2016: James F. Allen. Chairman, Hard Rock International, Chief Executive Officer, Seminole Gaming
Responsible for gaming operations at the Seminole Tribe of Florida since 2001, James F. Allen has guided the development of Seminole Gaming into one of the world’s most profitable gaming entities, with seven casinos located throughout Florida. Allen led the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s 2007 acquisition of Hard Rock International, the first acquisition of a major international company by a North American Indian Tribe. He also guided successful Gaming Compact negotiations between the Seminole Tribe, the State of Florida and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
As Chairman of Hard Rock International, Allen oversees all operations of one of the most globally-recognized brands, known for rock music and its signature cafes, hotels, casinos, memorabilia and live concerts, with 205 venues in 64 countries, including 157 cafes, 23 hotels and 11 casinos.
Allen led the development team for the highly successful Seminole Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla., which opened in 2004, and he has directed Hard Rock International’s aggressive expansion program in the hotel and hotel-casino sectors. In addition to Tampa and Hollywood, Hard Rock hotels or hotel-casinos are located in exciting locations including Bali, Chicago, Cancun, Ibiza, Las Vegas, Macau and San Diego. New Hard Rock hotel or hotel-casino projects include Atlanta, Berlin, Daytona Beach, Dubai, Los Cabos, Tenerife, Abu Dhabi, and Shenzhen and Haikou in China.
Allen is a gaming industry veteran with 34 years of experience and he has held executive positions with the Trump Organization, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hemmeter Companies, Park Place Entertainment and Sun International Resorts. A former member of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission Task Force on Gaming Regulation, Allen has lectured on countless casino industry topics at many professional conferences, governmental programs and college campuses, including the New Jersey Governor’s Business Development Conference and both Harvard and Cornell Universities.