Illinois Native Kristensen Named One Of Gaming Industry’s 25 People To Watch In 2024

Written By Cole Rush on January 12, 2024
Photo of Danielle Kristensen and a 25 balloon on a story about her being named one of the 25 to watch for next year in the gaming industry.

Danielle Kristensen is a gaming executive to keep an eye on this year.

The vice president of technology for Mille Lac Corporate Ventures was recently named to Global Gaming Business’ 25 People To Watch In 2024 list.

Illinois native Kristensen is a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Tribe.

Mille Lac Corporate Ventures’ flagship properties are in Minnesota

In the post announcing the list, Global Gaming Business Publisher Roger Gros congratulated all those named.

“The gaming industry is going through a sea change as the land-based and iGaming worlds come together. Many of the people honored by their inclusion in the 2024 list are prime participants in that merger. Their vision will shape gaming for many years to come.”

Kristensen graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and currently lives in the Chicago suburbs. Her role as VP of technology at Mille Lac Corporate Ventures (MLCV) puts her at the helm of various projects spanning networking, security, systems engineering and other areas.

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe tribe runs MLCV as its business sector, operating numerous businesses. Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Grand Casino Hinckley – both in Minnesota – are the organization’s flagship casino properties. That means MLCV will be in a prime position when Illinois online casinos are legalized, but there isn’t serious momentum for that industry to become regulated yet. Still, when that time comes Kristensen will likely be a key player.

Kristensen says fostering relationships key to thriving in industry

Among Kristensen’s goals for 2024, according to Global Gaming Business, are adapting for the growing presence of AI and machine learning, and finding ways to operate MLCV more efficiently.

And while the technology component of casino operation is crucial by all counts, Kristensen notes that there’s another element that can make all the difference in this industry.

“I learned quickly that the gaming industry is extremely close-knit, and relationships are vital,” she notes. “In this industry, everyone knows everyone. It’s critical to protect and foster relationships, because you are almost certain to come across the same people multiple times in different positions as you progress throughout your career. This is actually one of the things I love most about being in this field, the people I get to work with.”

‘Watch’ list includes best and brightest in the gaming industry

Each year, Global Gaming Business’ editorial advisory board compiles the list.

Kristensen is in good company. The class of “People To Watch In 2024” is chock-full of talented individuals. It includes representatives from top developers, gaming operators and regulatory groups.

Check out the full list here.

Photo by Shutterstock / Illustration by PlayIllinois
Cole Rush Avatar
Written by
Cole Rush

Cole Rush writes words. A lot of them. Most of those words can be found in gambling publications such as PlayIllinois, iGaming Business, Gaming Today,,, ICE 365, and IGB North America. Cole also covers pop culture and books for and Cole has more than eight years of experience writing about gambling and entertainment.

View all posts by Cole Rush
Privacy Policy