Lafayette Degree & Major(s): Bachelor of Arts, English
Minor: Anthropology & Sociology
Graduate/Professional School Degrees:
Juris Doctor, New York Law School (2016)
Master of Law, International Sports Law; Master of Science, Sports Management, Columbia University (2018)
Location: Holmdel, NJ
Title: Director of Regulatory & Compliance
Employer: Seminole Hard Rock Digital, LLC
Describe what your employer/organization does: Hard Rock is known the world over for its famous cafes, casinos, hotels, and rock memorabilia collection. Hard Rock Digital is a new venture that takes the same Hard Rock ethos and brings it to the newly expanding online sports betting and online casino industry across the USA.
Please provide a brief overview of your role: As the Director of Regulatory & Compliance at Seminole Hard Rock Digital, LLC, I oversee licensing, regulatory compliance, and stakeholder relationships. I ensure our company follows state and federal regulations, with extensive experience in multiple states. Effective communication, task prioritization, and a strong ability to deliver high-quality results in a fast-paced environment are key in this role, as is collaborating with cross-functional teams to maintain compliance.
What gets you excited to go to work each day? What excites me about going to work each day is the opportunity to navigate the dynamic landscape of regulatory and compliance challenges in the ever-evolving online gaming space. I find satisfaction in ensuring our company adheres to complex state and federal regulations, building strong stakeholder relationships, and balancing these requirements with our business goals. The fast-paced environment and the chance to collaborate with cross-functional teams to maintain compliance provide a constant sense of purpose and accomplishment in my role.
What keeps you up at night as you think about the opportunities (or challenges) related to your work? What keeps me up at night is the responsibility of staying on top of evolving regulatory landscapes and ensuring that our company remains in compliance across multiple states. The intricate nature of these regulations and the potential impact on our business can be a source of concern. I also contemplate the challenge of balancing compliance with our strategic objectives and the need to influence key stakeholders. Maintaining the delicate equilibrium between regulatory obligations and business needs is a continuous consideration. The fast-paced environment and the need to meet deadlines can add some pressure, but it’s all part of the exciting challenges that come with the role.
What key strengths are necessary to be successful in entering this career field? To excel in the gaming regulatory and compliance field, certain key strengths are indispensable. These include an in-depth understanding of complex regulations, adept communication skills for conveying intricate compliance information, effective time management to navigate a fast-paced environment with competing deadlines, and the ability to work independently. Building and nurturing relationships with stakeholders is vital, as is adaptability to the ever-evolving regulatory landscape. Collaborating seamlessly with cross-functional teams is essential to ensure compliance throughout the organization. Attention to detail is a must, as is the capacity for creative problem-solving, finding solutions that harmonize regulatory requirements with the company’s strategic goals. Given the challenges of the role, resilience and the ability to remain focused under pressure are also highly valuable.
Is education beyond a Lafayette degree required to pursue this path? Education beyond a Lafayette degree is indeed beneficial for pursuing this career, as my experiences at New York Law School and Columbia University demonstrated. While Lafayette College provided a strong foundational knowledge, continuing education allowed me to specialize and gain more advanced insights into the field. New York Law School equipped me with a comprehensive, and perhaps abstract, understanding of legal aspects, which is crucial in the regulatory and compliance field. It provided the necessary legal framework and knowledge of relevant statutes and regulations. Columbia University, on the other hand, offered a more specialized, practical focus, particularly in sports and gaming business-related regulatory matters. This advanced education allowed me to delve deeper into complex compliance issues, understand the evolving regulatory landscape, and build a network of experts in the field. So, while a Lafayette degree provided the groundwork, further education at New York Law School and Columbia University was essential for me to refine and specialize my knowledge, making me well-prepared for the demands of this career.
How did your Lafayette experience equip you for success in your career field, especially as an early career professional? My time at Lafayette College, where I pursued an undergraduate degree in English, with a specific focus on literature, played a pivotal role in preparing me for success in my career field as an early career professional. This experience honed my communication skills and provided several critical foundations for my career journey. First and foremost, my English and literature studies at Lafayette developed my written and verbal communication abilities to a high degree of proficiency. This skill set has been invaluable in my career, enabling me to effectively convey complex information, both internally and externally, in a clear and concise manner. This has been particularly advantageous when communicating with various stakeholders, including colleagues, regulators, and business partners. Furthermore, the analytical and critical thinking skills fostered during my studies at Lafayette have been instrumental in my approach to problem-solving and navigating the intricate regulatory landscape. These skills have empowered me to examine compliance challenges from different angles, find innovative solutions, and make well-informed decisions. Lastly, my Lafayette experience instilled in me a strong work ethic and a commitment to academic excellence. This dedication to quality and continuous improvement has translated seamlessly into my professional life, motivating me to consistently strive for excellence and to meet the high standards expected in the regulatory and compliance field. In summary, my time at Lafayette College, with its emphasis on English and literature, not only strengthened my communication and analytical skills but also instilled a strong work ethic, all of which have been instrumental in my success as an early career professional in the regulatory and compliance field.
