June 6, 2024 3 min read

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Konami Chairman Highlights Industry Recovery and Innovation at NGCB Meeting

Despite the pandemic's initial impact, Konami Group Chairman Higashio Kimihiko is confident that the market has fully recovered

At a recent meeting with Nevada regulators, Konami Group Chairman Higashio Kimihiko expressed confidence that the gaming industry has fully bounced back from the setbacks caused by the pandemic. Appearing before the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), Kimihiko underscored the industry’s robust recovery and outlined Konami’s role in adapting to post-pandemic challenges.

Konami’s Kimihiko Touts Company’s Strength at Nevada Regulator Hearing

Kimihiko, who has been at the helm of Konami since 2020, addressed the NGCB through an interpreter. He acknowledged the impact of the pandemic but emphasized that the market has regained its strength, reported CDC Gaming. He was last approved for licensing by Nevada regulators in 2013, and this recent appearance was part of a routine licensing process. The NGCB’s recommendation for approval will advance to the Nevada Gaming Commission for final consideration later this month.

In his discussion with NGCB Chairman Kirk Hendrick, Kimihiko supported the state’s efforts to accelerate the introduction of gaming products to the market. Hendrick highlighted the state’s commitment to aiding companies in swiftly delivering new technologies to customers, a sentiment that Kimihiko endorsed.

NGCB member George Assad praised Kimihiko’s impressive background, noting his progression within Konami from an engineering MBA graduate to his current leadership position.

NGCB Approves Caesars Entertainment’s CIO Rajendran Anbalagan

During the same meeting, the NGCB also reviewed and recommended the approval of Rajendran Anbalagan as the chief information and product transformation officer for Caesars Entertainment. Anbalagan, who took on this role 11 months ago, has a background in digital and technology roles, including a stint at Panera Bread as senior vice president.

Despite his limited experience in the gaming industry, Anbalagan described himself as a “computer geek” who is eager to tackle the challenges of his new position. He addressed the cybersecurity incident that Caesars experienced last fall, assuring the NGCB that the company has been proactive in strengthening its defenses. Anbalagan detailed how Caesars has increased collaboration with cybersecurity partners and hired a new chief information security officer to enhance their protective measures.

Hendrick echoed the importance of cybersecurity, noting that the NGCB itself faced a cyberattack in January. He emphasized the government’s commitment to safeguarding its systems and praised Anbalagan for his efforts to protect customer and employee information.

Anbalagan also touched on his role in product transformation, emphasizing the need for a seamless guest experience through advanced technology. Board member Brittnie Watkins commended his hands-on approach and looked forward to the innovations he would bring to the industry.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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