The late Terry Lanni to be honored at G2E with the Sarno Award on Oct. 2

The late Terry Lanni, who oversaw the development of two of the gaming industry’s largest operators, will posthumously receive the 2012 Sarno Award for lifetime achievement in casino design during the Global Gaming Expo.

The honor will be bestowed upon Lanni in a ceremony at the convention at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2 in the Sands Expos and Convention Center.

American Gaming Association President Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., said the gaming industry would look much different without Lanni’s involvement.

“Terry Lanni’s leadership and vision are key reasons for the current state of design on the Las Vegas Strip, and the entire gaming industry,” Fahrenkopf said. “We are proud to recognize him with the highest honor the casino design awards can offer.”

The American Gaming Association and Reed Exhibitions produce the G2E.

Lanni, who died two years ago, began his career with Caesars World in 1977 when he was named chief financial officer. He led the company’s entry into Atlantic City where a converted Howard Johnson’s was turned into Caesars Boardwalk Regency.

As president of Caesars, he approved construction of the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, which began a trend for retail to be included in nearly all future casino resorts.

After 18 years at Caesars, Lanni joined MGM Grand in 1995 as CEO. He led a design renaissance within the company’s existing properties. He also helped engineer the purchase of Mirage Resorts in 2000 and the even larger purchase of the Mandalay Resort Group in 2005.

When Lanni joined the company, it operated one casino, MGM Grand. When Lanni retired in 2008, MGM had full ownership of 17 casino resorts in Nevada, Mississippi and Michigan and 50 percent ownerships in four other properties in Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois and Macau. Lanni presided over the company’s board when it approved the CityCenter development.

The company is now called MGM Resorts International.