Thursday’s meeting of the Nevada Gaming Commission will be Chairman John Moran Jr.’s last as a member.
Moran said Tuesday that he consulted with Gov. Steve Sisolak three months ago and gave him a timeline for his departure. It was determined that Moran would exit after September’s meeting. Vice Chairman Steve Cohen is expected to take over the role until Sisolak appoints a chairman.
“You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em,” Moran said in an interview, quoting the well-known Kenny Rogers refrain from “The Gambler.”
“My goal was always to serve the state of Nevada and the people on three commissions and to chair all three,” Moran said. “Now, I’ve reached my goal some time ago and have really enjoyed being a chairman. But it’s really time to move over and give somebody else a chance at it.”
Moran’s departure means the five-member Gaming Commission will be down two members, as Sisolak has yet to appoint a replacement for Commissioner Deborah Feutsch, who resigned in May citing a desire to undertake new challenges at the conclusion of her four-year term.
Moran was appointed chairman by Sisolak in July 2020.
Initially appointed to the commission by Gov. Kenny Guinn in 2004, Moran had been serving as acting chairman since the resignation of Tony Alamo in April 2020. Alamo left to devote more time to his medical practice as the coronavirus pandemic expanded.
Moran was reappointed to four-year terms by Govs. Jim Gibbons and Brian Sandoval. His 14 years on the commission makes him the longest-serving commissioner in state history.
Moran comes from a family with a long-standing affiliation with law enforcement. He is a son of late Clark County Sheriff John Moran Sr.
Moran served with what was then the Clark County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy sheriff beginning in 1969. He was admitted to practice law in Nevada in 1975 and is the founding senior member of the Moran Law Firm in Las Vegas.
Prior to his appointment to the Gaming Commission, Moran served on the Colorado River Commission and the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners. Gov. Bob Miller appointed Moran to the Colorado River Commission in 1989. During his time on that commission, Moran served as both member and chairman.
In 2000, Moran was appointed to the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commission by Guinn, and he served as a member and chairman until 2004.
The part-time Gaming Commission is considered the state’s top regulatory board, making final decisions on gaming licensing recommendations made by the full-time Nevada Gaming Control Board.
“I really want to see some people get in there and give some other people a chance to serve the state,” Moran said. “It’s been really rewarding for me.”