01/09/2013 2:57PM

Sabini resigning as chairman of New York State Racing and Wagering Board

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John Sabini will resign his post as chairman of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board effective Friday, a spokesman for the board confirmed Wednesday.

The news, first reported Tuesday by the Albany Times Union, comes three weeks before the NYSRWB is to be merged with and work under a new state gaming commission. The three-member NYSRWB will be replaced by a seven-member board with an unsalaried chairman. As chairman, Sabini earned $120,800 annually, according to the Times Union.

“He’s retiring prior to that to work in the private sector,” said Lee Park, a spokesman for the NYSRWB.

According to the Times Union, Sabini will open a public affairs lobbying office that will serve both Albany and Washington, D.C.

Sabini, a former New York state senator, was appointed chairman of the Racing and Wagering Board in August 2008.