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GGB Magazine Announces Its 25 People to Watch for 2021

GGB’s annual list of the movers and shakers in the gaming industry’s highest honor. The January issue features an extensive interview with Bill Hornbuckle, the president and CEO of MGM Resort International and profiles of all 25 honorees.

GGB Magazine Announces Its 25 People to Watch for 2021

Global Gaming Business Magazine (GGB) today announced its annual 25 People to Watch list (PTW) for 2021. It’s the 19th edition of this popular feature published every year in the January issue. Honorees are recognized for their past accomplishments and their upcoming potential actions that will have a big impact on gaming in 2021 and beyond.

The cover of the January issue features Bill Hornbuckle, the president and CEO of MGM Resorts International, who is faced with the biggest challenge of his illustrious career in guiding his company toward recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic. Hornbuckle told GGB Publisher Roger Gros that he’s confident that MGM Resorts and the industry will rebound, but places health and safety as his number-one priority heading into the new year. He outlines the company’s strategy on Las Vegas, Macau and Japan, and the burgeoning online program, BetMGM.

Once an individual is named a member of the prestigious People to Watch class, he or she cannot be considered again. Just some of the PTW alumni are: Peter Carlino, Linda Chen, Gavin Isaacs, Valerie Spicer, Pansy Ho, Dick Haddrill, Mark Macarro, Bobby Baldwin, Bill Paulos, Ron Allen, Bobby Soper, Larry Woolf, Tony Marnell, Jim Allen, Keith Smith, Kazuo Okada, John Acres, Andrew Pascal, John Connelly, Francis Lui, Andrew MacDonald, Stanley Crooks, Tim Wilmott, Ramesh Srinivasan, Anthony Sanfilippo, Cath Burns, Jason Giles, Stephen Crosby, Rob Goldstein, Anna Sainsbury, Matt Davey, Paul Steelman, Ed Tracy, Marco Sala, David Lopez, Cody Martinez, Jay Snowden, Simon Thomas, Russell Sanna, Mark Birtha, Jeff Hamilton, Kristian Nylen and many, many more.

The selections are made by the GGB Editorial Advisory Board, a collection of some of the most knowledgeable and connected people in the gaming industry. Nominees came from all aspects of the gaming business—land-based and online operators and suppliers, regulators, attorneys, tribal government officials, public officials, academics and much more.

“Last year was very difficult for the industry,” says Gros. “Many of the people nominated went above and beyond during that time and their efforts are reflected in this year’s PTW class. We’re very proud of this years honorees and want to thank our Editorial Advisory Board for their diligent attention to the wide list of nominees.”


  • Mike Bean, Chief Executive Officer, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe’s Gaming Enterprises
  • Joe Carlon, Director of Engineering, Digital, Gaming Laboratories International
  • Cristina Romero de Alba, Partner, Loyra Abogados
  • Dean Ehrlich, Executive Vice President and Games Business Leader, Everi Holdings Inc.
  • Hector Fernandez, President, Americas, Aristocrat Technologies
  • Jose Flores, Vice President and General Manager, Gun Lake Casino
  • Mary Beth Higgins, Chief Executive Officer, Affinity Gaming
  • Daisy Ho, Chairwoman, SJM
  • Bill Hornbuckle, President and CEO, MGM Resorts International (cover)
  • Eileen Moore Johnson, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Scientific Games.
  • Melonie Johnson, President & COO, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
  • Sarah Koch, Senior Director for Legal and Government Affairs, DraftKings
  • Keith Kruczynski, Vice President, Game Development and Design, Gaming Arts, LLC
  • Dave McDowell, CEO, FSB
  • Mitsuhiro Miyazaki, Managing Director, Konami Australia Pty. Ltd.
  • Arthur Mothershed, Vice President of Business Development, Wind Creek Hospitality
  • Erika Nardini, CEO, Barstool Sports
  • Bryan Newland, Chairman, Bay Mills Indian Community
  • Michael Olujic, General Manager, Tachi Palace Casino Resort
  • Joe Pappano, CEO, Sightline
  • Kris Saw, Chief Technology Officer, Kambi
  • Tan Sri Dr. Chen Lip Keong, Founder, Controlling Shareholder and Chief Executive Officer, NagaCorp Ltd
  • Jeremy Weinstein, Regional Vice President of Marketing, Las Vegas, Caesars Entertainment
  • Karen Wells, Executive Director, Massachusetts Gaming Commission
  • Adam Whitehurst, Senior Vice President, Slot Sales, AGS

Articles by Author: Roger Gros

Roger Gros is publisher of Global Gaming Business, the industry’s leading gaming trade publication, and all its related publications. Prior to joining Global Gaming Business, Gros was president of Inlet Communications, an independent consulting firm. He was vice president of Casino Journal Publishing Group from 1984-2000, and held virtually every editorial title during his tenure. Gros was editor of Casino Journal, the National Gaming Summary and the Atlantic City Insider, and was the founding editor of Casino Player magazine. He was a co-founder of the American Gaming Summit and the Southern Gaming Summit conferences and trade shows.
Roger Gros is the author of the best-selling book, "How to Win at Casino Gambling" (Carlton Books, 1995), now in its fourth edition. Gros was named “Businessman of the Year” for 1998 by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Gaming Association in 2012 as part of the annual AGA Communications Awards.