What specific experiences during your time at Lafayette made the greatest impact on your professional path? One of the most significant experiences during my time at Lafayette College was the course “Gambling: Here and Everywhere” that I took during my sophomore year in 2010. This course, led by mathematics professor Derek Smith, sought to educate students about the role of gambling in society, examining its various forms and the social and economic implications associated with it. While I wasn’t fully aware of it at the time, this experience planted the seed for what would become a fascinating area of interest for me. Fast forward to my current role as the Director of Regulatory & Compliance at Hard Rock Digital, which involves managing numerous responsibilities, including regulatory due diligence, compliance reporting, and stakeholder relationship building. It is here that the influence of that college course becomes apparent. A deep understanding of state and federal regulations, with a particular focus on compliance in multiple states, has been pivotal in my current role. Just as the college course explored the social and economic implications of gambling, my role now requires me to balance regulatory obligations with business needs, influencing key stakeholders to align with the company’s strategic goals. My strong communication skills, honed during my time at Lafayette, are invaluable as I convey complex regulatory information to both technical and non-technical audiences. Additionally, my ability to prioritize tasks, work independently, and deliver high-quality results in a fast-paced environment, all skills fostered during my college years, have become critical in my role today. Lastly, collaboration with cross-functional teams, which I first experienced during group work in college, remains a key component of maintaining compliance and regulatory integrity in my current position. The foundation laid during my time at Lafayette College has proven to be instrumental in my success as the Director of Regulatory & Compliance in the real-world corporate environment.
As it relates to career exploration and development, what is one thing that you know now that you wish you could go back in time and tell your student self? Reflecting on my career exploration and development journey, one piece of advice I wish I could go back in time and share with my student self is the importance of embracing diverse educational experiences. My experience at Lafayette College, particularly the course on gambling, unexpectedly shaped my career path in regulatory and compliance. I would encourage my student self to be open to a wide range of courses and experiences, even those that may not seem directly related to your future career goals. I would emphasize the significance of exploring various subjects, as they can offer unexpected insights and skill sets that prove invaluable later on. This approach not only enriches your knowledge but also opens doors to unconventional career opportunities. So, I’d tell my student self not to be too narrowly focused and to explore diverse educational experiences with an open mind. You never know which one might hold the key to your future career success.
What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing your career field? For students with aspirations in regulatory and compliance, begin with a robust educational foundation, but don’t limit yourself to a single discipline. While courses in law and business offer valuable insights, explore a diverse array of subjects to broaden your understanding of the intricate world of regulations and compliance. As the regulatory landscape is in a constant state of evolution, keeping yourself informed is essential. Stay updated by actively engaging with industry literature, attending seminars, and becoming a part of professional networks. Your adaptability in the face of evolving regulations will be one of your greatest assets. Building a strong professional network is a necessity. Attend industry events, connect with experienced professionals, and seek out mentors who can offer invaluable guidance. Learning from those who’ve walked the path before you is a valuable aspect of your journey. While the classroom imparts important knowledge, the real learning takes place in the field. Pursue internships or entry-level positions in regulatory and compliance roles to gain hands-on experience. Practical exposure is the bridge that connects theoretical understanding to real-world application. Effective communication is your most potent tool. Develop the ability to articulate complex regulatory information clearly, whether in writing or in conversations with diverse audiences. Precision is paramount; meticulous attention to detail is crucial to avoid costly errors, as regulatory work demands unerring accuracy. Problem-solving skills are the secret to your success. Compliance often involves finding creative solutions that harmonize with business objectives. Cultivate your knack for identifying these solutions. Integrity is the cornerstone of compliance. Always prioritize ethical conduct and decision-making, as it forms the bedrock of your professional journey. Collaboration is not just an option; it’s a necessity. Learn to work harmoniously with teams from different departments, as regulatory and compliance work invariably entails interaction with legal, finance, and other stakeholders. In this field, patience and persistence are your allies. Processes can be complex and progress slow, but persevering through challenges, knowing that your dedication will yield results, is key. Finally, recognize that learning is an ongoing journey. The regulatory landscape is dynamic, and continuous education is crucial. Consider pursuing certifications to further enhance your expertise and stay ahead of industry changes. By internalizing these principles and continually expanding your knowledge and network, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on a fruitful career in the dynamic and ever-evolving world of regulatory and compliance.
What strategies, tools, or other efforts do you utilize to find “balance” or reduce your career-related stress? Whenever possible, I opt for a flexible work schedule to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This flexibility allows me to respond to life’s demands while fulfilling my professional commitments. Setting boundaries is another practice I’ve embraced. I ensure a clear demarcation between work and personal life, reserving my personal time exclusively for non-work-related activities.
How do you enjoy spending your free time when not at work? Outside of work, I’m a passionate sports enthusiast, particularly when it comes to supporting my favorite teams – the Yankees, Giants, and Knicks. Attending games, whether in person or watching from home, is a great way to unwind and bond with friends and family. I also find solace in spending quality time with loved ones, whether it’s a leisurely dinner, a hike in the great outdoors, or simply enjoying a movie night at home. My free time revolves around my sports passions and the joy of connecting with the people who mean the most to me. It’s the perfect counterbalance to the demands of my career.
What was your favorite spot on Lafayette’s campus when you were a student? As a student at Lafayette, my favorite spot on campus was undoubtedly the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity house. It wasn’t just a physical location; it was a hub of camaraderie, growth, and enduring friendships. The fraternity became a home away from home, a place where I forged some of the most meaningful relationships of my college years. The shared experiences, late-night conversations, and collective bonds created an atmosphere of support and belonging that made it a cherished spot on campus. It’s not just a place; it’s a reservoir of memories and the foundation of lifelong friendships.
Would you like to connect with Rob to learn more about his career path?
Mr. Lo Giudice is happy to connect with students via Lafayette’s GatewayLink platform or LinkedIn. Access or set-up your GatewayLink account here: https://gatewaylink.lafayette.edu/. If you’d like to connect with Mr. Lo Giudice by email, please contact your Gateway Career Counselor.