Mariana Soto, former chief of staff of the Chilean Ministry of Energy and the telecommunications company WOM, has been introduced as the new President of the Chilean Association of Gaming Casinos (ACCJ). Soto will replace the owner of casino company Marina del Sol Nicolás Imschenetzky, who stepped down on December 31, 2021.
Her appointment represents a milestone in the Chilean industry since in addition to being the first woman to head the association, she’s the first person to become the ACCJ’s president with no positions in a gambling company or venue.
“I’m facing with great enthusiasm this challenge that I’ve been entrusted with to lead [a sector] that contributes so much to Chile and the regions in which we are present,” said Soto, according to information shared by local newspaper Diario Financiero.
Additionally, it was detailed that this change of direction is part of an initiative by the ACCJ to build a better executive profile. Due to Soto’s experience both in the public space with tenures in the Ministry of Energy and private companies such as the British private equity investment firm Novator Partners owned WOM and AES Andes, the Universidad de Chile graduate seems to combine the two key points that the ACCJ seeks to cover.
“The proposal they presented to me was very interesting because they want to refund the association and give it a more modern perspective. [And also] build an up-to-date agenda with the issues that are relevant in the country,” said Soto.
The new President, who will be able to provide a legal perspective thanks to her experience as a lawyer, explained that the owner of the gambling halls in Chile aims for the board to become professional, so they are open to collaborating with the association’s agenda.
“They want to collaborate with the authorities to have good public policies, focused on decentralization since it’s a very present sector outside of [the capital] Santiago de Chile,” she said.