Penn National hires Harper Ko away from Everi to be the casino operator’s chief legal officer Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · November 23, 2020 at 7:00 am Regional casino operator Penn National Gaming dipped into the manufacturing sector to name its new chief legal officer. The Wyomissing, Pennsylvania-based company on Friday said Harper Ko will take over the CLO position on Jan. 1 from Carl Sottosanti, who will retire Dec. 31. Ko, who has more than 20 years of corporate legal and regulatory compliance experience on behalf of gaming equipment suppliers and casino operators, has been general counsel at Everi Holdings since 2017. Ko helped guide Everi, formerly known as Global Cash Access, through its ongoing transition to a full-service casino gaming equipment and payment solutions provider. “Harper brings a wealth of expertise regarding the industry’s complex regulatory and compliance requirements that will serve us well as we continue to execute our growth strategies across our land-based, interactive, and sports betting platforms,” Penn National CEO Jay Snowden said in a statement. “We’re excited to add someone of her caliber to our team.” Prior to joining the Las Vegas-based Everi, Ko was a deputy general counsel for Scientific Games and led the legal integration of Bally Gaming, SHFL entertainment, and WMS Gaming into Scientific Games’ gaming division. She joined Scientific Games following its acquisition of Bally. Ko also worked for Harrah’s. Aristocrat and WMS. Ko holds a J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law and a B.S. in Psychology as a Natural Science from the University of Michigan. She is a past recipient of the Rising Star Award by Great Women in Gaming. Everi, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday, acknowledged Ko’s impending departure. “The company is grateful for Ms. Ko’s significant contributions and strong leadership during her time at the company and wishes her continued success in her future endeavors,” Everi stated. Sottosanti spent 17 years at Penn National, playing a critical role in the company’s growth from a small regional gaming operator into a casino operator with 41 properties in 19 states. Penn has recently launched sports betting through its partnership with Barstool Sports. He helped lead the legal and regulatory efforts surrounding the company’s acquisitions of Hollywood Casino Corp. and Argosy Gaming, each of which doubled the size of Penn National at the time. He also helped oversee Penn National’s corporate governance, as well as labor and employment matters. He also led the acquisition and integration of Pinnacle Entertainment, as well as the Barstool investment. “Throughout his career at Penn National, Carl has been known for his tireless work ethic, dogged determination, and fierce advocacy in support of our company’s interests,” Snowden said. “Carl has been a trusted personal advisor and a consummate teammate, and while he’ll be leaving behind some big shoes to fill, I’m confident that Harper Ko will do a great job in carrying on the standard of excellence that Carl has established for our legal department.” Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.