Nevada Gaming Control Board Chair Sandra Douglass Morgan Resigns

Posted on: October 30, 2020, 10:34h. 

Last updated on: October 30, 2020, 11:11h.

Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) Chair Sandra Douglass Morgan is resigning. Morgan was the first black woman to preside over the state agency.

Nevada Gaming Control Board Morgan
Sandra Douglass Morgan, seen here, is out at the Nevada Gaming Control Board. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Morgan announced her resignation on Thursday, saying she has “an exciting professional opportunity” that she could not pass. It was later revealed that she will join the Fidelity National Financial Inc. board of directors.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) appointed Morgan to the chair position following the expiration of Becky Harris’ term in January of 2019. Harris was the first woman to oversee the NGCB, which is responsible for regulating and enforcing Nevada’s gaming laws.

The three-member NGCB makes recommendations to the Nevada Gaming Commission. The commission is the state’s top gaming agency.

Critical Oversight

While it was a short term, lasting less than two years, Morgan’s chairing of the Nevada Gaming Control Board came at a pivotal time. She was tasked with overhauling protections to prevent sexual misconduct in the wake of Steve Wynn’s alleged decades of wrongdoing, and was then dealt COVID-19.

Morgan’s board also handled the $17.3 billion merger between Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, the largest deal in the history of the US gaming industry.

“Her steady hand and unmatched leadership have been critical in guiding Nevada’s gaming industry through one of the most turbulent periods in its history,” Sisolak said. “She will be greatly missed. But her leadership and ability to put together a talented team have left the State in a great position to fill the role with another accomplished individual.”

Sisolak says he will soon name her replacement, a position that will fulfill Morgan’s last two years of her term. The NGCB chair earns an annual salary of $158,879 a year.

Fidelity Las Vegas Influence

Fidelity National Financial is best known for Fidelity Investments. It is headquartered in Boston, but the Silver State is well-represented in the financial services corporation.

The Fidelity board is chaired by Bill Foley, who owns a 70 percent stake in the Vegas Golden Knights NHL hockey team.

Heather Murren, the wife of ex-MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren, is additionally on the Fidelity board. Murren is a former Wall Street securities analyst who worked with Salomon Brothers and Merrill Lynch.

Morgan’s appointment will put yet another Nevadan on the Fidelity governance. Prior to joining the NGCB, Morgan was an attorney in Las Vegas, and had most recently worked as the director of external affairs for AT&T in Nevada.

Morgan’s past also includes a stint working as a litigation lawyer for MGM Resorts. She obtained her undergraduate degree in political science and communications from the University of Nevada, Reno, and her law degree from UNLV.