Casino hires president and COO


Salvatore Semola. Courtesy Gun Lake Tribe

A casino in the region has named a man with four decades of experience in the gaming and hospitality industries its president and COO.

The Gun Lake Tribe said last month it hired Salvatore “Sal” Semola for the role at Gun Lake Casino in Wayland.

“We are confident that the addition of Mr. Semola’s management capabilities to our established executive team will ensure the continued success and growth of the Gun Lake Casino,” said Scott Sprague, chair of the tribe.


The naming of a new president comes as the tribe nears conclusion of a seven-year management agreement with Station Casinos of Las Vegas, Nevada. The contract began when the property opened in 2011, as Station Casinos led the tribe through pre-opening operations and through almost seven years of daily operations and expansion projects.

Semola will work closely with the Tribal Council, the tribe’s governing body and the casino management team over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition when Station Casinos concludes its management responsibilities in February.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to work for the citizens of the Gun Lake Tribe and to lead an incredible group of team members at the Gun Lake Casino,” Semola said. “Gun Lake Casino is a beautiful property that is poised for tremendous growth that will produce mutual benefits for the tribe and local community.”

Semola’s background

Semola comes to Gun Lake Casino with more than 40 years of experience in the gaming and hospitality industries, including roles at several Las Vegas properties.

He also held management roles at Foxwoods Resort Casino, Cannery Casino Hotel and Detroit’s Greektown Casino Hotel.

Most recently, he was the president and owner of Semola Consulting/Cornerstone Gaming Management, a casino consulting company.

He also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, instructing casino management programs.

Semola has received several awards, including the Eastern Division of the Casino Management Association’s Gaming Professional of the Year and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration’s Industry Executive of the Year.

Semola earned a bachelor’s degree in 1981 in hotel administration from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and an associate of science in resort occupations and casino management from the College of Southern Nevada in 1983.

He also attended the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and studied leadership performance.

Gun Lake Casino

Gun Lake Casino opened in 2011.

The casino features more than 2,000 slot machines, 42 table games, a high-limit room, a food court, a 225-seat café and a 300-seat buffet, along with bars, lounges and live entertainment.

Gun Lake Casino is owned by the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, or Gun Lake Tribe, and is operated by the tribe’s management partner, MPM Enterprises, owned by an affiliate of Station Casinos and private investors from Michigan.

The casino employs more than 800 people and shares a percentage of its revenue with the State of Michigan on a semi-annual basis.

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