Management team led by ex-regulator Lipparelli approved to operate casino at Westgate Las Vegas Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · July 30, 2020 at 4:30 pm Gaming industry consultant Mark Lipparelli knows the current operating conditions in Las Vegas are “less than ideal” as the tourism industry continues to be muted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Still, Lipparelli, whose management company was approved the Nevada Gaming Commission Thursday to oversee the casino operations at the Westgate Las Vegas, said the opportunity is available to grow the business. “The doldrums seem to hit on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday,” said Lipparelli, whose company will manage the 3,000-room off-Strip resort’s gaming space. The property is adjacent to Las Vegas Convention Center and feeds off the city’s tradeshow and convention business, which has been halted due to lack of airline travel, COVID-19-related health and safety protocols, and social distancing measures. On Tuesday, the Consumer Electronics Show said would not hold its annual tradeshow and conference in Las Vegas in January. CES is Las Vegas’ largest annual tradeshow. “The weekends are okay, but not great,” Lipparelli said in discussing visitation with the Gaming Commission. “There is a sense that we’re building out demand over the next three to four weeks. We will do everything we can to keep the property at break even.” Lipparelli said the Westgate management, headed founder and CEO David Siegal, is committed to the resort and is “in it for the long haul.” He said Siegal “has a true passion” for the property.” The Gaming Commission meeting in Las Vegas was the first for newly-appointed Chairman John Moran Jr. and new member Ogonna Brown. Both were appointed this month by Gov. Steve Sisolak and marked the first time commission had a full five-person panel since March. The Westgate was long known as the Las Vegas Hilton and has been a fabled resort, serving as the entertainment home of singer Elvis Presley. The property was originally built by gaming industry icon Kirk Kerkorian. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority delayed reporting visitation numbers for June. Gaming relaunched in Nevada on June 4 following a shutdown of more than two months in an effort to slow spreading pandemic. Lipparelli, who held executive roles with two gaming equipment providers, was appointed to the Control Board in 2009 and served two years as chairman. He left the agency to serve a term in the Nevada State Senate and launched his consulting company. Lipparelli has been chairman of casino equipment provider Galaxy Gaming since 2017 and a board member for casino operator Golden Entertainment since 2015. He told the Gaming Commission the Westgate will be his primary business concern. He has pushed aside much of his consulting work and his management company is looking to extend its oversight into the hotel and restaurant side of the property. Lipparelli has been consulting on the Westgate’s race and sportsbook back in December. Since that time, the sportsbook – long known as the SuperBook – struck a sportsbook management deal in Colorado, has another deal that hasn’t been announced, and is working three other potential deals. The current on-property Westgate management team, led by General Manager Cami Christensen, who has held her position since 2018, will remain in place and report to Lipparelli. Two gaming executives will be part of his management company’s organization – former Harrah’s executive Bruce Rowe and Scott Schweinfurth, who served as chief financial officer for slot machine developer WMS, which was acquired in 2013 by Scientific Games. Lipparelli will assume the current management contract the Westgate has with Paragon Gaming, a company headed by Dianna Bennett. Paragon had overseen the Westgate since 2015. Paragon operates Hard Rock Lake Tahoe and the casino for the OYO Hotel in Las Vegas took over the Westgate after managing the Riviera on the Strip for almost two years before it was acquired by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and demolished for a convention expansion. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.