Nevada Appoints a New Gaming Control Board Chairman

J. Brin Gibson is the newly appointed chairman of Nevada’s Gaming Control Board. Gibson was appointed by Governor Steve Sisolak to replace the outgoing executive director, Sandra Douglass. Sandra Douglass resigned from the board early last week when he accepted the Fidelity National Financial board’s offer.

Gibson will officially start his duties beginning November 18, as he relinquishes his shares at the Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck law firm.

Governor Sisolak’s friendship with Gibson dates years back when he was his general counsel. The governor applauded Gibson for his new achievement, terming him as the most experienced to chair the regulated industry.

Gibson recently served at the Attorney General’s office as the chief of gaming division and first assistant. He also served as Governor Sisolak’s special adviser to protect State’s interest in the gaming industry.

Brin Gibson’s Experiences With the Gaming Industry

Counsel Gibson has robust experience when it comes to Nevada’s gaming laws. In executing his mandate as the chief of gaming at the Attorney General’s office, he represented the same board that he’ll now chair as the chief legal counsel.

Gibson also acted in the top legal counsel’s capacity to the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee and Nevada Gaming Commission. All these commissions that he once represented deal with Nevada’s gaming operators’ regulation and licensing, including sportsbooks and casinos.

His Roles As the New Gaming Control Board Chairman

Brin Gibson is joining the board when the industry needs experienced stewardship to maneuver the murky environment created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, bettors will now expect him to implement and enforce State laws that cushions the industry as it gets back to its position.

Gibson joins a three-member board and will be earning $158,879 every year. Here are some of the critical responsibilities that Brin Gibson will be facing as the Gaming Control Board Chairman:

1. Oversee the Licensing of Gambling Operators

Nevada is a leading destination for both regional and international operators. It is important to note that Nevada already has more than 100 sportsbooks, with William Hill powering the largest market share. Other notable operators who power different sportsbooks in the region include playMGM Sports, Caesars, and Wynn Mobile Sports.

Gibson will be overseeing the body that decides whether it’s suitable for new operators to join the region.

2. Special Advice to the Nevada Gaming Commission

Nevada Gaming Commission acts in the judicial capacity to regulate and impose sanctions on operators who might contravene the gaming laws and provisions. Counsel Gibson will be joining a board that often offers prosecutorial advice and perspective when an operator violates the law. Nevertheless, the Gaming Control Board is still the most superior regulatory body in the State of Nevada.

3. Enforce the Board’s COVID-19 Protocol

In preparation for the reopening of the gambling industry, Governor Sisolak issued a protocol for the operators to follow in the fight against the pandemic’s spread. The governor was also clear to state that it is the responsibility of both the Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission to ensure that gambling doesn’t downplay the State’s effort to curb the spread and infection of the virus.

Some of the protocols that Gibson’s board will be enforcing include the following:

• Social distancing guidelines

The board must oversee that all its licensees adhere to social distancing rules. This includes queue signage to point where patrons should stand. Counter operations must also ensure social distancing protocols among both employees and patrons.

• Occupancy Limits

Each gaming room or spot will not hold more than 50% of the assigned capacity to encourage social distancing policy. The operators are encouraged to utilize their resources, such as security cameras and security personnel, to ensure the number of patrons is as required.

• COVID-19 Testing

All physical casinos that have a resort license are required to provide a designated spot for COVID-19 tests. The spots must be stigma-proofed so that patrons can feel safe about the test and waiting for the results. Besides screening visitors’ temperature, the operators must ensure that trained medical personnel is within the premises at all times.

It is a new dawn for the Gaming and Control Board as it awaits the newly appointed chairman to occupy the office officially. As analysts say, there is still much to do to improve the industry such that everyone gains. We hope J. Brin Gibson aspires to achieve that too.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.