On Monday, the deputy director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board’s division responsible for regulating Detroit's casinos became executive director of the agency, reports The Detroit News.
Last week, the Michigan Senate approved Henry Williams' six-year appointment to lead the regulatory body administering licenses and enforcing statutes concerning the state's gaming industry in a 34-1 confirmation vote. Williams replaces Richard Kalm, who resigned in April following the January launch of online gambling in Michigan.
Williams has 20 years of experience working at the control board. He was deputy director of the Casinos Operations in addition to regulating the Detroit casinos, the division issues occupational licenses, houses the agency's Gaming Lab that tracks gaming software, and manages self-exclusion programs for people with gambling problems.
His successor, Kalm worked as the board's executive director since 2007 when Detroit's three commercial casinos were still building their hotels. In 2008, he was tasked with protecting the state's interests during the bankruptcy of Greektown Casino-Hotel when it was owned by the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and some Detroit developers.
Kalm also led the long-anticipated launch of retail sports betting in March 2020 just before the state ordered the closure of the Detroit casinos as COVID-19 cases emerged in Michigan.
Williams began his career in state government in 1997. Before that, he held various positions as a juvenile justice worker, family independence specialist, protective services worker, and probation officer. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Marygrove College. He is also a licensed social worker in Michigan.
Following William’s appointment in April, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement: "The mission of the Gaming Control Board is to ensure the conduct of fair, honest gaming. With the nomination of Henry Williams, I am confident that the board will continue protecting and advancing the interests of Michiganders and the state."