Former Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval Joins MGM Resorts

Written by:
Associated Press
Published on:

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is joining casino giant MGM Resorts International to help push the company’s global expansion efforts, particularly in Japan, and work on state-level public policy related to sports betting.


The casino operator named Sandoval president of global gambling development Tuesday, a day after he left office. The popular and moderate Republican was barred by term limits from running for re-election in November.

“Governor Sandoval brings an unparalleled level of skill, leadership and experience to the company, and we will benefit greatly from his in-depth expertise in gaming, public policy and economic development,” MGM’s chairman and CEO Jim Murren said in a statement.

Sandoval will return to the private sector after more than two decades in public service. He was as a state legislator, gambling regulator, state attorney general and federal judge before being elected governor in 2010 and earning a second term in 2014.

His efforts focused on Japan could prove crucial to the Las Vegas-based company.

Japan’s parliament in July approved a law allowing up to three casino-resorts to open in the wealthy nation. The casinos are unlikely to open before the mid-2020s. But U.S.-based casino operators, including MGM, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corp., have expressed interest in bidding for a license. MGM set up a Japanese subsidiary in 2014 when the country started discussing casinos.

Supporters of the effort to open casino-resorts in the island say the properties could draw additional and more affluent tourists. Opponents, however, argue that Japan already has “pachinko” pinball parlors and wagering on horse, auto, bicycle and boat racing, and expanding legalized gambling would fuel organized crime and compound gambling addiction.

Sandoval traveled to Japan in August with the National Governors Association. A delegation met with Japanese officials to offer Nevada’s expertise in the gambling industry as the Asian nation moves forward with casino-resorts. Sandoval also met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The former governor’s work that will focus on sports betting in the U.S. will come as more states consider whether to approve that form of gambling. The debates in statehouses across the U.S. are the result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that last year ended Nevada’s effective monopoly on sports wagering.

“MGM Resorts is a global leader in gaming and entertainment, and I look forward to joining the MGM team led by Jim Murren, someone who I greatly respect,” Sandoval said in a statement. “Jim has formed critical relationships in Japan and in sports, and I look forward to building upon this strong foundation.”

The expansion of sports betting in the U.S. has prompted a flurry of deals, including one that made MGM an official gambling partner of Major League Baseball in the U.S. and Japan.

The company on Tuesday also announced that President Bill Hornbuckle will now lead global casino marketing with a particular focus on driving MGM’s overall growth in the Chinese enclave of Macau. The company operates two casino-resorts in the former Portuguese colony that has become the world’s biggest gambling market, including the $3.4 billion MGM Cotai that opened in February.

Gambling News

Gambling and Sports Betting News Wire - June 18 2019

Here are today's headlines in the world of gambling and sports betting as they happen - Tuesday June 18, 2019.

BetOnline Announces New June Bitcoin Sportsbook Promos

BetOnline Announces New June Bitcoin Sportsbook Promos

For years, sports bettors all around the world have been asking for the perfect solution for fast, accurate and hassle free deposits and withdrawals.  It’s been a long time coming but Bitcoin (BTC) checks off all of those boxes and more. 

Can I Bet on Draftkings Sportsbook App From Oregon

Can I Bet on Draftkings Sportsbook App From Oregon

You cannot bet on the Draftkings app from the state of Oregon, however, a few dozen offshore sportsbooks are accessible from the state.

Two Obstacles Stand in the Way of NY Mobile Sports Betting Measure Ahead of Wednesday Deadline

Two Obstacles Stand in the Way of NY Mobile Sports Betting Measure Ahead of Wednesday Deadline

A bill that would permit mobile sports betting in New York easily passed in the Senate Monday, but two major obstacles stand in the way of the measure moving any further.

Man Pleads Guilty to Decapitating Casino Patron

Man Pleads Guilty to Decapitating Casino Patron

Haverty and 32-year-old Donald Ray Cherry were both charged with deliberate homicide in the October 2017 death of 41-year-old Myron Wesley Knight.