A seasoned and well-traveled gambling executive with professional roots in Atlantic City has been tapped to be the regional president for Caesars Entertainment and its three traditional casinos.
Ronald Baumann’s key licensing paperwork is under consideration after a petition was filed with the Division of Gaming Enforcement earlier in September.
Baumann served in numerous posts at Caesars properties in Atlantic City and has also overseen Caesers’ properties in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
According to the Press of Atlantic City, the NJ Casino Control Commission tentatively planned a vote for Wednesday to approve a temporary key employee license for Baumann. However, his appointment comes at a volatile time for Caesars.
Baumann’s track record with Caesars
He previously served as a regional president for Caesars Entertainment, overseeing operations at Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack and also Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.
But Caesars wasn’t Baumann’s only foray into the gambling industry.
His name has been connected to several other well-known casino companies and properties including Rush Street Gaming in Chicago and Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.
Baumann went to Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey and then went to Villanova University in Philadelphia for his MBA.
He currently leads the Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, Ind.
New leadership for Caesars Entertainment
Baumann’s pending appointment would fill a void in the local leadership of Caesars.
His predecessor, Kevin Ortzman, abruptly departed his leadership role at Caesars in early August, where he had worked for seven years.
Before that, Jocelyn Agnellini-Allison, a regional vice president for marketing at Caesars who reported to Ortzman, filed a federal lawsuit alleging retaliatory measures, including firing, against her by Ortzman and the company.
Her suit alleges the retaliation resulted after she reported improper behavior by Ortzman toward a female subordinate during a work function. Her May 2019 lawsuit alleges a hostile work environment. The suit also claims the company and its executives did not adequately address her complaint.
Caesars denied the allegations in a July court filing. But Caesars ousted Ortzman weeks later.
The New York Post reported he was fired following an internal review. The company declined to comment.
Caesars-Eldorado merger still in the works
The turmoil at the top of Caesers’ leadership in New Jersey comes at a critical juncture for the company. Caesars is set to merge with Eldorado Resorts.
The pending merger likely will close during the first half of 2020. But it is still subject to approval by stockholders and regulators.
If approved, the merger, valued at more than $17 billion, would create the largest US gaming operation, with nearly 60 casino properties in 16 states.
The concentration of properties in some locations, including Atlantic City, might be an issue for regulators. And it may very well be something Baumann will have to deal with in the future, too.
New Jersey law prohibits undue economic concentration of casinos. For instance, while Caesers owns Bally’s, Caesars, and Harrah’s in New Jersey, Eldorado already owns Tropicana Casino and Resort due to a previous merger.