US casino and racetrack operator Penn National Gaming has appointed Hollywood Casino general manager Bob Sheldon to the newly-created role of president of Las Vegas operations, taking responsibility for the Tropicana Las Vegas and the M Resort casinos.

The new position has been created following Penn’s $360m acquisition of Tropicana in April this year, and sees Sheldon promoted from his previous role managing the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, which is joint-owned with the International Speedway Corporation. He was responsible for opening the venue in 2012, and a search for his replacement iscurrently underway.

Before joining Penn National, Sheldon held a number of positions in the land-based casino industry, working for Las Vegas Hilton and Mirage Resorts, where he served as president of the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino. He has also managed Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort Casino, the Waldorf-Astoria and the Beverly Hills Hilton.

“Bob is ideally suited to drive our Las Vegas strategy forward and lead the Tropicana Las Vegas in its next phase of growth and long-term success,” Penn chief operating officer Jay Snowden commented.

As a result of Sheldon’s promotion, current president and general manager of the M Resort Anthony Marnell will move to a new strategic consulting role, focused on community and political relations as well as on the operator’s long-term property development plans in Las Vegas.

Marnell, via Marnell Corrao Associates, designed and built the venue in 2007, opening it in 2009.

Snowden paid tribute to Marnell, saying that Penn National was proud to retain the M Resort name.

“Going forward, Penn National will benefit from Anthony’s expertise and knowledge of Nevada gaming and the greater Las Vegas business and political landscape,” Snowden said. “As we integrate Tropicana Las Vegas into our growing property portfolio and further refine the operations at the resort, Anthony’s casino, design and construction expertise will also be invaluable to our entire team as we focus on the long-range master planning of our operations in Las Vegas.

“Bob Sheldon and his team will work closely with Anthony over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition.”

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