Nevada Gaming Control Board Chair Resigns, Gov. Sisolak Names Replacement

Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) Chair and Executive Director J. Brin Gibson has resigned after two years in the role.

Nevada Gaming Control Board NGCB Brittnie Watkins
Brittnie Watkins is the new chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board after J. Brin Gibson announced his resignation and Gov. Steve Sisolak announced her as his successor. Watkins is the second Black woman to oversee the state gaming agency that is tasked with regulating the world’s richest gaming jurisdiction. (Image: Nevada Gaming Control Board)

Gibson agreed to step into the capacity of the chair and executive director of the NGCB amid the COVID-19 pandemic in November 2020. He succeeded Sandra Douglas Morgan, the first Black woman to chair the board who has since gone on to become president of the NFL Las Vegas Raiders.

Gibson says he, too, wants to pursue new professional opportunities outside of public service. The NGCB regulates gaming in Nevada, which is today the world’s richest gaming market.

The board serves as the enforcement arm of the superior Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC). The NGCB also makes regulatory recommendations and suggests disciplinary action against non-compliant licensees to the NGC.

Gibson’s tenure was no easy run, as his two-year term dealt heavily with fighting the coronavirus and returning casinos to pre-pandemic business levels. His leadership was a success, as Nevada casinos are experiencing their best winning streak in history.

Gross gaming revenue in Nevada has eclipsed the $1 billion market in each of the previous 19 consecutive months, an unprecedented record.

Governor Taps Successor

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) will soon not have to concern himself with who’s serving on the NGCB. The Democrat was defeated by Republican Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo in the state’s 2022 gubernatorial election. Sisolak’s last day in office is Jan. 2, 2023.

In the meantime, Sisolak has announced that NGCB board member Brittnie Watkins will succeed Gibson. Watkins will become the second Black woman to spearhead the NGCB.

Before getting to Watkins’ career achievements and qualifications for the role, Sisolak thanked Gibson for his leadership and commitment to upholding Nevada’s standing as the gold standard in the US gaming industry.

I am grateful to Brin’s steady leadership at the Nevada Gaming Control Board over the last two years, and his continued counsel and friendship to me,” Sisolak said in a statement. “We wish him and his family nothing but the best for Brin’s next chapter.”

Gibson thanked the governor for the opportunity and his “leadership and support over the years.”

Impressive Resume

Watkins will step into the NGCB role as the governor’s office changes hands and parties. The three-member NGCB is appointed solely by the sitting governor. Board members serve four-year terms in full-time capacities.

Sisolak appointed Watkins to the NGCB in April 2021. She arrived at the state gaming agency after working as an attorney in Las Vegas for the previous five years.

Watkins has two bachelor’s degrees from Michigan State University. She also holds a master’s degree in criminal justice, a doctorate in educational psychology, a Juris Doctor, and a master of laws degree in gaming regulation — each from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).

“I am grateful that Brittnie Watkins has agreed to continue the incredible and important work at the Gaming Control Board. She is more than ready for this role, and I am excited to see her work,” Sisolak concluded.

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