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The Mass. Gaming Commission will begin looking for a new administrative head next week when Executive Director Edward Bedrosian leaves to pursue an opportunity in the private sector.
Commission Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein announced Thursday that Bedrosian, who was hired by the commission in December 2015, will depart the commission after Friday, Jan. 10.
Deputy Director Karen Wells, who leads the commission's Investigations and Enforcement Bureau, will serve as interim executive director while the commission searches for a replacement.
"I was privileged these past four years to work with great Commissioners, past and present, to help lead a talented team of professionals who worked hard every day to open and regulate casinos, to license and register people in a new industry, to ensure diversity in both the construction and operations workforces, to establish responsible gaming and research on the impacts of introducing casino gambling into Massachusetts, and to create a transparent and inclusive work environment," Bedrosian said in a statement.
Before being hired by the commission, Bedrosian served as first assistant attorney general and later was of counsel at the firm Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe. A former prosecutor who tried murder and white-collar crime cases in Middlesex County, he worked with the Legislature on gambling legislation, worked with the commission on its structure and early litigation, and established the attorney general's Division of Gaming Enforcement.
At its public meeting on Jan. 9, Bedrosian's penultimate day on the job, the Gaming Commission is expected to "discuss the process for selecting a new executive director and ratify the selection of Director Wells as interim" leader of the agency. Wells, who played a key role in the commission's investigation of sexual misconduct allegations at Wynn Resorts and the company's handling of them, previously served as interim executive director before Bedrosian came aboard in 2015.
"We are grateful that Director Wells will once again step forward and serve the Commission in an interim capacity," Judd-Stein said in a statement. "With seven years of experience at MGC and more than two decades in public service, she is a proven leader who has consistently demonstrated a strong understanding of MGC's regulatory role, core functions and agency values."
Bedrosian is the second high-profile gaming official to step away from his post in recent weeks. Bob DeSalvio, who helped Wynn Resorts get its casino in Everett up and running as Encore Boston Harbor's president, left Wynn Resorts in December to oversee all operations at Resorts World Catskills and Resorts World Casino New York City for gaming giant Genting.
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