Michael Laubach Bio

Michael Laubach was born on November 28, 1954, in Merced, California.  After a brief stint in the US Army Michael started his gaming career at Harvey’s Casino in South Lake Tahoe in 1975 joining his father, Donald John Laubach who also worked at Harvey’s in the slot department.  After a short period of time, Michael moved to Las Vegas and accepted a job at The Stardust as a Slot Floorman. He quickly moved up the ranks and was eventually promoted to Director of Slot Operations. He then left the Stardust in early 1990s to open the Slot Department at the new Bull Whacker’s Casino in Blackhawk Colorado.

After a couple years in Colorado, Michael was contacted by his good friend Dominic Mezzetta and asked to open the Hollywood Casino in Tunica, Mississippi and serve as the casino’s Vice President of Slot Operations.  In 2001, Michael’s mentor from the Stardust, Dick Burnside recruited Michael back to Boyd Gaming.  Michael accepted the job and moved to Vinton, LA to open Delta Downs then returned to Sam’s Town in Tunica, MS to oversee the Slot Department.  Michael was then asked to move to Las Vegas where he took over the Slot Department at the Orleans in 2007 as the Director of Slot Operations.

Michael formally moved to the corporate office for Boyd Gaming in 2019 as the Corporate Vice President of Slot Operations.  In addition to his many gaming positions, Michael was also an inaugural member of the EKG Slot Awards Board of Advisors and was a key contributor to the early success of the event.  Michael passed away on August 9, 2021, and is survived by his wife (Kim Laubach), 1 daughter (Samantha Reaves), 2 sons (Christopher and Spencer).

Acceptance Speech from the Laubach Family


On behalf of our family, it is a privilege and honor to accept this award for my late husband, Michael Laubach.

Michael would be so very honored to join his fellow inductees, though to be honest he would probably have fiercely stated he was not deserving, as he often fought against any form of recognition or award.

To many, my husband was certainly known as a fast talking and quick-thinking person.  He liked working at a very detailed level, but always had an amazing ability to still see the big picture.  He had an exceptional mind that allowed him to quickly grasp and understand the many changes in this business.

Michael also strongly believed in family, friends and the gaming community and he was always there for anyone.  I cannot count the number of times people have written to me since his passing, with stories of how they went to see him, to get advice, his guidance or simply to chat.  Most ended with a run to the bar, a few jokes and a Vodka and Cranberry.  Simply put, he liked to build for the future, he wanted to see the Slot industry continue to thrive and expand with the ever-changing technology that so many of you are creating.

To me, this epitomizes Michael’s views on this industry – always focus on the people.  Starting as a Slot Attendant and working through all levels of the Slot Industry, Michael had a unique view of each position within the Casino which afforded him the opportunity to connect to his employees and peers.

Michael rarely boasted of his achievements; however, I know he was very proud of the work Boyd Gaming achieved and the many businesses that grew from this industry that you all have worked so hard to create.  His intuition for trends and opportunities, responding to changing industry needs, provided a lot of companies with many “firsts”.  For this, he was exceptionally proud. He was proud to know and work with each one of you.

On behalf of the family, we are very proud of what Michael achieved and we thank you for honoring his memory here tonight.