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3 gaming leaders win unanimous NGC licensing approval

Three gaming industry professionals were licensed Thursday following suitability hearings before the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Rob Goldstein, president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp., Winifred “Wendy” Webb, a board director for Wynn Resorts Ltd., and Mary Elizabeth Higgins, CEO of Affinity Gaming, were approved for licensing by the five-member board.

Goldstein and Higgins, as longtime industry executives familiar to the commission, were not required to appear before the board and were unanimously approved for licensing on the commission’s consent agenda.

Goldstein, who has been with Sands since 1995 and president and chief operating officer since 2015, was seeking licensing as a director and manager after a clerical oversight determined he held the position, but had never been formally approved by the commission.

The company’s internal compliance team did not make an additional licensing request because Goldstein had previous approvals already with the board and the company’s compliance team wasn’t aware it needed to make the additional filing.

Webb was among three women appointed to Wynn’s board of directors in April 2018 and chairs that board’s audit committee.

Webb, who has served on the boards of publicly traded companies for 11 years, is CEO of California-based Kestrel Corporate Advisors.

While Wynn is Webb’s first experience with a gaming company, she spent 20 years with the Walt Disney Company, working in that company’s financing of several theme park developments and with the acquisition of ABC, ESPN and Pixar.

Higgins was appointed CEO — one of the few women holding that title in the industry — in April.

Prior to joining Affinity in 2018, Higgins helped establish VICI Properties, Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s real estate investment trust.

Privately held Affinity operates 11 casinos, with five in Nevada, three in Colorado, two in Missouri and one in Iowa. The Nevada properties include three in Primm — Primm Valley, Whiskey Pete’s and Buffalo Bill’s — the Silver Sevens in Las Vegas and Rail City in Sparks.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian, Palazzo and the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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