Empire CEO Joe D’Amato leaves abruptly

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After around seven years on the job
  • Laud, praise, thanks, words of regret and good wishes for D’Amato
  • Ryan Eller taking over

(exechange) — Monticello, New York, June 01, 2017 — Joe D’Amato, chief executive of Empire, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Empire Resorts, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, June 01, 2017, Joseph A. (Joe) D’Amato leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the gaming and entertainment company after around seven years on the job, effective immediately.

D’Amato’s duties are taken over by Ryan Eller, most recently Chief Operating Officer at Empire Resorts, Inc.

No reason given

In the announcement, Empire did not explicitly explain the reason for D’Amato’s sudden move, leaving room for speculation.

Precise information about the future plans of D’Amato was not immediately available.


Empire said: “Chief Executive Officer Joseph D’Amato has retired from the Company and the Board of Directors, effective immediately.”

“No disagreement”

“There was no disagreement on any matters relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices,” Empire said.

It is a phrase that may be intended to prevent false rumors. It may also fuel further speculation and raise more questions than it answers. Such a phrase should be read very carefully. The exact wording may be insightful.

Share price rise since March 2016

The change follows a rise in the share price of Empire Resorts, Inc. since March 2016.

Chaired by Emanuel R. Pearlman

Empire Resorts, Inc. is chaired by Emanuel R. Pearlman.

Pearlman has served as a director since May 2010 and as the Executive Chairman of the Board since June 2016. Pearlman served as Chairman of the Board from September 2010 through May 2016.

On the job as CEO since 2010

D’Amato has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer since January 2010 and as the Company’s chief financial officer from September 2009 to December 2010.

D’Amato has served as a director since September 2010.

Prior to his employment with the Company, D’Amato most recently served as chief executive officer of Mount Airy Casino Resort in Pennsylvania from 2007 to 2009 and as chief operating officer of the Seneca Gaming Corporation in Western New York from 2005 to 2007, and as its chief financial officer from 2002 to 2005.

During his earlier career in the gaming industry, D’Amato served in various executive capacities with Resorts International, Trump Entertainment, Bally’s Park Place and Golden Nugget organizations.

D’Amato has participated in raising over $2 billion in the public and bank finance markets, and has extensive experience with Sarbanes Oxley and the filing requirements and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).

He has been a CPA in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and received an MS in Taxation from Widener University, an MBA (Finance) from LaSalle University, and a BS in Business Administration from LaSalle University.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Joe D’Amato’s sudden move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 23.2017 ($).