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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Nevada's director of Business and Industry tapped for Gaming Control Board

23 October 2012

LAS VEGAS -- Terry Johnson, director of the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, was named on Monday to the Nevada State Gaming Control Board by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Johnson replaces Mark Lipparelli, who resigned as chairman of the three-member panel at the end of September. Johnson will fill out the remaining two months of Lipparelli's term, which expires at the end of the year. It's expected the governor would then reappoint Johnson to a full four-year term.

Sandoval did not name a chairman of the control board, but gaming sources expect that one of the two current board members, either Shawn Reid or A.G. Burnett, will be named to that position. Reid and Burnett are both in the middle of their four-year terms.

Sandoval spokeswoman Mary-Sarah Kinner said the naming of a chairman would take place separately.

Johnson, whose appointment takes effect Nov. 12, currently oversees a department comprised of 14 regulatory agencies, 635 employees and a combined budget of $119 million. Among the industries regulated by the department include insurance, transportation, financial institutions, and boxing and mixed martial arts.

Johnson previously served as assistant director of the Clark County District Attorney's Office from 2007 to 2011.

"I am pleased that Terry has agreed to serve our state in this capacity," Sandoval said in a statement. "Terry's strategic leadership and innovative thinking has helped him effectively operate one of the more complex departments in state government. I have no doubt that his regulatory experience and public service background will serve as a strong foundation for this next step."

Johnson has held other roles in state government as director of the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation and five years as State Labor Commissioner.

The Gaming Control Board is the state's enforcement and investigative agency for the casino industry. The panel makes recommendations on matters to the Nevada Gaming Commission. The three members are full-time state employees. Control board members earn $135,741 annually. The chairman earns $145,986.

Johnson, 46, earns $124,528 in his current position.

Johnson, who is based in Las Vegas, said the move to gaming will allow him concentrate on regulation for one industry, rather than the multiple industries he oversees in his current role.

"It's a smaller team and more narrow focus," Johnson said. "You can now see the number of gaming options that are out there for people around the world. I'm looking for being part of an organization that makes sure Nevada is on top of the gaming experience worldwide."

Lipparelli said he resigned before his term expired so the new chairman could have time to prepare for the Legislative session, which begins in February.

The next control board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 1-2 in Las Vegas. Reid and Burnett shared duties at the October meeting and will have the same roles in November.