A veteran gambling industry executive has been named the new president and chief operating officer of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City’s dominant casino.
Tom Ballance, who has been Borgata’s senior vice president of administration, will now oversee Borgata’s day-to-day operations as its new boss, parent company Boyd Gaming Corp. announced Thursday.
Ballance, 54, of Egg Harbor Township, joined Borgata as vice president of development in 1998, while the casino was still in the planning stage. Prior to that, he spent 17 years at Harrah’s Atlantic City in a variety of positions in operations and development.
“Tom is a very seasoned executive, with over three decades of experience in our industry, not only in operations, but also in development. He’s an extraordinarily talented guy,” said Bob Boughner, who has been serving as Borgata’s president and COO since January 2009.
Boughner is heading to Las Vegas to take on additional duties with Boyd Gaming related to the company’s pending $1.45 billion acquisition of Peninsula Gaming LLC. Boughner said he will also be responsible for business development for Boyd as well as overseeing Borgata’s operations on the corporate level.
Keith Smith, Boyd Gaming’s president and chief executive officer, said the new roles for Ballance and Boughner allow the company to “fully leverage the skills of two talented executives.”
Boughner noted there will be no other changes in Borgata’s senior management team.
“This is not a management shakeup,” he said.
He added that Ballance’s job as president is “basically following the game plan” that has made Borgata Atlantic City’s top-grossing and most profitable casino. He credited Ballance as a key figure in the design, construction and operation of Borgata.
“Borgata has been a very successful operation since it opened in July 2003. There’s a formula for its success, and Tom was an instrumental part for creating that formula,” Boughner said.
Borgata has been Atlantic City’s powerhouse casino since its opening. In 2011, it posted a gross operating profit of $162.6 million on net revenue of $730.3 million. On Wednesday, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported that Borgata led the industry in September with $55.3 million in gambling revenue.
To strengthen its position in the market, Borgata is doing a $56 million remodeling of its main 2,000-room hotel tower. Boughner said upgrades still must be completed with the suites and hotel lobby before the entire project is done by the first quarter of 2013.
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