New appointment to Las Vegas Gaming Commission announced
Governor decision causes comments questioning the decision
Wednesday 30th June 2004
John Moran Jr has been announced as the latest addition to the Nevada Gaming Commission, replacing long term- commissioner Augie Gurrola. Governor of the state, Kenny Guinn announced the appointment on Friday, and made the following statement to support the appointment: 'He is a person of great integrity. As one of our state's finest attorneys, he has a level of understanding and sophistication regarding the gaming industry that will serve the citizens of Nevada very well.”
Moran is presently on the board of the state wildlife commission, and will move to the gaming commission on 26 July. Gurrola had been a commissioner for gaming for three terms.
Commentators have expressed reservations about the appointment. A professor at the University of Nevada and expert on the casino industry Bill Thompson said of the decision, 'The governor could have done better. Moran is a good person and is certainly knowledgeable, but it's such an industry-insider appointment, it's going to prove to be very, very controversial. To my knowledge, no governor has ever appointed an industry person to a board. This guy has represented so many casinos even in licensing matters, he'll be forever recusing himself…We don't appoint the head of Caesars (Entertainment) and expect him to recuse himself. This guy has been involved with every company in the industry and we're likely to (in effect) have a four-member commission.'
These comments have been motivated not only by the level of involvement Moran has had in the industry, but also by the fact that retiring Gurrola was a well respected commissioner seen to represent public interests and underdogs.