Sandra Morgan’s “exciting professional opportunity” that she’s leaving for as the state’s top gaming industry regulator has strong local connections.
Morgan, 42, stepped down as chairwoman and executive director of the Nevada Gaming Control Board Thursday and on Friday, it was announced she’ll join on Nov. 9 the board of directors of Jacksonville, Florida-based Fidelity National Financial, Inc.
The company’s top executive, Chairman William P. Foley II, is the principal owner of the Vegas Golden Knights, the city’s entry in the National Hockey League.
Morgan will become the 11th director for Fidelity, considered the largest title insurance underwriting company in the country.
She’ll join Heather Murren, wife of former MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren, on Fidelity’s board.
“We are excited and pleased to welcome Sandra to our board of directors as an independent director,” Foley said in a release announcing her appointment. “Sandra comes at an exciting time for FNF as we remain committed to maximizing and delivering value to all FNF stakeholders. I know her deep experience and diverse skill set will certainly benefit our management team and board.”
The surprise departure announcement Thursday means Gov. Steve Sisolak must move to appoint a new chair for the three-member board that recommends, monitors and enforces gaming policies and regulations in the state.
Before the announcement, Morgan appeared in a panel discussion for the Global Gaming Expo that addressed how women in the gaming industry can advance their careers.
Morgan leaves behind a $132,158 annual salary with the Control Board according to Transparent Nevada. Her compensation with Fidelity was not disclosed.
Morgan has been appointed to serve as chair of a Special Litigation Committee of Fidelity’s board, which was formed for the purpose of investigating and evaluating claims and allegations in derivative cases. She had litigation experience with MGM Mirage — now known as MGM Resorts International — from 2005 to May 2008.
In an interview Friday, Morgan said one of the pluses of the new job is that she won’t have to relocate. She said the teamwork and camaraderie of board personnel will be what she’ll miss most when she leaves.
“I was embraced and welcomed with open arms when I got here,” she said. “It’s the people that I will miss most.”
Morgan said her biggest accomplishment during her stint was the development of antidiscrimination and harassment regulations.
“This board and commission are going to expect more from licensees when it comes to discrtimination and harassment of any kind,” she said. “I thought that was important. Yes, we can rely on federal and other state laws. But gaming licensees know they will have to at least account for those policies and implementation of those to their regulator.”
One disappointment, she said, is not going to be able to see through the implementation of cashless gaming regulations.
“It’s not just because of COVID,” she said. “I think people are using their devices more for personal wagering and sports betting. I know it’s not a big, big part of Nevada’s revenue, but we know it’s a growing segment and should be paying attention to it.
“The ability to go on a property and see a show and be able to use your player’s card for dining and entertainment” is something Morgan expects consumers to embrace.