Gaming executive Gavin Isaacs and gaming journalist Frank Legato earn 2018 AGEM honors CDC Gaming Reports · October 9, 2018 at 7:15 pm Longtime gaming executive Gavin Isaacs and veteran gaming journalist Frank Legato are the 2018 recipients of two memorial awards sponsored by the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM). Isaacs, 54, the current vice chairman of Scientific Games, has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Jens Halle Memorial Award Honoring Excellence in Commercial Gaming Professionalism. Legato, 61, the editor of Global Gaming Business magazine and a contributor to CDC Gaming Reports, will receive the 2018 Peter Mead Memorial Award Honoring Excellence in Gaming Media & Communications. AGEM will host an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the organization’s booth inside the Global Gaming Expo tradeshow at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Throughout his long gaming industry career, primarily in the manufacturing sector, Isaacs has been an innovator. He played a crucial role in several major gaming equipment company mergers that have helped reshaped the industry. Isaacs was president and CEO of Scientific Games, as well as a board director, from 2014-16. Before joining Scientific, he served three years as CEO of SHFL entertainment. Isaacs served nearly eight years with Aristocrat Leisure Ltd., including time as president of the company’s American operations. Before joining Aristocrat, Isaacs was a partner with the leading Australia law firm DLA Phillips Fox. He also spent five years as the COO of Bally Technologies. “Few people in our industry’s history have traveled the world more than Gavin has, shaking hands, meeting customers, and sharing his unique personality, during a distinguished career that has also taken him to the top leadership position at multiple respected companies,” AGEM President Tom Nieman said in a statement. Legato has been with GGB since 2002, where he has been the leading voice for new slot titles and gaming technology from both the industry and player perspectives. His career in gaming journalism began as associate editor for Public Gaming magazine in 1984. He launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine in 1985 before moving on to Casino Journal, where his focused his attention on slot machine companies and the newest products. Legato authors the monthly Frank Floor Talk newsletter with Buddy Frank for CDC Gaming Reports. Legato also wrote from the players’ perspective for Atlantic City Insider and Casino Player and also guided Strictly Slots magazine and its focus on slot and video poker players. He has a B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. “When it comes to slot machines and relationships with game companies, no one can touch Frank,” said Marcus Prater, Executive Director of AGEM. “My personal history with Frank goes back to 1996 and I’ve witnessed a commitment to his craft that is unparalleled. He has experienced, and written about, more slot titles than anyone – ever – and he does it with an understanding and wit that conveys the entertainment aspect of the suppliers’ place in this global gaming industry. And let’s not forget that Frank is a household name for slot players all over the country who have been reading his hilarious stories of success and misfortune for more than 20 years.” AGEM previously announced the creation of this unique annual awards program to acknowledge the lasting impacts on gaming by Halle and Mead, two distinctive industry veterans who died unexpectedly in 2015. “The nominating criteria strictly guide the selection of these awards every year, and Gavin’s general path and dedication to customer relations are very similar to the traits Jens displayed,” Nieman said. “I know Jens and Gavin were friendly competitors when they were both circling the globe and it gives AGEM great pleasure to honor both Gavin and Frank Legato this year.” Halle, 57, was a longtime Bally and Novomatic executive in Europe who was most recently CEO of Gauselmann Group’s Merkur Gaming based in Florida. Mead, 54, was the founder and publisher of Casino Enterprise Management magazine. Novomatic Americas CEO Rick Meitzler and Global Gaming Business founder and Publisher Roger Gros were the recipients of the AGEM memorial awards program in 2017. Ainsworth Game Technology founder and current Executive Chairman Len Ainsworth and longtime Las Vegas Review-Journal gaming columnist Howard Stutz – now executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports – were the initial recipients of the AGEM memorial awards program in 2016.