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New York Gaming Commission Executive Gardner Gurney Earns National Lifetime Achievement Award 

SCHENECTADY, NY - Gardner Gurney, Acting Director of the Division of the Lottery, has been named a recipient of the Major Peter J. O’Connell Lifetime Achievement Award from Public Gaming Research Institute (PGRI), a nationally recognized publishing organization and conference sponsor charged with providing information on the current legal, political, and regulatory matters affecting the Lottery industry. 

Gurney accepted the award on September 10 at PGRI’s Lottery Expo ‘15 held in Miami Beach, Fla. 

Gurney joined the New York Lottery’s Internal Audit Department in 1988. Over the past 27 years, he has also has served as the Lottery’s Chief Financial Officer, Administrative Officer, Director of Operations, and Executive Deputy Director. 

Gurney currently has direct oversight of Financial Management, Gaming Operations, Computer Services and Lottery Drawings. 

Created in 1993 to honor Major Peter J. O’Connell, the first director of the Rhode Island Lottery, recipients of PGRI’s Lifetime Achievement Award have distinguished themselves over a long period of time and have made important contributions to the success of their peers and the lottery industry, as well as to the lotteries they serve. 

New York State Gaming Commission Executive Director Robert Williams said, “Kudos to Gardner for the selfless work ethic and determination he invests every day into making the New York Lottery a model of industry best-practices and record-breaking outcomes, and for his unwavering dedication to advancing an industry he has helped shape for nearly three decades.” 

PGRI Founding Member Paul Jason said of Gurney’s achievement, “Gardner has become the industry ’go-to’ person for matters requiring the experience, wisdom, and decades of successful leadership in the country’s biggest lottery and, with $7.2 billion in traditional lottery sales, the 8th largest lottery in the world.” 

Pollard Banknote Senior Vice President and former New York Lottery Director Margaret DeFrancisco said, “Experienced, dedicated, intelligent, focused, and with incredible integrity – Gardner has always maintained a sense of humor about our serious business.” 

Connie Laverty-O’Connor, another New York Lottery alum currently serving as SVP & Chief Customer Officer at International Game Technology PLC said, “Gardner has dedicated 27 years to advancing the standards and accountability of the lottery industry, while at the same time, delivering outstanding results in lottery sales and profits to New York State education.” 

Scientific Games Lottery Group Chief Executive Jim Kennedy said, “Gardner is in a special class of lottery leaders in our industry: a highly respected veteran who has served the lottery for decades. Leveraging his solid foundation in finance, he's created a track record of great game performance with his focus on putting the player first and driving lottery profits for good cause in New York. He has rightly risen to the role of leader of the largest lottery in North America.” 

Multi-State Lottery Powerball Chairman and Texas Lottery Executive Director Gary Grief said, “Thoughtful, hard-working and extremely intelligent, Gardner has long been one of the individuals I rely on for advice and counsel regarding major lottery initiatives. My heartfelt congratulations go out to Gardner and the New York Lottery for receiving this prestigious award.” 

Before joining the New York Lottery, Gurney worked as a manager in the commercial lending and retail industries. A native of Rangely, Maine, Gurney is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Husson College in Bangor, Maine. He and his wife, Kim, live in Altamont, which also serves as home-base for the pair’s three daughters. 

About the Public Gaming Research Institute (PGRI) 

The PGRI is dedicated to the support and growth of lottery organizations all around the world, Government Sponsored Gaming of all varieties, preservation of Responsible Regulatory Policies, and the forging of an informed and enlightened approach to Public Policy issues. 

About the New York Lottery 

The New York Lottery continues to be North America’s largest and most profitable Lottery, contributing $3.11 billion in fiscal year 2014-2015 to help support education in New York State. The Lottery’s contribution represents 14 percent of total state education aid to local school districts.

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