No women or minorities now run Atlantic City casinos

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — With the departure of the head of the Tropicana, none of Atlantic City’s nine casinos is now led by a woman or a Black person — a rapid change from the diverse leadership of the city’s casinos just two years ago.

Jacqueline Grace left her job as senior vice president and general manager of the Tropicana in late July after nearly two years in the top role there. She is now CEO of Beam Living, a New York property management company.

Grace was the last of a group of four women, two of them Black, who ran Atlantic City casinos just two years ago.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Grace said she is “blessed beyond measure to continue doing what I love: serving an amazing team of humans, serving our residents, and serving the community.”

Caesars Entertainment, which owns the Tropicana, announced on Tuesday that Joe Giunta, a veteran executive who has been with the company for 20 years, will succeed Grace as head of the Tropicana. He was most recently vice president of operations for Harrah’s casino, which is also owned by Caesars Entertainment.

As recently as September 2020, four of Atlantic City’s nine casinos were run by women: Grace at the Tropicana; Melonie Johnson, a Black woman who ran the Borgata; Terry Glebocki, who ran the Ocean Casino Resort, and Karie Hall, who ran Bally’s.

Each has since left those positions, which have been filled by white men.

Johnson returned to the Washington, D.C. casino she ran before coming to Atlantic City.

Glebocki resigned from Ocean in Oct. 2021. No reason was publicly announced for her departure, which happened days before half the casino was sold to the Ilitch family of Detroit, and the casino declined comment when asked.

Hall was replaced when new ownership took over Bally’s in November 2020.

The American Gaming Association, the national trade group for the casino industry, does not keep statistics on the number of U.S. casinos run by women, but numerous casino executives and analysts said at the time they were hard-pressed to think of another market with a higher percentage of female-led casinos.

All agreed it was far less than the number of men who hold those jobs, with several placing it at about 10%.

Grace had more than 20 years’ experience in the casino industry when she took the Tropicana job, previously having served as vice president and assistant general manager at Caesars Entertainment’s Horseshoe Baltimore property.

In that role, she helped oversee several expansion projects including the launch of multiple celebrity chef outlets, an extensive renovation of The Marketplace casual dining area, and the opening of The Terrace, a $15 million outdoor gambling and entertainment venue.

Before joining the gambling industry, she spent nine years on Wall Street and held management roles in both technology and diversity and inclusion.

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Follow Wayne Parry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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