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Arnold M. Knightly

Former Station executive named to gaming center post

6 January 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Glenn Christenson plans to approach his new job as chairman of the National Center for Responsible Gaming by completely researching and understanding problem gambling.

The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit center named Christenson, the former chief financial officer for Station Casinos, to the post Monday. The organization was founded in 1996 to raise money to support peer-reviewed, scientific research addressing problem gambling disorders and to promote responsible gambling.

He said the center's mission will not change.

"I've believed for a long time the best way to deal with any problem is to fully research and understand every aspect of the problem," said Christenson, who joined the center's board in 2001. "The situation with responsible gaming is no different."

Alan Feldman, MGM Mirage's senior vice president of public affairs and a director of the center, said Christenson's finance experience will be crucial in guiding the nonprofit during the economic downturn.

"You could hardly ask for more in terms of Glenn's ability to take a look at how expenses are being made, how the books are kept and making sure everything is very clean and accurate," Feldman said. "To have his attention and focus on this is significant."

Christenson left Station Casinos in March 2007 after 17 years while the locals casino company was going through its management-led buyout.

In May 2007, he was elected to a four-year term on the board of directors of NV Energy Inc., where he is audit committee chairman.

Christenson remains active in Las Vegas as secretary-treasurer and board member of the Nevada Development Authority, chairman of the Nevada State College Foundation and as an adviser to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Business School.

He is also chairman of the Governor's Problem Gambling Advisory Committee in Nevada and has served as a board member of the problem gambling center.

Christenson replaces Phil Satre, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Harrah's Entertainment, who was the center's chairman for the past three years.

Satre, who will remain on the board, said in a statement that Christenson's history with the center has been "truly invaluable."

"As a former gaming industry executive, I remain quite passionate about making sure our industry continues to address (problem gambling)," Satre said in a statement.

The foundation is funded by donations from gaming companies. It has received $7.6 million in funding commitments through 2012 from the gaming industry, according to the foundation's annual report released in March.

Christenson said the center "still enjoys great support from our donors and most, if not all, have not changed their financial commitment," despite the economic downturn that has hit the industry.

Feldman said the economy has forced MGM Mirage to extend its $2 million commitment over seven years instead of five.

"We continue to fund the NCRG and their work," Feldman said. "It's still a priority for us and the industry."

The center, which is an affiliated charity of the American Gaming Association, has raised more than $22 million since its founding in 1996.

Former Station executive named to gaming center post is republished from