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Affinity brings in Higgins to replace Rodio as CEO


Las Vegas-based casino operator Affinity Gaming has appointed Mary Elizabeth Higgins as its new chief executive, after Tony Rodio stepped down to take up the same role at Caesars Entertainment.

Higgins moves into the position having only taken on the role of chief financial officer at Affinity in January of this year, after a short spell as its chief operating officer.

She replaces Rodio, who was unveiled as the new CEO of Caesars Entertainment earlier this week. Rodio will move into his new role within the next 30 days and also take a place on Caesars’ board of directors.

“I am excited to lead Affinity and deliver on our commitment to further enhance Affinity as a local casino leader in an evolving gaming landscape,” Higgins said.

“I am eager to help capture Affinity’s significant growth potential, while continuing to deliver the high-quality service and unmatched player experience that are staples at Affinity properties across the country.”

Prior to joining Affinity in June 2018, Higgins helped establish VICI Properties, a real estate investment trust spun from Caesars Entertainment Operating Company (CEOC), serving as its CFO. Higgins was also CFO of CEOC from 2014 to 2017.

Earlier in her career, Higgins also served as CFO at Global Cash Access Holdings, Herbst Gaming, the predecessor company of Affinity, and Camco.

James Zenni, chairman of Affinity’s board of directors and also CEO of Z Capital Partners, which acquired the operator in 2017, said: “I am confident that Mary Beth is the right person to lead the company into its next chapter of success and I look forward to working together as we continue to enhance the customer and guest experience and drive sustainable, long-term growth at Affinity.”

Meanwhile, Affinity has also named Eric Fiocco as its new chief operating officer. Fiocco had been serving as senior vice president and chief marketing officer at the operator and will continue in this latter role.

Prior to joining Affinity in November of last year, Fiocco was CMO of Tropicana Entertainment, where he was responsible for marketing operations across eight properties.

Earlier in his career, Fiocco also spent time as senior vice president of casino operations and marketing for Resorts Casino Hotel and in a number of roles at Caesars Atlantic City, culminating as vice president of operations and marketing.