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NFL's Las Vegas Raiders appoints former Nevada Gaming Control Board chair Sandra Morgan as new president

Sandra Douglass Morgan, former Chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
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NFL's Las Vegas Raiders has named former chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board and city attorney Sandra Douglass Morgan as the team’s new president. The appointment makes her the first African-American woman to hold that position in the National Football League.

Morgan is the immediate past chairwoman of the Nevada gaming regulator, and after she left the regulatory body she joined Caesars Entertainment's board of directors and then was appointed back in October 2021 to Allegiant Travel Company's Board of Directors. As chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board from 2019 to 2020, Morgan led the passage and implementation of cashless wagering regulations, and ensured that all gaming licensees adopted policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment. Morgan was the first African-American to serve as chair in the state's history. 

Until recent years, gambling was a taboo for the NFL. But with pro sports franchises now embracing legalized betting since PASPA's repeal in 2018, the Raiders are positioned as the home team in the country’s betting capital. Morgan's appointment could be a nod in that direction. It should be noted that Caesars is an official sports betting and gaming partner of the Raiders and their home Allegiant Stadium, and that Las Vegas Raiders appointed BetMGM as an official sports betting partner in 2020.

Raiders owner Mark Davis spoke about Morgan’s appointment and said: “From the moment I met Sandra, I knew she was a force to be reckoned with. We are extremely lucky to have her at the helm."

Morgan is taking on a top role at the team, which has been tainted by controversy in its senior ranks. Marc Badain resigned as president a year ago, and his interim successor, Dan Ventrelle, was fired in May. He later accused the team’s longtime owners, the Davis family, of creating a hostile environment. 

The newly appointed president spoke about her new role and said: “It is the honor of a lifetime to join the Raiders at one of the most defining times in the team’s history. I look forward to taking this team’s integrity, spirit and commitment to excellence on the field into every facet of this organization." 

During a press conference at Allegiant Stadium, Morgan emphasized leadership and full transparency: “We have so much more to do, and I’m excited to be at the helm of that growth and look forward to ushering in the new chapter for the Raiders. I believe in the future of the Raiders, and I believe in this organization’s tenets of community integrity, and most of all, commitment to excellence”. 

“It’s no secret that this organization has faced some recent challenges but I want to be clear," she admitted. "I am not here to sweep anything under the rug or avoid problems or concerns that need to be addressed. It is not lost on me that this is a critical and defining moment in the NFL. It’s important to me and it is my intention to make a meaningful contribution well beyond the Raiders family”.

Back in January, Las Vegas Raiders were reportedly weighing the idea of hiring former CEO of Wynn Resorts Matt Maddox as president after his resignation last November. 

According to The Nevada Independent, Allegiant Stadium has played a key role in the post-pandemic recovery, hosting 24 events in the late half of 2021, bringing in more than 400,000 attendees. The stadium was home to NFL events in the first half of 2022 - Pro Bowl Weekend in February and NFL Draft in April -, and will host the NFL's Super Bowl LVIII in February 2024.

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) CEO Steve Hill said the venue was the perfect example of the resurgence of big events in Las Vegas, which centered around sports.

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