01/29/2013 5:49PM

New York gambling agency gets acting head in Williams


Robert Williams, the current director of the New York Lottery who is a former legal counsel for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, has been appointed as acting director of a new agency combining regulation of all forms of gambling in New York, a racing official with knowledge of the appointment confirmed on Tuesday.

Williams was appointed to the post by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who holds the power to appoint five of the seven commissioners on the New York State Gaming Commission. The commission is scheduled to become active on Feb. 1, with the power to regulate all forms of gambling in New York, including horse racing and casinos.

The appointment was first reported by the Blood-Horse website.

In addition to his position with the state lottery, Williams is currently the head of the New York State Racing Franchise Oversight Board, which holds broad authority to review the operations of the New York Racing Association. From 2005-07, Williams was the executive director of the New York State Committee on the Future of Racing, a job that required Williams to evaluate proposals to take over NYRA’s franchise to operate New York’s three most prominent tracks. NYRA retained the franchise after filing for bankruptcy and handing its deeds over to the state.

The operations of the existing New York State Racing and Wagering Board will be folded into the New York State Gaming Commission. The previous chairman of the racing and wagering board, John Sabini, resigned earlier this year.

Michael Mellon More than 1 year ago
As the oversight board ignored the 8.5 million dollars that NYRA stole from it's customers, our governor has taken control. He has also replaced the yearly 4.5 million dollars in your taxes to run this sham that was always paid by NYC OTB before they shut it down. So our king finds the funds for this but can't find the funds for OTB retirees robbed of their healthcare by a political shutdown. Please don't believe the propaganda. OTB took in close to a billion dollars a year and only got in trouble as the state mandated ridiculous payouts to the harness industry that will soon be corrected before all the other regional OTB's in NYS go down too. It is un American to take away healthcare from people who worked a lifetime for these benefits. Our governor over rided a 56-4 bipartisan bill to correct this as even our politicians who caused this mess have seen the cruel injustice to innocent retirees. Mr Cuomo, put some qualified people into NYS racing, not your cronies,and get funding in the 2013 budget for NYC OTB retirees which you call a worthy goal.
Mary Raymond More than 1 year ago
Sabini resigned & no one saw it coming I bet. Hah hah. Open the flood gates, there's more to follow..........Bert D.
Bruce Epstein More than 1 year ago
NYRA heading for big trouble. No folks with any knowledge of consumer needs in racing. Just dependant on the low level player to make the numbers. Best of luck, you'll need it.
Mary Raymond More than 1 year ago
They're in trouble for years & don't care. Why should it bother them now? Saved by the slots this time around. Consumer needs & NYRA don't belong in the same sentence. Have you been to AQUESUCK lately? Don't waste your time..........Bert D.
William Eisele More than 1 year ago
this could be detremental for n.y.r.a.