Mark Lerner, the 17-year chief counsel of slot and system manufacturer Bally Technologies, retired effective December 31.
Lerner, whose official title was senior vice president for law and government, secretary and general counsel, is replaced by Katie Lever, who assumed the role of senior vice president of legal and compliance, secretary, and general counsel effective January 1.
When Lerner joined Bally in 1998, the company was known as Alliance Gaming. Lerner played a key role in the transformation of Bally from a troubled company into the second-largest slot-maker, and its restoration as one of the slot sector’s elite. He was an integral part of the acquisitions and divestitures Bally made along the way, from the 2004 purchase of Sierra Design Group—which led to the creation of the Alpha slot operating system that restored the company’s share of the slot market—to last year’s acquisition of SHFL entertainment.
Lerner also was personally licensed in every jurisdiction in which Bally does business. According to an article on the Casino.Org website, that translated into more than 214 individual background investigations of Lerner by regulators over the years. “If you do the math, I’ve been investigated some 2,000 or 3,000 times,” Lerner told the website.
Lerner also oversaw countless patent cases involving Bally over the years. “When I started, we owned a few dozen patents,” he told the website. “Today, the company has several hundred. Slot machines are technological marvels.”
“Few individuals possess Mark’s knowledge and passion for the gaming industry, and his contributions to Bally cannot be overstated,” commented Bally CEO Ramesh Srinivasan on the site.