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Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville

PLAINVILLE — A gaming industry group will present the former head of the company that runs Plainridge Park, and who oversaw its revival as the state’s first legal gambling site, with a lifetime achievement award next month.

Timothy J. Wilmott, former CEO of Penn National Gaming, will be presented with award at the 24th East Coast Gaming Congress & NexGen Gaming Forum Oct. 25-26 at the Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center it Atlantic City, N.J.

Wilmott, who joined Penn National in 2008 as president and chief operating officer, led that company’s significant expansion in both land-based and digital gaming, which included acquiring the gaming license for Plainridge in 2014.

Plainridge’s then-owners were being eliminated from consideration for a slot parlor license soon after the state legalized casino gambling. The state Gaming Commission cited lax business practices that allowed former track President Gary Piontkowski to take $1.4 million from the racetrack’s money room over several years without investors knowing about it.

Penn National sold Plainridge’s real estate assets to Gaming and Leisure Properties, a Pennsylvania company spun off from Penn National in 2013, for $250 million and leased it back for $25 million per year in 2018.

Prior to joining Penn, Wilmott worked at Harrah’s Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment Corp.) where he held a number of executive positions, including chief operating officer, overseeing the operations of all revenue-generating businesses, including 48 casinos.

Wilmott retired as CEO and from the board of directors of Penn National at the end of 2019. Jay Snowden, who since 2014 has served as chief operating officer and since 2017 as president, was named to succeed Wilmott.

Over the course of his career, Wilmott managed and developed gaming properties in Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey and North Carolina, as well as overseas.

“Tim possesses an extraordinary combination of leadership and vision, and those are the chief ingredients that fuel growth and success in gaming, and have led to his storied career,” said Spectrum Gaming Group Managing Director Michael Pollock, a conference co-founder who will present the award to Wilmott at the luncheon on Oct. 26.

Tom Reilly can be reached at 508-236-0332 or treilly@thesunchronicle.com.

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