Former Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval Joins MGM Resorts In New Role

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on January 14, 2019

MGM Resorts International has recruited former Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval to join the casino giant’s staff and drive global expansion.

Sandoval will become president of Global Gaming Development and shift his focus to state public policy efforts around sports bettingSandoval’s efforts will primarily focus on Japan.

“MGM is a global leader in gaming and entertainment, and I look forward to joining the MGM team led by Jim Murren, someone who I greatly respect,” Sandoval said in a statement. “Jim has formed critical relationships in Japan and in sports, and I look forward to building upon this strong foundation.

Here is what MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Murren had to say:

“Few leaders are as widely respected, accomplished and knowledgeable as Brian Sandoval, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him as part of the MGM family. Gov. Sandoval brings an unparalleled level of skill, leadership and experience to the company, and we will benefit greatly from his in-depth expertise in gaming, public policy and economic development.”

Leading international growth

With the addition of Sandoval, MGM President Bill Hornbuckle will divert his attention to driving revenue growth and maximizing the value contributed from the company’s assets.

According to the release, Hornbuckle will lead global casino marketing and be responsible for leveraging MGM’s worldwide assets and reputation.

“Bill Hornbuckle has a proven record of developing and implementing marketing strategies that excite and entertain in ways that translate to revenue enhancement and value creation,” Murren said in a statement.

“We are pleased that, with the recent launch of MGM 2020, a business operation and digital transformation program, Bill can enhance his focus on the vital role of leading global casino marketing so we can expand our market share in Las Vegas and abroad,” Murren said.

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MGM’s expanding sports betting footprint

Since the US Supreme Court’s repeal of PASPA, the federal ban on sports wagering, MGM has significantly changed the sports betting landscape.

Since then, MGM has secured lucrative contracts with three out of the four professional sports leagues.

In July, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and MGM stuck the first-of-its-kind deal making the company the leagues “official gaming partner.” The deal is reportedly for three years and $25 million.

In fact, MGM also has deals in place with the National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball (MLB). Additionally, the company has an individual partnership in place with the New York Jets, a National Football League (NFL) team.

“This is an exciting time for MGM Resorts as we continue to expand our gaming operations around the world,” Hornbuckle said.

“I look forward to leveraging our global operations and harnessing the power of new digital tools to deliver on our strategic objectives, capture market share and grow revenue,” he said.

Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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