The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) saw a change at the helm last week after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed Henry L. Williams, Jr. as executive director to replace long-serving Richard Kalm.
“With the nomination of Henry Williams, I am confident that the board will continue protecting and advancing the interests of Michiganders and the state.”Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Currently serving as deputy director of the casino operations division within the regulatory body, Henry Williams is in charge of overseeing the Enforcement Section, Employee Licensing, Gaming Lab and the Disassociated Persons programs.
Following a record roll call vote in the Senate, Henry Williams was appointed as executive director of the MGCB for a 6-year term and will succeed in the position Richard Kalm, who, since his tenure from 2007, saw appointments by two state governors, Gov. Granholm and Gov. Snyder.
“This appointment affirms my life lessons to my daughter–what hard work, dedication, commitment, and treating people fairly with dignity can do. I will be able to continue serving the citizens of the great State of Michigan as I have done over the past 24-years with pride and sincere joy.”Henry Williams, Executive Director, MGCB
Prior to his appointment to the board in 2001, Williams performed in various positions within the MGCB including regulation and enforcement officer, regulation manager of employee licensing, and then acting deputy director of casino operations.
Holder of a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Marygrove College Williams also served as a social worker and in various positions within the state government, including juvenile justice worker, family independence specialist, protective services, and probation officer. He is also the board president for the Detroit Recovery Project and a participant in the Adopt-A-Child Program.
Speaking of the appointment, Richard Kalm outlined his 14 years of close work with Williams and his personal involvement in promoting him to the deputy director position.
“I believe Gov. Whitmer has made a good choice in appointing Henry to be the next executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board.”Richard Kalm
Several industry stakeholders among which the President of Motor City Casino Bruce Dall, the Vice President of Greektown Casino John Drake, and the President of MGM Grand David Tsai also expressed their respect for Williams, outlining his fairness, honesty, and professionalism, and underlying his suitability for the job.
“In our view, there is no person more qualified than Mr. Williams to take the helm of the MGCB at this time. His decades of experience, and his understanding of both the casino industry and agency that regulates us are simply unique.”
In other news Friday, following a recently issued MGCB approval for the Gun Lake Band of Pottawatomi Indians to launch an online casino in the state, Michigan saw the new iGaming venture going live, with online sports betting set to follow suit at a later date.