After a four-hour hearing with the NGC last Thursday, GameCo’s CEO Blaine Graboyes lost his gaming license and has no longer the right to cooperate with operators in the state.
NGC Rejects Recommendations For a Temporary License
On Monday, slot machine developer GameCo announced that CEO Blaine Graboyes was no longer with the company. The reason for this is Graboyes’ denial of a gaming license by the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) last week.
GameCo’s spokesman said the company “will be appointing a new CEO in due course.” In the meantime, the Las Vegas-based operator will be led by chief financial officer Art Hamilton and Rich Maryyanek, the head of global business development.
Last Thursday, Commission members carried out a more than four-hour hearing focused on Graboyes’s two years as the consultant/CEO of Beyond Gaming from 2012 to 2014. The Ohio-based company was liquidated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, a former executive accused Graboyes of engineering the bankruptcy and using Beyond’s software assets to start up GameCo.
Gaming commissioners cast Graboyes down by a vote of 4-1. They rejected the recommendation of the Gaming Control Board to give Graboyes a one-year limited license. This would have given him more time to provide answers and to fully review the findings in the investigative report. However, the current decision leaves Graboyes without the opportunity to collaborate with gaming licensees in the state.
Gaming Commissioners Find Intellectual Property Issue
According to the NGC, Graboyes had a conflict of interest due to his roles with both Beyond and GameCo. During the hearing, Commissioner Rosa Solis-Rainey said:
“There appears to have been self-dealing throughout your tenure with this company and that’s troubling to me.”
Graboyes said that Beyond Gaming’s largest investors and shareholders set in motion the bankruptcy when the company became insolvent. Graboyes insisted that he was acting in the interest of both companies.
However, Gaming commissioners could not come to terms with Graboyes’ taking abandoned intellectual property from Beyond to GameCo. Graboyes said he made a $50,000 offer for the software codes, even though he did not believe he could use them for GameCo. And while the bankruptcy was in process, he was starting up GameCo.
Deborah Fuetsch, the only Gaming Commission member to not support the denial, believed Graboyes should be given the time to defend himself, rather than just two weeks.
The company’s board of directors, Chairman Robert Montgomery, Fifth Street Gaming CEO Seth Schorr, and private investment executive Adam Rosenberg, would “provide further guidance to the executive search process”, GameCo added.
In 2020, Nevada gaming revenue reached its lowest point since 1996.