Nevada-based casino operator Affinity Gaming has appointed Caesars Entertainment’s Michael Silberling to succeed chief executive David Ross, who will leave the company with immediate effect.

Silberling joins from Caesars, where he has held a number of roles within the company, most recently serving as president of international operations since June 2011.

He has also served as managing director of Caesars' UK-based subsidiary London Clubs International, as well as a regional president for Caesars, managing casino in Iowa and Missouri as well as in Northern and Southern Nevada. Prior to joining Caesars, he was general manager of Australian operations for its Skycity business, 

Affinity Gaming chairman Rich Parisi said that after a comprehensive search that saw the operator interview a number of highly-qualified candidates, he was delighted to appoint Silberling to the CEO role.

“Michael is a seasoned gaming executive whose skills, adaptability and impressive track record of success add tremendous value to Affinity,” Parisi explained. “Michael understands the business and we are confident in his ability to help the Affinity achieve its strategic objectives.”

The search for Ross’ replacement began in February this year, when the operator announced that he would step down, resigning from the board of directors with immediate effect.

“It is a great privilege to join the Affinity team and I look forward to working with my talented colleagues to deliver added value to our business and shareholders,” Silberling said of his appointment. “There is a meaningful opportunity to establish Affinity as the premier operator of regional gaming assets.”

“I look forward to leveraging my operational and regional experience to ensure that Affinity grows its competitive position in the markets in which it operates,” he added.

Affinity has also reconstituted its board to include three shareholder appointees, subject to licensing and regulatory approval.

Among the new appointees are James Zenni, president and chief executive of Chicago-based venture capital firm Z Capital, who said that Affinity now had “the right board and leadership in place to focus on executing the company’s business strategy.”

As a result of the new appointments, Tom Benninger and Randy Fine have stepped down from the board alongside Ross.

Zenni’s colleague Andrei Scrivens has also joined the board. Scrivens serves as managing director of Z Capital, and leads investment opportunities in gaming, hospitality and leisure. The final appointment, James Cacioppo, is managing partner and portfolio manager of another venture capital business One East Capital Advisors.

“The addition of Mr. Zenni, Mr. Scrivens and Mr. Cacioppo adds considerable depth and talent to Affinity’s Board,” Parisi said. “Each seasoned executive brings strong direct experience relevant to the industry and the issues Affinity is facing.”

“On behalf of the Board, I want to thank David Ross, Tom Benninger and Randy Fine, for their outstanding contributions to Affinity,” he added.


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