SOURCE: Delaware North Companies

June 13, 2007 17:37 ET

Delaware North Companies Bolsters Gaming & Entertainment Leadership to Focus on Continued Growth

William J. Bissett Named New President of Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment; Longtime President Ronald A. Sultemeier to Spearhead Subsidiary's Strategic Development

BUFFALO, NY--(Marketwire - June 13, 2007) - Delaware North Companies has bolstered its Gaming & Entertainment division's leadership in an effort to expand its already significant business, which includes gaming and racing operations in New York, Arizona, Florida, West Virginia, and Arkansas.

The company named William J. Bissett, a Delaware North veteran who led the gaming business in the early 1990s, as the new president of Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment. In recent years Bissett had served as vice president for external affairs, moving Delaware North's broader legislative, new business, and market reputation agendas forward for the company's global hospitality business.

In focusing on the Gaming & Entertainment business, Bissett will work closely with Ronald A. Sultemeier, who had served as its president since 1995. In his role as vice president of strategic development, Sultemeier's focus will be on new gaming and entertainment opportunities for Delaware North in North America, as well as some international markets.

"We are fortunate to have Bill, a well-known industry executive, in a leadership position at Delaware North Companies. Bill has long been a key adviser to Delaware North's gaming and racing operations because of his experience, expertise, and reputation in the industry. He has been one of the company's most senior strategic advisers and we are certainly looking forward to his leadership of this important facet of our business," said Chuck Moran Jr., Delaware North's president and chief operating officer.

"We've made significant investments to create innovative, regional entertainment destinations. In addition, we have built a management team that has incredible experience with some of the largest gaming and racing companies in the world. I have confidence that this team will continue to solidify our gaming and entertainment strategy, both in existing and new markets, as we focus on meeting challenges and realizing opportunities for growth," Bissett said of his new appointment.

Bissett joined Delaware North in 1992 as president of the company's racing operations, then known as Sportsystems. Prior to joining Delaware North, he was executive director of the Illinois Racing Board from 1984 to 1988 and held positions at the Supreme Court of Wisconsin and in the Kentucky Attorney General's Office. Bissett also brings business development experience to his new position. After serving as Sportsystem's president until 1995, he orchestrated new business efforts nationally and internationally as vice president of business development. Earlier in his career, Bissett served as executive vice president of Anvan Development Corporation of Lombard, Ill., a company that owns and operates resorts in the Lake Geneva region of Wisconsin.

Bissett received a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master's degree from Michigan State University. A member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, he currently holds leadership positions with the Buffalo State College Council and the Buffalo Convention Center Board.

Sultemeier, who moves into a new strategic development role for the company, joined Sportsystems in 1994. Since then he has established key relationships in the gaming and racing industry. Sultemeier serves as director of the Thoroughbred Racing Association and is a past president of the American Greyhound Track Operators Association. He is an advisory council member of the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program and president of the World Greyhound Racing Federation.

Sultemeier earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and accounting at the University of New Mexico.

About Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment

The highlights of Delaware North's expansion of its Gaming & Entertainment operations in recent years include:

--  The opening this month of a 45,000-square-foot addition at Saratoga
    (N.Y.) Gaming and Raceway, including 431 new video gaming machines and a
    325-seat buffet restaurant. At Saratoga, Delaware North now operates 1,700
    gaming machines, a nightclub, two full-service restaurants, three full-
    service bars, a food court, and a gift shop.
    
--  An investment of nearly $15 million since 2004 at Delaware North-owned
    Finger Lakes Racetrack & Gaming in Upstate New York, including more than
    1,200 video gaming machines and a 280-seat buffet restaurant. The company
    has also introduced video gaming at Fairgrounds Gaming & Raceway in Hamburg
    near Buffalo.
    
--  Delaware North also owns and operates the Wheeling Island Racetrack &
    Gaming Center in West Virginia, where the company operates a 2,700 slot
    machine racino including a 151-room hotel, conference facilities, a 600-
    seat showroom for concerts, and several restaurants to complement live
    greyhound racing and simulcasts of greyhound, thoroughbred, and harness
    racing.
    
--  Last year Delaware North completed a $40 million renovation and
    expansion of Southland Park Gaming & Racing in West Memphis, Ark., adding
    750 games of skill, including electronic poker and black jack machines, an
    upscale buffet, live entertainment area, and 450-seat event center to the
    50-year-old greyhound racing track.
    
--  Delaware North has also broken ground on a new $27 million clubhouse
    for the Daytona Beach Kennel Club, which will feature a 40-table poker room
    and simulcast center when it opens next year to replace the current
    facility. The new building is being constructed using environmentally
    friendly features such as solar water heaters as part of the company's
    commitment to "green" operational practices.
    

Delaware North Gaming & Entertainment also operates the Phoenix Greyhound Park and the Apache Greyhound Park in Arizona. Both offer simulcast wagering, and Phoenix offers live greyhound racing.

Delaware North Companies Gaming and Entertainment is one of the most innovative gaming and racing operators in the country, specializing in racing venues with added amenities, including video gaming machines, poker rooms, full service restaurants, retail shops and lodging. The company oversees more than 6,500 video gaming machines across the country and operates at seven successful racing operations in New York, Arizona, Florida, West Virginia and Arkansas. To date, Delaware North Companies is one of only four operators of video gaming machines at racetrack locations in New York State.

About Delaware North Companies

Delaware North Companies is one of the world's leading hospitality and food service providers. Its family of companies includes Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment, Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services, Delaware North Companies Sportservice, Delaware North Companies International, TD Banknorth Garden, and American Park 'n Swap. Delaware North Companies is one of the largest privately held companies in the United States with revenues approaching $2 billion annually and 40,000 associates serving half a billion customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit www.DelawareNorth.com.

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:

    Kerry Hassen
    Delaware North Companies
    (716) 858-5016
    Email Contact