Bedrosian Leaves Massachusetts Gaming Commission

Ed Bedrosian (l.), executive director of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission since 2015, is returning to his former law firm, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, to work on legal issues related to sports betting.

Bedrosian Leaves Massachusetts Gaming Commission

Ed Bedrosian, who has been executive director of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) since 2015, is leaving next week to return to the law firm where he previously practiced.

Bedrosian will be returning to the firm of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, based in Boston, as a partner. He will work on issues related to sports betting, according to the firm.

Bedrosian told the Boston Globe, “I came into this position with the goal of getting the commission up and running and opening casinos. I feel I have accomplished that, and it’s time to move on.” He added, “It’s an exciting time for new technologies and new opportunities in the gaming world as sports betting takes hold in different states.”

The five-person panel oversees the gaming industry in the Bay State. The executive director runs the 90-person staff that supports the commission. Besides gathering information that help commissioners make their decisions, the staff also enforces state gaming law by doing background checks, keeping up to speed on gaming technology and investigating violations.

Bedrosian joined the MGC shortly after the first casino opened in the state, the slots parlor Plainridge Park in Plainville. Before that, he was an aide to then Attorney General Martha Coakley.

His four years at the commission have coincided with drama in the state’s gaming industry. For example, two Vegas-style casinos, the MGM Springfield and the Encore Boston Harbor opened. Bedrosian’s staff was deeply involved in the investigation of sexual allegations against former Wynne CEO and founder Steve Wynn, and examined how the Wynn organization reacted both before and after Wynn resigned in early 2018.

The commission’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) conducted the probe that led to the hearings to determine if Wynn Resorts would keep its license to operate a casino in the state. The panel hit Wynn with a $35.5 million fine, but let it keep the license to operate the $2.6 billion Encore.

In a statement on Bedrosian’s departure, MGC Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein called him “instrumental in guiding complex regulatory preparations to ensure the successful opening of both MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor.” She added, “He consistently led and encouraged MGC staff to meet and exceed the demanding professional responsibilities required for what was no less than a true start-up operation.”

Currently the commission’s work has slowed, with the state’s three casinos fully operational and any decisions on a fourth license in abeyance. Other staffers are leaving, such as Chief Accounting Officer Janice Reilly, the first person to be hired when the commission was appointed.

Bedrosian was the second executive director, succeeding Rick Day, who helped launch the commission and served from 2013 to 2015.

The commission’s deputy director and director of the IEB, Karen Wells, will be interim executive, something she did in the interim between Day and Bedrosian.

Although Bedrosian will be working on sports betting issues at his law firm, which represents clients that include Major League Baseball, the PGA Tour, plus sports betting companies DraftKings and FanDuel, he is prevented by Massachusetts law from advocating before the commission for a year. He cannot be employed by a licensee or applicant for at least two years.