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Former Gambling Regulator to Manage Westgate Casino

Following a unanimous vote on licensing at Thursday’s Nevada Gaming Commission meeting, one of former Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli’s companies will operate the casino at Westgate, Las Vegas.

Mark Lipparelli, now chairman of Galaxy Gaming and founder of Gioco Ventures, formed GVII LLC as the holding company that will operate the casino at Westgate. In his presentation before the Nevada Gaming Commission, Lipparelli said he also plans to take the casino’s Superbook sports wagering concept to other states.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Lipparelli’s company will take over management of the casino from Las Vegas-based Paragon Gaming, operated by longtime gaming executive Diana Bennett and her cousin Scott Menke. Paragon currently manages the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino at Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas’ Oyo hotel-casino.

Lipparelli said he would be working directly with Westgate Chief Operating Officer Mark Waltrip.

Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino — so named because the company’s flagship timeshare property is near the west gate of Walt Disney World in Orlando — is headed by Florida entrepreneur David Siegel. It’s one of Central Florida’s largest privately held companies.

Siegel and Westgate’s subsidiaries work in timeshare, real estate, construction, hotel and apartment management, travel services, telecommunications, citrus, insurance, transportation and retail.

“His focus, obviously, is to set the tone as the founder and visionary of the company,” Lipparelli told the commission.

Lipparelli said he expects his management to extend beyond the casino and include the convention center, rooms and food and beverage and “we’ll work in concert with the experts back in Orlando that have a great deal of experience and expertise.”

Gaming commissioners had few questions for Lipparelli, who was licensed for the first time but has been involved in the industry at Bally Technologies for four years and one of its predecessors, Shuffle Master Inc., for two more.

Lipparelli also was appointed to complete two years of the term of state Sen. Mark Hutchinson when he was elected lieutenant governor in 2014.

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