Casinos Austria hires Erwin van Lambaart as new CEO

| By Robin Harrison
Holland Casino chief executive Erwin van Lambaart is to leave his role next year, to take charge of Casinos Austria.
Erwin van Lambaart Casinos Austria

Van Lambaart will join the Casinos Austria management board from 14 March 2022, then take over the position previously held by Bettina Glatz-Kremsner from 1 April. 

His appointment concludes a recruitment process to select Glatz-Kremsner’s successor that was handled by executive search firm Spencer Stuart. The current CEO announced in March that she was to depart upon the expiry of her contract. 

Van Lambaart has led Holland Casino since 2016 and has overseen its expansion into online gaming from October this year. He previously worked in broadcast media, as well as leading an events business. 

He thanked Casinos Austria’s supervisory board and owners for the trust they placed in him. 

“Casinos Austria enjoys an excellent reputation in the international gaming industry, which we will continue to uphold in partnership with its managers and employees in the years to come,” van Lambaart said. “I’m really looking forward to the upcoming tasks. Together we will provide our guests and players with the best gaming experience, hospitality and entertainment, with a focus on the highest safety standards and responsible gaming. 

“I will contribute all my experience in order to make a sustainable contribution to the wellbeing of the group, together with the employees in these challenging times.”

As part of the recruitment process, a number of candidates were considered by the Casinos Austria board’s nominations committee, with three ultimately invited to interview. Van Lambaart was unanimously backed as the outstanding candidate. 

Sazka Group chief executive Robert Chvatal, said the appointment of van Lambaart highlighted a new approach to recruitment at the operator, following criticism of its hiring strategy in recent years.

“The entire search process was completely transparent, with professional experience and a deep understanding of the industry highlighted as key criteria,” he explained. “Erwin van Lambaart was approached by Spencer Stuart because he perfectly met the criteria for the position of CEO. 

“I am very pleased that with [this] appointment there was strong agreement from both the shareholders and employee representatives.”

This was echoed by Casinos Austria’s supervisory board chair Wolfgang Hesoun. He added that in the wake of that past scrutiny, it was crucial to ensure the new CEO’s appointment was handled transparently, which resulted in an “excellent” candidate being selected.

The appointment was also praised by Österreichische Beteiligungs (OBAG), the state investment business that jointly controls Casinos Austria alongside Sazka. ÖBAG board member Christine Catasta described van Lambaart as “an internationally experienced manager” capable of leading the business into the future. 

“Erwin van Lambaart is a seasoned professional who has a thorough understanding of the gaming industry,” Catasta said. “Due to his many years of experience at the state-owned Holland Casino, which operates 14 casinos, he will work together with the employees on the future development of [Casinos Austria].”

Chvatal, Catasta and Heosun also thanked Glatz-Kremsner for her role in shaping Casinos Austria over thirty years with the business.

The outgoing CEO added that after more than 30 years with the business, she was eager to leave the company in the best possible hands, and would now work to ensure an orderly handover.

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