The American Gaming Association (AGA) has inducted three new honorees into the Gaming Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019. They are Elaine Hodgson, co-founder, president and CEO of Incredible Technologies (IT); Stanley Mallin, real estate, hotel, and casino developer; and Ernie Moody, president of Action Gaming and creator of Triple Play Poker.
Since its establishment in 1989, the Gaming Hall of Fame has recognized leaders who have distinguished themselves through significant contributions to the gaming industry.
“Elaine, Ernie, and Stanley are pioneers in the gaming industry and have earned their well-deserved induction into this elite group,” said Bill Miller, AGA President and CEO. “Under Elaine’s leadership, Incredible Technologies introduced the most successful pay-to-play game in the US, Ernie’s resilience and innovation changed the landscape of video poker, and Stanley’s contributions to the trend of themed casino properties are ubiquitous. We’re pleased to honor them with this great distinction.”
Hodgson founded IT in a basement with fewer than a dozen employees, establishing the firm as a pinball and amusement gaming hardware manufacturer with co-founder Richard Ditton. 1989, saw the creation of Golden Tee Golf and in 2007 the company entered the casino gaming market. Today, IT is one of the fastest growing US video slot game developers, with Hodgson overseeing all aspects of the company and its staff of more than 250.
In the 1990s, Moody created Triple Play Poker and several other poker games that are still performing strongly on casino floors. He has created new video poker concepts such as Spin Poker and continues to create games to this day. With 20,000 machines across North America utilizing his patents and inventions, he single-handedly changed the video poker industry, providing massive value to his casino customers, players, and to IGT, his longtime manufacturer and distributor.
Mallin grew up in Missouri, serving in the US Army during WWII. After the war, he completed his college years at the University of Missouri where he and Jay Sarno forged their relationship and ventured into real estate and hotel/motel development. They built the well-known Atlanta Cabana hotel, Dallas Cabana, and Palo Alto hotels before their big venture into gaming and Las Vegas.
In 1966, they opened Caesars Palace for $24m, starting the trend of themed casinos in Las Vegas, and sold the property in 1969 for $60m. He also introduced the concept of experiential casino properties with the opening of Circus Circus in 1968, which was leased in 1974 and ultimately sold to William Bennett and William Pennington.
An invitation-only ceremony honoring the inductees will take place during the Chairman’s Reception at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E).