Commissioner's resignation gives Sisolak chance to appoint nearly all of state's gaming regulators

Nevada Gaming Commission member Deborah Fuetsch resigned Tuesday, giving Gov. Steve Sisolak the opportunity to name seven of the eight regulators who oversee the state’s largest industry during his first term.

Sisolak has appointed three members of the Gaming Commission, Steven Cohen, Ogonna Brown, and Rosa Solis-Rainey – all attorneys from Las Vegas. He has also appointed all three members of the Nevada Gaming Control Board - Chairman Brin Gibson and members Brittnie Watkins and Philip Katsaros.

Fuetsch’s term expired at the end of April. 

In a letter to Sisolak, the Reno-based former commercial banking executive, said it was “a true privilege to serve the State” and “I hope I have been an asset to the industry.” Fuetsch said she would remain on the five-person commission until June 1.

The panel has its next monthly hearing on Thursday, where one of the items up for consideration is the licensing for the $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas.

In addition, the term for Gaming Commission Chairman John Moran Jr., a Las Vegas attorney and the panel’s longest serving member, also expired at the end of April. Sisolak named Moran chairman last July, three months after the resignation of then-Chairman Tony Alamo Jr. 

Moran, who was first appointed to the Gaming Commission in 2004, served as acting chairman following Alamo’s departure.

In an email, Sisolak spokeswoman Meghin Delaney said the governor had received the resignation letter.

“The Governor thanks the commissioner for her dedicated service to the state,” Delaney said, but did not provide a timeline for an appointment.

Fuetsch, who spent 17 years with Wells Fargo, was appointed to the commission in 2016 by then-Gov. Brian Sandoval.

“These past 18 months have been the most unexpected and difficult time in our state’s history,” Fuetsch wrote. Her letter did not include any mention of possible reappointment. She said she decided to “seek other opportunities.”

In her letter, she credited Sisolak, former Control Board Chairwoman Sandra Douglass Morgan and Gibson with guiding “our state with urgency and determination to keep Nevadans safe and healthy.”

The three-member Control Board makes recommendations on licensing and other gaming policy matters to the part-time Nevada Gaming Commission.

Watkins, a Las Vegas attorney, was appointed to the Control Board last month, replacing Terry Johnson, whose second four-year term expired in February.

Last year, Sisolak appointed Gibson as chairman after Morgan resigned to accept a board position with Fidelity National. Sisolak also appointed Katsaros to the board in 2019.