Global Gaming Women Founding Board Chair and Past President Virginia McDowell to be Inducted into the Mississippi Gaming Hall of Fame

March 16, 2022 | Gambling

GGW congratulates the official recognition as an Industry Influencer and the first woman inducted by The Mississippi Gaming & Hospitality Association (MGHA)

LAS VEGAS, NV (March 14, 2022) – Global Gaming Women (GGW) founding board chair Virginia McDowell will be recognized as an Industry Influencer by The Mississippi Gaming & Hospitality Association (MGHA) and as the first female inductee to the Mississippi Gaming Hall of Fame during the 2022 Southern Gaming Summit on May 5, 2022, at MGM Resorts International’s Beau Rivage Resort & Casino located in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Named the 2009 “Gaming Executive of the Year” by Casino Journal Magazine, she has proven leadership in both regional and destination markets. She served as the only female president and chief executive officer of a top publicly traded gaming operating company from 2007 until her retirement from Isle of Capri Casinos in April 2016. She now serves as a Non-Executive Director of Entain plc (LSE: ENT) where she chairs the Environmental, Social, and Governance Committee. McDowell serves on the executive committee of GGW, which she co-founded in 2016; she is a member of the Board of Trustees of Saint Louis University, a trustee at HavenHouse St. Louis, and an advisory board member of the St. Louis Crisis Nursery. Her hard work has been recognized with several prestigious awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Casino Marketing industry conference and as one of Casino Enterprise Management Magazine’s Great Women of Gaming.

GGW membership represents women in commercial, tribal, suppliers, lottery, tourism, and digital gaming, offering both in-person and digital programs in education and training, mentoring, Lean In Circles, and networking events.

GGW board chair and President Cassie Stratford, SVP of Legal Operations and Compliance at Boyd Gaming, commented on the honor. “Since the relaunch of GGW in 2016, Virginia has focused on obtaining the support and resources necessary to build the next generation of female leaders in the gaming industry. GGW has now grown to over 6000 members in 42 states and 12 countries, and on behalf of them, I am proud to congratulate her as she continues to break ground as the first woman inducted into the Mississippi Gaming Hall of Fame.”

The GGW Women in Industry Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, May 4th from Noon-1:30 in the Camellia Ballroom. Tickets can be purchased at

The other 2022 Mississippi Gaming Hall of Fame inductees include:

  • Industry Pioneer: Allan B. Solomon, principal and chairman, Foundation Gaming and Entertainment, and co-founder and former executive vice president and general counsel, Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. (2008)
  • Commercial Gaming: Craig H. Neilsen, visionary and philanthropist, founded Ameristar Casinos, Inc, and later established the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, North America’s largest private funder for spinal cord injury research and programming
  • Manufacturer: Kagemasa Kozuki, founder, chairman, and representative director, Konami Holdings Corporation.
  • Regulator: John Hairston, president and CEO, Hancock Whitney Corporation, and former member and chairman, Mississippi Gaming Commission (2005-2015)

About Global Gaming Women

Global Gaming Women (GGW) supports, inspires, and influences the development of women in the Gaming industry. GGW brings together women from all gaming segments to enrich their professional and personal lives. Established by the American Gaming Association to create a broad network that allows peers to connect with their colleagues, GGW’s goal is for female gaming professionals to learn from one another, create lasting connections and nurture emerging women leaders. In 2016, Global Gaming Women launched as an independent charitable organization to deliver high-impact programs and events on a global scale to support the development of women in the gaming and lottery industry. Follow GGW’s social media on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Visit for more information or call +1 (702) 492-5320.

SOURCE: Global Gaming Women.