Moran Promoted to Permanent Chair of Nevada Gaming Commission, Brown Named Commissioner

Posted on: July 29, 2020, 01:12h. 

Last updated on: July 29, 2020, 02:15h.

Ogonna Brown — a partner at the Las Vegas office of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie — was recently named the fifth member of the Nevada Gaming Commission, filling a previously vacant seat. Veteran commission member John T. Moran Jr. also was named commission chairman by Gov. Steve Sisolak (D), following several months as acting chairman.

John Moran Gaming Commission Chairman
John Moran Jr. was recently named permanent chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Anthony Cabot, Distinguished Fellow in Gaming Law at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law, said Sisolak “has made excellent appointments to both the [gaming] Board and [gaming] Commission.”

Commissioner Moran brings a great deal of institutional knowledge to the Commission chair[manship],” Moran told on Wednesday, nothing that Commissioner Brown has an excellent reputation in the legal community and comes from one of the top law firms in the United States.

Moran was first appointed to the gaming commission by then-Gov. Kenny Guinn (D) in 2004. Moran was reappointed to four-year terms by former Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) and former Gov. Brian Sandoval (R).

Looming Concerns

The Nevada Gaming Commission is facing some serious concerns, including regulating the industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, dealing with the resulting financial viability of casino operators and suppliers, leading the shift to a predominately cashless casino environment, and dealing with the increasingly complicated issues regarding patron data collection and use, according to Moran.

However, Cabot believes the commission “is in good hands” with its newly appointed members.

The new gaming commission member, Ogonna Brown, has almost 20 years of legal experience. She has a specialization in bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, as well as business litigation. She was a past president of the Bankruptcy Section of the Nevada Bar Association.

Following her graduation from UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law, Brown was a judicial law clerk to Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Nevada Gaming Commission typically makes final decisions in the state on major gaming issues. It votes on recommendations from the companion board known as the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which is chaired by Sandra Douglass Morgan.

Lengthy Pedigree

Moran was in the public spotlight recently, as the Nevada Gaming Commission took the lead in May when approving and updating casino reopening policies after months of shuttering by the COVID-19 outbreak.

He has also been acting chairman since April, when the prior chair, Dr. Tony Alamo, resigned to focus on his medical practice as coronavirus broke out in Nevada.

Previously, he was appointed as a member of the board of trustees of the Nevada Law Foundation, where he also acted as the foundation’s chairman. He is the founding senior member of the Moran Law Firm in Las Vegas. Earlier, he was a member of the Colorado River Commission and the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners.

Moran, whose father is well-known Clark County Sheriff John Moran Sr., graduated from Loyola University School of Law.