Pull Up A Chair: J. Brin Gibson Appointed As Head Of Nevada Gaming Control Board

Written By Marc Meltzer on November 16, 2020

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has a new member.

Last week, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced the appointment of J. Brin Gibson as the Nevada regulator’s new chair and executive director beginning Nov. 18. Gibson replaces Sandra Douglass Morganwho recently resigned to take an “exciting professional opportunity.”

Sisolak expressed his joy to bring on “exactly the type of committed public servant needed in this important role during this critical time.”

“Brin’s extensive background and expertise in highly regulated industries, including his experience as Chief of the Gaming Division, makes him a perfect fit for this position, and I look forward to watching him excel in this position.”

Nevada Gaming Control Board welcomes experienced Gibson

Gibson is no stranger to Sisolak or Nevada politics.

He previously served as the governor’s general counsel from January 2019 until January 2020 before leaving for a job in the private sector. As general counsel, Gibson sat as the Chief Legal Counsel regarding ethics, transactional and legislative matters. He also contributed to the protection of state interests in the gaming and cannabis industries.

In his role as the Chief of Gaming, Gibson served as chief legal counsel to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Nevada Gaming Commission and Nevada Gaming Policy Committee. He oversaw all legal actions brought against Nevada gaming licensees while tending to both regulatory issues and violations.

Gibson said he’s “humbled and honored” to serve as the NGCB chair.

“It is a position that has been occupied with individuals of high character and ability, including the outgoing chair, Sandra Douglass Morgan, who has done an exceptional job under the most difficult circumstances. I will work tirelessly to serve with the same sense of honor and dignity for the position those before me have shown.”

What’s on the to-do list for Gibson?

In his new role, Gibson will have a variety of tasks at hand. Nevada is currently in a second “stay at home” request from Sisolak, obviously with the goal of reducing the spread of coronavirus throughout the state.

This new stay-at-home process will last for 14 days. New restrictions for Nevada residents and businesses could follow this period. And it’s possible that casinos might be ordered to close again.

Gibson will also oversee granting a license to a new sportsbook operator in Nevada. Betfred is scheduled to operate the sportsbook at the Mohegan Sun Casino inside Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The operator still needs to receive a Nevada gaming license.

Before Morgan left her post, a public workshop scheduled for Nov. 5 expected to include discussions surrounding remote mobile sportsbook account registration throughout the state. That workshop, though, has since been postponed and awaits rescheduling.

That said, Gibson could become the catalyst for the Silver State to offer online account registration for Nevada sports betting apps.

Status of online Nevada sports betting account registration

Currently, players in Nevada must visit a retail sportsbook inside of a casino in order to set up a mobile sports betting account.

As states continue to legalize wagering, remote account setup has played a role in how much revenue sportsbooks can generate. States like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, for example, are enjoying the revenue boost from these remote setup offers.

Over the years, some casinos and sportsbook operators in Nevada argued against mobile sportsbook app registration. Rather, they preferred bettors to visit a casino at least once in order to fund a mobile sports betting app.

William Hill and Station Casinos have favored in-person account registration. Now owned by Caesars, William Hill could change its tune. Time will tell.

Upside of expanding to online account sign-up

Allowing remote sportsbook account setup could open the doors for DraftKings Sportsbook to enter the Nevada sports betting market.

Additionally, remote online sign-ups could help casinos and sportsbooks generate revenue should retail locations have to close again in the future.

Bettors in Nevada can fund an existing sportsbook account directly from a mobile app. However, new customers cannot open an account without visiting a casino. This kept a lot of bettors from wagering on sports while casinos remained closed during the pandemic.

Curbside account setup can only help bettors and sportsbook operators so much. Allowing remote account setup can help sportsbook and casino operators generate revenue regardless of a casino being open.

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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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