Michael J. Gore, MBA, J.D., a gaming attorney licensed in the states of Nevada and New Jersey, has died. Gore was a pioneer of Asian gaming who worked in markets across the Mekong region.
According to gaming analyst Andrew Klebanow, in an epitaph published in CDC Gaming Reports, Gore “risked his life, working in places where few westerners dared to venture, and at a time when casinos were governed with few, if any regulations.”
After graduating from Rutgers University, Gore was a state trooper for the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement in the areas of surveillance and security.
In the mid-1980s, he joined Malaysian casino giant Genting and helped the company open casinos in the Bahamas and Australia. He then moved to Malaysia and worked at Genting Highlands.
In the 1990s, he moved to Poipet, Cambodia, to opened the market’s second casino, the Golden Crown. Since then, the Poipet gaming market has grown to 14 properties that collectively generate more than $500 million in gaming revenue per year. According to Klebanow, his “understanding of gaming regulations and the rule of law brought legitimacy to a market that was once considered lawless. Today, Poipet is a vibrant and successful gaming market that has attracted investment from public gaming companies.”
Gore then returned to Genting Group and played a major role in helping the company establish Resorts World Sentosa, one of two integrated casino resorts in Singapore and one of the most successful IRs in the world.
About 10 years ago, after a meeting in Bangkok to discuss gaming in that jurisdiction, his car was sprayed with bullets and he was struck in the arm. “The incident did not deter him,” wrote Klebanow, “and he remained the region for another 10 years.”
Gore continued to consult and work for casino companies in the region, including Bavet, Cambodia and Laos. He then took a position as general manager at Savan Vegas in Laos near the Thai border.
In 2021, he returned to the United States and became the assistant district attorney for Elko County, Nevada.
“His legacy lives on in the casinos and markets he helped develop, the legitimacy and regulation that he brought to those markets, and the thousands of lives he improved by bringing casino gaming and the jobs they provide to some of the more remote and impoverished regions in Southeast Asia,” wrote Klebanow. “The outpouring of messages of condolence on various social media platforms from former employees after his passing serves as a testament to the contributions he made to gaming in Asia. This man will long be remembered, and he will be missed.”