WYOMISSING, PA-Locally based Penn National Gaming creates a new post, VP of public affairs, and hires Eric Schippers, a 12-year public relations veteran to fill it. Schippers previously headed Alexandria, VA-based Center for Individual Freedom and has extensive experience in presenting issues to Congress and state legislatures as well as handling media relations and corporate communications.

According to a statement, this move “reflects Penn National’s commitment to strengthening its relationships with key constituents, including lawmakers, the media and the general public.”

In elaborating on the appointment, Kevin DeSanctis, Penn National’s president and COO, says Schippers “will be instrumental in assuring that our operating activities and the financial benefits that they bring to the local and regional economies that we serve are well understood.” He adds that Schippers’ expertise “with legislative and legal matters will enable Penn National to proactively address tax policies and our other interests in the state and federal legislatures.”

Penn National owns and operates: Hollywood Casino properties in Aurora, IL, Tunica, MO, and Shreveport, LA; Charles Town Races & Slots in Charles Town, WV; the Casino Magic-Bay St. Louis hotel, casino, golf resort and marina in Bay St. Louis, MO; Boomtown Biloxi casino in Biloxi, MO; Casino Rouge, a riverboat gaming facility in Baton Rouge, LA, and the Bullwhackers casino properties in Black Hawk, CO. In addition, the company owns two racetracks and 11 off-track betting facilities in Pennsylvania and has a 50%-interest in Pennwood Racing Inc., which owns and operates Freehold Raceway in Freehold, NJ and operates Casino Rama, a gaming facility in Canada.

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