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Seminole Hard Rock, Guitar Hotel earn top gaming awards

The Guitar Hotel and Seminole Hard Rock won Global Gaming Awards that were announced Oct. 27, 2020. (Courtesy Seminole Hard Rock)

HOLLYWOOD – Seminole Hard Rock and its Guitar Hotel at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood were big winners in the seventh annual Global Gaming Awards (GGA), which held a virtual online program Oct. 27.

Seminole Hard Rock earned top honor as Land-Based Operator of the Year. It notched first place over nine other casino operator finalists from hundreds of casino operators around the world. The Guitar Hotel captured first place as Property of the Year. Leaders from throughout the gaming industry serve as judges for the awards.

“We’re excited about the acknowledgement, and on behalf of our 50,000 employees around the world, we sincerely appreciate it,” Hard Rock International chairman and Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen said in an interview on the awards show. Allen was a finalist in the American Executive of the Year category.

The Guitar Hotel in Hollywood is 450 feet tall and its shape goes with the theme of Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe. The hotel features orchestrated outdoor music and light shows that capitalize on LED lights built into every side of the guitar. The lights are programmed to change color and intensity, with changes timed to music. Six fixed high-powered beams of light project at least 20,000 feet into the night sky. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

According to GGA, the Land-Based Operator of the Year honor “looks to recognize the achievements of casino operators who have not only excelled in terms of financial performance, but led the pack in terms of innovation and enhancement in the last 12 months. In many ways land-based venues are considered to be the backbone of the global gaming industry, this category rewards the company who has gone above and beyond to create the best possible customer experience.”

The guitar-shaped Guitar Hotel, which towers over the Hollywood property, was part of a $1.5 billion expansion that debuted in November 2019. It includes 638 guestrooms and provides nightly light shows that can be seen for miles around.

“Certainly it was an amazing project and there’s no other building like it in the world,” said Allen, adding that “[we’re] really happy with its early results.”

All Seminole Gaming properties in Florida reopened this summer under Hard Rock’s “Safe + Sound” guidelines after being closed in March due to the pandemic. Allen said the Florida business is “good.”  

The awards come on the heels of other recent honors for Seminole Hard Rock, including winning the Corporate Social Responsibility Award from the National Council on Problem Gambling in August.  Also, data and analytics company J.D. Power named Hard Rock Hotels as one of the top-performing hotel brands in the firm’s 2020 North America hotel guest satisfaction study.

GGA is organized by the business-to-business “Gambling Insider” gaming publication.

Hard Rock will hit a milestone in June of 2021 when the brand turns 50 years old.  The brand’s parent entity is the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at