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Nevada's Former Governor Takes Exec Position At MGM Resorts

Former Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has joined MGM Resorts as president of global gaming development. Sandoval, who retired as governor this week, will oversee the company's global expansion efforts, especially in Japan.

Former Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval

MGM Resorts is reportedly angling to be one of the three licensees to operate a casino in Japan, a decision that will ultimately be made by the country's Casino Control Commission, which has yet to be created and staffed.

Last year, the Japanese parliament legalized casino gambling in the country, but so far Japan has no casino industry. 

MGM Resorts has had a full-time staff in Japan for several years with an eye toward casino operations there someday.

Sandoval will also focus on growing the company's activity in the sports betting market in the United States, which has state-by-state momentum for legalization.

“As governor, Mr Sandoval reinstituted the Gaming Policy Committee and was a leading voice in favor of the legalization of sports gaming,” MGM Resorts noted in a statement.

Before being elected governor in 2010, Sandoval was a member — and the youngest chairman in state history — of the Nevada Gaming Commission. He also served as a judge and state legislator.

With Sandoval joining the company, MGM Resorts President Bill Hornbuckle will now focus on global casino marketing efforts and help drive the company's growth in Macau.