The American Gaming Association’s (AGA) recruitment drive for a new CEO has been formalised with the establishment of a seven-strong search committee led by AGA chairman and Penn National Gaming CEO Tim Wilmott. Outgoing CEO Geoff Freeman leaves to take up a new role with the Grocery Manufacturers Association at the end of July. Stacy Papadopoulos, general counsel and SVP of industry services has been appointed interim CEO.

The remaining six members of the search committee comprise Greg Carlin, co-founder and CEO of Rush Street Gaming; Trevor Croker, CEO and managing director of Aristocrat; Mark Frissora, president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment; Bill Lance Jr, secretary of commerce of Chickasaw Nation; Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International; and Ron Reese, SVP, global communications and corporate affairs of Las Vegas Sands Corporation.

Highlighting the vibrant nature of the gaming business and selling the positives of the CEO role, Wilmott noted: “The gaming industry is widely recognised as among the most popular of consumer entertainment experiences and we take seriously our role in providing this experience safely and responsibly. We are also proud to support the creation of strong jobs and tremendous economic value for the communities in which we operate across the United States. The growing impact of our industry, including the opportunity for states to offer legal sports betting, makes this an especially exciting time to lead our membership toward a vibrant future.”

He added: “We are grateful to Geoff for his leadership over the last five years and we wish to thank Stacy for taking the helm of the AGA while we identify its next CEO,” said Wilmott.

The AGA’s search for Freeman’s replacement will be supported by Leslie Hortum, managing director of Spencer Stuart, one of the world’s leading executive search consulting firms.