MLA Places Harper Ko as Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary at Penn National Gaming

Hanover, MD (December 8, 2020) — Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA), the world’s leading legal search firm, today announced the placement of Harper Ko as executive vice president, chief legal officer and secretary at Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN: Nasdaq) in Wyomissing, Penn. Harper succeeds Carl Sottosanti, who retired at the end of December. The search was conducted by Elizabeth Long, managing director in Philadelphia; Andrea Bricca, partner in Las Vegas; and Deborah Thompson, managing director in Philadelphia, all with MLA’s In-House Counsel Recruiting group.

Penn National Gaming (PNG) owns, operates or has ownership interests in 41 gaming and racing properties in 19 states and video gaming terminal operations with a focus on slot machine entertainment; they have also recently expanded into the digital gaming arena. PNG’s properties feature approximately 50,000 gaming machines, 1,300 table games and 8,800 hotel rooms.

Harper will serve as the primary legal advisor to the board of directors, chief executive officer and senior management. Reporting to President and CEO Jay Snowden, she will manage PNG’s legal, compliance and risk functions while operating within its business-focused culture. Harper will also lead a team of seven direct reports including attorneys, compliance/risk professionals and staff.

“While Penn National looked at candidates outside the gaming industry, the gaming industry’s regulatory requirements led them to focus on established gaming industry executives and Harper was a fit for Penn’s future from both a substantive and interpersonal standpoint,” jointly said Beth Long, Andrea Bricca and Deb Thompson.

Harper comes to PNG with more than 20 years of corporate legal and regulatory compliance experience in the casino gaming industry on behalf of gaming equipment suppliers and casino operators. Before joining PNG, Harper most recently served as executive vice president and chief legal officer – general counsel and secretary for Everi Holdings. Prior to Everi, she spent more than 10 years at Scientific Games Corporation as deputy general counsel. She also held leadership roles with Bally Technologies; Harrah’s Operating Company; Aristocrat Technologies, Inc.; and WMS Gaming, Inc.

“I am thrilled to be joining Penn National Gaming at a truly exciting time as the Company continues its evolution into the nation’s leading omnichannel provider of retail and interactive gaming, sports betting and entertainment,” said Harper Ko. 

Harper earned her J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law and a B.S. from the University of Michigan.

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