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The European Casino Association (ECA) has announced the successful candidates for this year’s ECA Diversity Scholarship, sponsored by AGEM, Clarion, the University of Las Vegas International Gaming Institute and the ECA.

The Diversity Scholarship is open to all ECA member employees and in its fourth year since inception is to award more candidates than ever before to participate in the renowned Executive Development Programme (EDP).

The EDP is a prestigious gaming leadership course, a partnership between the UNLV International Gaming Institute and the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business and Extended Studies. The scholarship covers the full cost of the programme, which this year, as last, is to be staged online due to ongoing travel and Covid-19 restrictions.

Over three decades, the EDP has become a reference point for gaming executives seeking to take their careers to the next level, whose aim is to build leadership and management skills and develop strategic thinking. It is a unique occasion to learn and share best practices with peers from around the world. The jury from the sponsoring organisations has examined the applications and awarded four ambitious male and female colleagues from the European land-based casino industry aspiring to a leadership position and hoping to broadening their professional education.

“The ECA scholarship programme recognises the contribution individuals have made within their daily roles that embody the inclusive nature of our profession. The ECA has awarded four candidates working in Monaco, Slovakia, Sweden and Slovenia to take part in the programme to promote the individual growth of the gaming professionals who, through their actions, have supported and enhanced diversity and inclusion within the industry,” ECA Chairman Per Jaldung said.

The ECA’s Diversity Scholarships for 2021 have been awarded to the following candidates:

  • Joanna Petit – American Games Supervisor, Casino de Monte-Carlo, Monaco. “Being a young female manager has not been easy in a masculine world. I found my place and I have been able to unite my team through enthusiasm, professionalism, listening and communication.”
  • Shalini Kolling – Human Resources Manager, Casino Cosmopol, Sweden. “I believe that the EDP needs more applicants like me who come from minority categories, and possess the foundation quality, that is a genuine hunger to ensure that the individuals and their organisation succeed.”
  • Jan Pecha – Casino General Manager, Olympic Casino, Slovakia. “I am very positive regarding diversity. Under my leadership, everyone has equal rights. I believe the EDP will be a very valuable experience.”
  • Darko Devic – Table Games Manager, Casino Mond, Slovenia. “I was pleasantly surprised that male members of our team can apply for the scholarship. In my opinion, it is crucial to be aware of inequality in the workplace in order to prevent it.”

“The partnership formed with Clarion, the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) and the University of Las Vegas has created an opportunity for the ECA to reward four industry colleagues for their outstanding contribution to diversity and inclusion with the gaming sector. Each of this year’s recipients personify the values of this award, having a passion for the industry and an understanding and empathy for the diverse make-up of both front and back-of-house in the European casino business. The EDP is a perfect reward for such dedication to further their personal and professional growth,” ECA Secretary Hermann Pamminger said.