Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City Names New President, General Manager

Written By Bill Gelman on January 4, 2023
Hard Rock AC guitar

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is making two new appointments to its executive team pending regulatory approval.

George Goldhoff has been named President of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City effective Jan. 30. He reports directly to Jim Allen, Chairman and CEO of Hard Rock International and CEO of Seminole Gaming. Mike Sampson, who has been serving as the property’s interim general manager, has been promoted to General Manager effective the same date.

Hard Rock made the official announcement today via press release.

Familiarity with the Hard Rock brand

Goldhoff is no stranger to the Hard Rock brand, having most recently served as president of Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati.

Allen said he is “confident George will continue to build on the incredible success we have achieved.”

“In just three years of rebranding our property in Cincinnati, he was able to make that casino the leader in the market and I have every reason to believe he will lead our Atlantic City team into the next era with great success,” Allen said.

Sampson has 32 years of experience in the casino industry and has been with Hard Rock Atlantic City since 2018, when he was a member of the pre-opening team.

And with these executive team changes, Hard Rock AC has filled open positions. Joe Lupo, the former property presidentis now leading the Mirage Las Vegas transformation.

Anthony Faranca briefly took over as property president. However, Hard Rock has not explained the reason behind Faranca’s departure.

Hard Rock remains No. 2 among Atlantic City casinos

Goldhoff and Sampson are stepping into new roles at one of the top-performing Atlantic City casinos. In terms of AC land-based casino revenue, Hard Rock ranks No.2 among the nine properties only behind Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. Through November, Hard Rock has earned $454.9 million. December results are due out later this month.

Only the MGM-operated Borgata is ahead of them, earning $663.9 million for 2022. Ocean Casino Resort, which opened the same year as Hard Rock, is No. 3 with $327.3 million.

And according to an Associated Press article, Hard Rock plans on spending $30 million on live entertainment this year. Specific details have yet to be announced.

More about new Hard Rock Casino AC execs Goldhoff, Sampson

Goldhoff served as property president as Hard Rock Cincinnati for the last three years. His role included rebranding efforts of the former JACK Casino. Earlier this week, Hard Rock Cincinnati officially launched its Ohio sports betting operations. Former Philadelphia Phillies player Pete Rose placed the ceremonial first bet (he did not pick the Phils to win the World Series).

And Goldoff is familiar with what it takes running a top-performing property as Hard Rock Cincinnati is currently the market share leader in southwest Ohio. He also helped with opening Bellagio Las Vegas. Other roles have included serving as President and CEO of PURE Canadian Gaming and general manager of Gold Strike Casino Resort in Mississippi. His new role will focus on financial performance, market share growth, team member engagement and development, guest experience and support of the greater Atlantic City community.

Goldoff said he is looking forward “to working closely with the leadership team and team members to capitalize on the opportunities ahead and usher in Hard Rock Atlantic City’s next era of growth and success.”

Sampson, who  was born in Atlantic City, will be reporting to Goldhoff. His new role will include overseeing multiple areas of operation and administration. Sampson brings plenty of gaming industry experience to the Hard Rock team, serving as a Player’s Club Representative at Caesars Entertainment.  Other roles included working with Tropicana, (prior to the Caesars Entertainment merger), Trump Entertainment and Seneca Gaming.

Hard Rock is the former Trump Taj Mahal.

Photo by Associated Press
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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman has been reporting on the NJ gambling market since 2018, right around when the Garden State launched sports betting. Bill transitioned from lead writer for PlayNJ and NJ Gambling Sites to his current role as managing editor in 2020. Besides offering in-depth analysis on NJ gambling market trends and news, Bill regularly sits down with Atlantic City casino industry executives to offer readers exclusive interviews and comprehensive coverage. Bill received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ithaca College. He has contributed to other Catena Media sites including The Lines, Legal Sports Report, PlayPennsylvania and PlayCanada.

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