Visit Quad-Cities will host a panel on the future of the gaming industry at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at Rhythm City Casino Resort, 7077 Elmore Ave., Davenport.

Panelists will include:

  • Nancy Ballenger – senior vice president and general manager, Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf/Caesars Entertainment
  • Travis Hankins – vice president and general manager, Bally’s Quad Cities
  • Mo Hyder – regional vice president for Elite Casino Resorts and general manager at Rhythm City Casino Resort

The gaming industry has made a significant impact on the Quad Cities regional destination, a news release says. Visit Quad Cities, the region’s official destination management and marketing organization (DMMO), will host the discussion to hear from gaming experts and leaders about the state of the industry, its future, and the changes throughout the 30 years gaming has been in the Quad Cities.

The Quad Cities was the first in the U.S. to offer riverboat gaming in 1991, the release says. Since then, all three casinos have transitioned to land-based operations with attached hotels and meeting/banquet space. Most recently, they have added mobile sports betting continuing to demonstrate the evolution of the industry.

To register, visit here.

About the Panelists

Nancy Ballenger has a 30-plus-years career in the casino/hospitality industry.  She was a member of the inaugural team (then Diamond Lady) that launched riverboat gaming in Iowa in 1991. She currently is the senior vice president and general manager of the Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf (a Caesars Entertainment property) which is the largest hotel in Iowa. In 2018, she was awarded the Iowa Women Leaders in Gaming Founders Award in recognition of her leadership role and her significant contributions to Iowa’s gaming industry. In 2019 she was a nominee for the Athena International – Women Lead Change award. Ballenger is a current board member of the Iowa Gaming Association.

Travis Hankins is the vice president and general manager for Bally’s Quad Cities—one of Bally’s 14 casino properties in 10 states across the nation. He is a seasoned casino executive with more than 15 years experience in gaming, with the last 10 years at Bally’s Quad Cities. He has experience throughout the Midwest working in the Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa markets including all three properties in the Quad Cities. Hankins is a native Quad Citian. A graduate of the University of Illinois, he also has a Hotel Revenue Management Certificate from Cornell University and a Gaming Management Certificate from University of Nevada-Reno.

Mo Hyder has more than 30 years of experience in the gaming and hospitality industries.  He currently serves as regional vice president for Elite Casino Resorts, also overseeing Rhythm City Casino as their general manager since February 2014. Hyder was involved in the development and transition of the Rhythm City Casino resort newly built $110 million facility.  He is currently involved in the construction of the new $168 million Walker’s Bluff Casino Resort in Carterville, IL. He will be responsible for overseeing the operations of Walker’s Bluff.  Before joining the Elite Casino Resorts team, Hyder worked for Caesars Entertainment, in New Orleans during 2013.  Prior to this role, he was vice president and general manager for Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. at their Quad Cities properties from 2005-2013. He also held senior management positions with Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Altoona, Iowa. 

About Visit Quad Cities

Founded in 1990, Visit Quad Cities is the official Destination Management and Marketing Organization (DMMO) for the region. Visit Quad Cities is a private 501(c)(6) non-profit engine charged with driving economic opportunity through tourism, building our authentic brand, telling & selling the Quad Cities story, and enhancing Quad Citizens’ quality of life and quality of place.