies, a company specializing in video lottery systems, as well as of software manufacturer Manhattan Associates, and Bally Technologies, which manufactures slot machines and gaming devices.

Haddrill may have had an insider position for his HOF slot, having served as chairman of the AGA for a two-year term starting in 2012.

Inductee #2, Philip Hannifin, served as chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) from 1971 to 1977. After that, he went on to become an executive for a number of Las Vegas gaming operators — including Summa (which later became The Howard Hughes Corporation), Harrah’s, and MGM — and is credited with being a leader for casino expansion and development in Las Vegas.

Then-Summa’s properties included several iconic casinos which have all given way to newer ones: the Desert Inn (now Bellagio), the much-troubled Landmark (which was demolished to create more parking lot for the LVCVA in 1996), the Frontier (also demolished, with the land now owned by Wynn Resorts), and the Sands (once home to the Rat Pack and now where the Venetian stands on the Las Vegas Strip).

“[Hannifin’s] leadership while working for Summa, MGM Grand and Harrah’s were critical to the development of mega-resorts that define today’s Las Vegas Strip,” the AGA release states.

New Jersey Gaming Pioneer

Next is Steven Perskie, credited with being one of the leading advocates for gaming expansion in the United States outside of Nevada. As a member of the New Jersey legislature in the 1970s, he represented Atlantic City.

Perskie wrote the New Jersey Casino Control Act, which the AGA said “serves as a model for gaming legislation around the world.”

He was also the chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission from 1990 to 1994.

Finally, there is Peter Carlino, who led Penn National Gaming from 1994 until 2013. He is credited with expanding PNG from a single racetrack company to the company that now operates across the US, including the M Resort and the Tropicana on the Las Vegas Strip.

In 2013, Carlino took over the company’s spin-off as CEO of Gaming and Leisure Properties – a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns 37 casinos in 15 states.

About the Hall of Fame

The AGA Hall of Fame was founded in 1989 and currently has 98 members. When the four newest members are inducted in October, that number will grow to 102.

The HoF includes early casino pioneers, casino developers and executives, and entertainers among its members who have contributed to the gaming industry.

Notable past inductees of the AGA HoF are Sam Boyd, William Boyd, William Harrah, Frank Sinatra, Siegfried & Roy, Donald Trump, Bob Arum, Blue Man Group, Celine Dion, and Jack Binion.