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Gaming Guru

 

Governor Appoints New Executive Director of Gaming Control Board

13 November 2002

Yesterday afternoon, Nelson Westrin submitted his resignation as Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Mr. Westrin has been named by the Secretary of Interior as a candidate for appointment to the National Indian Gaming Commission in Washington, D.C. Finalization of Mr. Westrin's appointment to the National Indian Gaming Commission is expected within a few days.

Nelson has done an outstanding job heading the Gaming Control Board," said Engler. "He has taken a new board, guided it professionally and ethically, and I am grateful for his service to the State of Michigan. As he prepares to serve on the National Indian Gaming Commission, I wish him and his family all the best."

Prior to serving on the Gaming Control Board, Westrin was the State's Racing Commissioner. He also served as an Assistant Attorney General from 1977 to 1993.

When reached for comment, Mr. Westrin stated that "it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to work on the development of a new regulatory system in Michigan and get things off to a good start. The thing I am most proud of is the top-notch staff we have assembled for the Board. I am confident, as I leave the position, that the assembled staff has the capability to do the job well. It was a challenge to be involved in the Michigan regulatory system. It was exciting and I enjoyed every bit of it, especially working for the Board and everyone associated with the industry. I look forward to a new challenge with the National Indian Gaming Commission."

Succeeding Westrin is Dan Gustafson, of Haslett, who has served as the Chairman of the Liquor Control Commission since December 2000. Previously, he served as Chief of Staff to Lt. Governor Dick Posthumus, a State Representative and on the Ingham County Commission. While serving as a State Representative, Gustafson was Republican Vice Chair of the Oversight and Ethics Committee at the time the gaming control legislation was being debated, giving him thorough knowledge of and insight into Michigan's gaming legislation. Mr. Gustafson has been appointed to a six-year term, expiring in November 2008.

"I am pleased to appoint Dan to the Gaming Control Board," said Engler. "His extensive public service and experience as a regulator has prepared him well to take on this post. I know he will carry out his responsibilities with the utmost professionalism."

Mr. Westrin noted: "Dan Gustafson will do an excellent job, both based on his intimate knowledge of the regulatory system through his work on the legislation, and his vast experience in leading a regulatory body." (the Liquor Control Commission)

Mr. Westrin did an incredible job leading the Michigan regulatory team through the development of casino gambling in this state. He was always very firm, diligent in serving the public interest, and committed to keeping the industry free from any hint of scandal. Yet, he also brought a practical mindset to the position that helped strike the appropriate balance between the need for regulation and the practical impact of such regulation. A large part of the success of this industry is clearly the direct result of Mr. Westrin's efforts and every citizen of this state owes him a debt of gratitude.

David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com
David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com