Gaming visionary Robert “Bob” Luciano Jr. will be honored next month as the inaugural winner of the Gaming Technology Hall of Fame Award.
The award will be presented during a reception at 5:30 p.m. June 18 at the Mirage Hotel and Casino, the location of this year’s Gaming Technology Forum.
Among those speaking in Luciano’s honor will be John Acres, founder of Acres 4.0; Randy Hedrick, vice president of Bally Technologies’ Innovation Lab; and Don Speer, chairman of VCAT LLC.
WhiteSand Gaming and Casino Enterprise Management, producers of the Gaming Technology Forum, created the award to honor individuals who have pioneered cutting-edge technologies or innovative products that have made significant contributions to the gaming industry.
“There is no more fitting or deserving inaugural recipient for this award than Bob Luciano,” said Saverio “Sal” Scheri, president and chief executive officer of WhiteSand Gaming. “His visionary leadership and innovative engineering have led to gaming system solutions and entertaining games and platforms that have helped shape the Native American casino industry in several states and have delivered tremendous value to casinos across the country.”
“I have long admired Bob’s ability to think outside the box to truly understand what makes players tick and what it takes to build great games with innovative design that are profitable but also really resonate with players,” said Peter Mead, publisher of Casino Enterprise Management. “It is a privilege to be able to honor such an accomplished leader in gaming and such a stellar individual.”
Luciano’s accomplishments while at the helm of the company he founded, Sierra Design Group, include developing systems technology that helped pave the way for many successful gaming operations in Native American jurisdictions, including California and Washington, and creating unique gaming products, such as Raining Diamonds slot machines that dispensed real diamond jewelry and the Auction Fever bonusing concept. Luciano was also at the forefront of many technological innovations in gaming and systems at Bally Technologies.
In a 2012 Casino Enterprise Management article written after he was selected as one of the magazine’s Gaming Visionary leaders, Luciano talked about some of Sierra Design Group’s achievements. “I would have to say that SDG was founded on Indian gaming,” Luciano said. “Barona was a real start for us, then Washington had us form together as a tight group of people ready for the world. We had a hand in the gaming successes in Austria, Florida, New York, Oklahoma and Mexico.”
After Bally Technologies (then Alliance Gaming) purchased Sierra Design Group in 2004, Luciano also served as executive vice president and chief technology officer for Bally Technologies before suffering a serious stroke that required him to take a medical leave.
Prior to founding Sierra Design Group in 1996, Luciano was vice president of advanced engineering at IGT. He also previously held several engineering positions at a variety of nongaming companies, including Soabar, a division of Avery International, and Mobil Oil.
Luciano also has been honored by the Technology Business Alliance of Nevada, which inducted him into the TechNevada Hall of Fame. The TechNevada Hall of Fame recognizes leaders who significantly affect the technology community of Nevada through sustained contributions in or to technology practice, education, administration or research.
The 11th annual Gaming Technology Forum will be held June 17-19 at the Mirage Hotel and Casino, 3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas.
Previously known as the Gaming Technology Summit, the Gaming Technology Forum will feature a new program with innovative sessions focused on enterprise-level gaming technologies, i-gaming developments, social media best practices, fresh marketing strategies and best practices, and regulation and compliance updates, as well as issues unique to Native American casinos. For more information, visit www.gamingtechnologyforum.com.