Posted on: April 21, 2021, 07:04h.
Last updated on: April 21, 2021, 07:04h.
Nevada attorney Brittnie T. Watkins was appointed this week to the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) effective next month. Tuesday’s announcement comes as the powerful board is developing plans to eliminate COVID-19 restrictions at the state’s casinos.
Watkins replaces Terry Johnson who was on the NGCB for two terms. He is also a Nevada attorney.
When announcing the appointment, Gov. Steve Sisolak, D, said in a statement, “I am confident Brittnie is the right person for this crucial appointment.”
NGCB Sees Changing Membership During COVID Pandemic
Watkins’ appointment represents still another change in the NGCB’s membership. Johnson remained on the NGCB for several months after his second term expired on Jan. 29 because of the multiple transitions, according to the Nevada Appeal newspaper.
In November, Sandra Douglass Morgan stepped down as chair of the NGCB. She was replaced by J. Brin Gibson. He remains as chair.
As of Tuesday, the NGCB had yet to release new details on gaming floor capacity and other COVID-19-related restrictions for the period starting next month. A tentative deadline is set for May 1.
Currently, gaming floor occupancy is capped at 50 percent. But it is likely to increase in coming weeks.
High Praise From Sisolak
For a few years, Watkins worked as an attorney with Nevada’s Pisanelli Bice law firm. She has focused on commercial litigation and appellate cases. Last year, she became the first Black woman elected to the State Bar of Nevada Board of Governors.
“Brittnie’s impressive educational background and legal experience in the gaming industry will make her an excellent addition to Nevada’s Gaming Control Board and to our state,” Sisolak said.
“As Nevada’s gaming industry continues to recover from the pandemic, it’s critical that we remain the gold standard and operate with the highest integrity, and I am confident Brittnie will help us achieve that goal.”
Watkins received undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from Michigan State University. She also holds several degrees from UNLV.
These include two law degrees and a doctorate in educational psychology. Following law school, she was a judicial clerk at the Nevada Supreme Court.
Watkins often volunteers for non-profit organizations. She received the 2019 Access to Justice Award of Excellence from Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, the Silver Service Award from the Public Interest Law Association, and the Circle of Support Award from the Clark County Bar Association.
Also, in his statement, Sisolak added about Johnson, “I am grateful for Terry Johnson’s valued contributions, his longtime service, and for his willingness to lend his expertise to our great state.”
Last year, Johnson cautioned during public board sessions that the integrity of gaming in Nevada should not be compromised during the casino reopening process.
“His dedication and continuity to this position has aided the Nevada Gaming Control Board in their efforts of working alongside the gaming industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sisolak said about Johnson. “I cannot thank Terry enough for his service to Nevada.”
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