Musical chairs at the Nevada Gaming Commission continues


Tomorrow, the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) will meet to discuss some extremely important subjects for the state’s gaming industry. It has been a chaotic time for the board and it almost didn’t have the full complement of members needed to be effective. The NGC was saved at the last minute, thanks to Governor Steve Sisolak, and the months-long game of musical chairs may finally have stopped the music for the last time.

musical-chairs-nevada-gaming-commission-continuesSisolak appointed Steven Cohen to the commission last Friday. Cohen is a well-known, respected Las Vegas attorney and a founding partner of the Cohen Johnson law firm. The board has been undermanned since this past January and Cohen was chosen to be a part of the group after Philip Pro announced in April that he would not seek another four-year appointment.

Sisolak took a member of the board away in January when he tapped then-Commission Sandra Morgan to manage Nevada’s Gaming Control Board (GCB). Down to four, the departure of Pro reduced the board to just three.

At the end of April, Sisolak brought in Rosa Solis-Rainey, an attorney who had worked as a clerk for Pro when was serving as a US District Court judge. With Cohen now onboard, the five-member panel can get busy and tackle some serious issues.

Tomorrow, one of those issues will be whether or not to approve a license application for GVC Holdings Plc. The Isle of Man-based sports gambling company wants to get in on the action in Nevada and has already been given a thumbs-up by the GCB to move forward, but the NGC needs to weigh in.

The NGC will also have to cast its vote on whether or not to add Mark Branco to Nevada’s “List of Excluded Persons.” That list is maintained and distributed among the state’s casinos and is used to indicate who is forbidden from stepping foot in the venues.

Branco is a former Bellagio craps dealer who decided to become a little too entrepreneurial. He, along with three others, managed to cheat the casino out of $1.2 million before being busted. His accomplices – Anthony Grant Granito, Jeffrey Martin and James Russell Cooper – are already infamously on the list.