During the upcoming Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, four unique individuals will be inducted into the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Gaming Hall of Fame. The induction date is set for October 4th with the event being an invitation-only celebration.
The four inductees include a businessman, a casino manager and philanthropist, the man responsible for bringing “Wheel of Fortune” to casinos and a man who worked as a long-haul truck driver in the 1980s.
Diana Bennett, Melvin Wolzinger, Joe Kaminkow and John Breeding are set to receive the highest honor within the gaming industry next month. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, CEO and President of the AGA, Geoff Freeman, commented on the class of 2017, calling the inductees ‘special in the unique ways they shaped the casino-gaming industry’.
Diana Bennett has been involved in the gaming industry for many years. Her father William Bennett, was also involved in the industry, having worked with Circus Circus Enterprises. Diane began her career at the Flamingo and then moved on to work with her dad at Circus Circus. Over time, Diane began to branch out into other areas including computerized gaming systems. She has worked with developing casinos as well as in the hotel side of gaming venues. She also works as a philanthropist and started the Bennett Family Foundation of which she is president.
John Breeding is the inventor of one of dozens of automatic card-shuffling machines, among them, the Shuffle Master. Breeding came up with the idea for card sufflers based on his fascination with card counters in blackjack who were able to beat Atlantic City casinos. Breeding is responsible for creating this industry-changing machine as well as developing other products such as chip sorters for roulette, electronic table games and more, including creating the game known as Let It Ride.
Joe Kaminkow is the nominee responsible for bringing Wheel of Fortune to the gaming world. We all know the popular television game show and Kaminkow was successful in bringing this game to life within the casino industry. He is also responsible for bringing other television and entertainment themes to slot gaming including ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Sex in the City’.
The last inductee is Melvin Wolzinger. Considered a founder of Sin City, Wolzinger has been involved in the gambling industry for seven decades. Most notably, Wolzinger invested in the Golden Nugget in the 70s and worked with Mirage Resorts on their board of directors from the early 70s until 2000. Once Mirage Resorts was acquired by MGM Resorts International, Wolzinger stayed on as a board member until 2012 when he was named MGM’s director emeritus.
Created in 1989, the Gaming Hall of Fame recognizes leaders in the industry who have been able to distinguish themselves due to their contributions within the industry. For 2017, over 100 individuals were nominated with these four being the chosen inductees for the year. The induction ceremony will take place during the G2E at the Sands Expo and Convention Center which is set to take place from October 3rd to the 5th.