Kalm Resigns From MGCB Post
The iGaming industry in the state of Michigan has shown tremendous growth since a launch in late January, and the Michigan Gaming Control Board has been behind the impressive numbers.
Now the MGCB will have to continue with a new person in charge.
Executive Director Richard Kalm announced last week that he has stepped down from his position at the MGCB. Kalm wanted to remain in his position to help with the launch but feels he can step away now that things are well established and in a good place.
The Michigan Senate needs to confirm his resignation, and Kalm agreed to stay in his position until someone else was named. Both of those have since occurred, and the reign of Kalm is now over.
Kalm has been in this position since 2007, and he has helped guide the state through a number of gaming changes. There weren’t any commercial casinos in the state when Kalm began on the MGCB, but he helped to ensure that those properties would be successful.
In a statement, Kalm said, “I’ve had a great run and accomplished my final goal with the successful launch of online gaming and sports betting.” During his tenure as executive director, he helped the Greektown Casino navigate through a bankruptcy crisis in 2008-2010.
The MGCB was initially put in charge of commercial and tribal casinos in the state, but that role has transformed over the past decade. Pari-mutuel racing was added to the duties of the MGCB in 2010, and charity poker was added in 2012.
In the role of the executive director, Kalm served as the top official of the five-person body. All members of the MGCB are appointed by the governor and work to ensure fair and safe gaming throughout the state of Michigan.
Whitmer Names New Leader
Kalm did not have to serve long after his resignation was submitted as Governor Gretchen Whitmer named his successor. Henry Williams Jr. will take over as the new executive director of the MGCB and will begin a six-year term.
Approval from the Senate also came for this recommendation, and Williams will begin his term immediately. Williams has spent the last 20 years with the MGCB, working as the deputy director of casino operations.
Another reason that Whitmer tabbed Williams for this position is that he has spent his time doing various roles with the MGCB. This should allow him to give insight and fair directives on the number of issues facing the regulatory body.
Several leaders of commercial casinos pledged their support for Williams in the past week and commended Whitmer on making this selection.
Having a new leader in charge of the MGCB is not expected to be much of a change for casinos or sportsbooks in the state.
Michigan has quickly become one of the top sports betting and online casino market in the US. Figures released for March handle saw an increase in betting handle with figures topping $380 million.
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