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Head of Indiana’s casino oversight agency leaving position

August 20, 2021 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Gaming Commission’s top administrator is stepping down after six years leading the agency that supervises the state’s casinos.

The governor’s office announced Friday that Sara Gonso Tait would be leaving the commission’s executive director position next month to consider private sector jobs.

Gonso Tait’s tenure has been highlighted by Indiana’s launch of legalized sports wagering in 2019 and the opening of new land-based casinos in Gary, Evansville and near Louisville, Kentucky, all replacing floating facilities on Lake Michigan or the Ohio River.

She also oversaw the commission’s investigation that resulted in Indianapolis-based Spectacle Entertainment having to give up ownership of the new Hard Rock casino in Gary and a planned Terre Haute casino after two top executives faced criminal and financial misconduct allegations. That investigation also led to Indiana casino heavyweight Rod Ratcliff giving up his state gaming license and an indefinite delay in the Terre Haute casino’s construction.

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Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement that Gonso Tait “delivered strong results in economic development while maintaining the highest level of integrity.”

Holcomb has appointed commission General Counsel Greg Small as new executive director effective Sept. 11. Small has been the commission’s top attorney since 2015.