As gambling happens in Massachusetts essentially without interruption, the activity of regulating that gaming is a constant task as well. That falls upon the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). The agency’s executive director plays a large role in ensuring that regulation occurs.
The MGC’s current executive director is in her last days in that role but the MGC is ready to press forward despite that oncoming vacancy. On Monday, the MGC members selected an interim executive director. Their choice fell upon a familiar face.
Todd Grossman adds interim executive director to his MGC duties
The MGC announced on June 15 that current executive director Karen Wells will depart that role. Wells had filled that position on a permanent basis since September 2020. During that same month, the MGC also appointed Todd Grossman its general counsel.
Now, Grossman and Wells have even more in common. Grossman will take on Wells’ duties on an interim basis, adding to his responsibilities as general counsel. On Monday, the MGC’s five members voted unanimously to make Grossman the executive director on a temporary basis.
The MGC had narrowed down the considerations to Grossman and Massachusetts Director of Racing Alexandra Lightbrown.
Grossman has been with the MGC from nearly the start, working as a legal adviser from 2012 through 2019. In 2019, he became the MGC’s interim general counsel. Thus, he has again received an interim tag from the MGC.
Prior to working with the MGC, Grossman was an assistant district attorney in the Middlesex District Attorney’s office. Grossman has a law degree from New England Law Boston. He also served as an inaugural commissioner of the Massachusetts State Athletic Association.
At this point, the MGC has not announced a timeline for when it will make a decision on a permanent replacement for Wells. If past events are any indicator of future proceedings, though, the MGC might actually be seeking a new general counsel in the near future.
Could Grossman simply have the interim tag removed?
A good omen for Grossman is that Wells was herself an interim executive director before having that interim tag removed. While that’s no guarantee that will happen for Grossman, he essentially has an opportunity to audition for the permanent gig.
Wells will end her tenure on July 14. Grossman will assume the duties at that point. For the MGC, the executive director is tantamount to the chief of the agency’s staff. That means Grossman will be ultimately accountable to the commission members for ensuring all the daily activities of the commission are performed as required by law. Retail sports betting launched in Massachusetts on Jan. 31 and online sports betting went live on March 10.
Should the MGC desire to remove the interim tag from Grossman, it is likely that they would require him to vacate his position as general counsel. For now, though, Grossman will wear both hats. What seems inevitable is that eventually, he will have to take one of those hats off.