Longtime Nevadan and Republican Party leader Frank Fahrenkopf says he will step down as president and CEO of the American Gaming Association June 30.
Fahrenkopf, 73, had been head of the AGA, the country's main casino lobbying organization, since its creation 17 years ago. Gambling industry leaders praised his efforts to build the respect for the industry.
"He has been a steady, thoughtful leader through a period of great change for our industry and has steered us through some of its most difficult challenges," said Richard Haddrill, chairman of Bally Technologies.
When the AGA was formed, Fahrenkopf said the perception of the gaming industry was based more on myth than reality. He said the AGA's mission has been to create a better understanding of the industry.
Before taking the job as head of AGA, Fahrenkopf was chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1983 to 1989. Fahrenkopf, who graduated from the University of Nevada in 1962 and practiced law in the Reno area for more than 20 years, also was chairman of the Nevada Republican Committee in the 1970s and was Northern Nevada state co-chairman of President Richard Nixon's reelection campaign in 1972.