That Was Fast: Governor Whitmer Appoints New MGCB Executive Director

Barely an hour after the Michigan Gaming Control Board announced Executive Director Richard S. Kalm’s departure, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has appointed his replacement. 

Henry L. Williams, Jr. will become the next Executive Director of the MGCB, pending approval of the appointment by the state senate. 

“The mission of the Gaming Control Board is to ensure the conduct of fair, honest gaming,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “With the nomination of Henry Williams, I am confident that the board will continue protecting and advancing the interests of Michiganders and the state.”

Williams’ appointment is for a six-year term, which will begin after the state Senate approves his appointment. The MGCB will continue to oversee gaming in the state of Michigan, including online sports betting and online casinos

About Henry L. Williams, Jr. 

Williams currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Casino Operations Division for the MGCB. He has been with the MGCB since 2001, previously holding roles as an enforcement officer and regulation manager in the employee licensing sector. 

Williams has a background as a social worker, a juvenile justice worker, protective services worker, and probation officer. 

“Williams is the board president for the Detroit Recovery Project, Inc. and a long-time participant of the Adopt-A-Child Program. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Marygrove College. Henry lives in Detroit with his wife Juvette and their daughter,” says the announcement press release. 

“This appointment affirms my life lessons to my daughter–what hard work, dedication, commitment, and treating people fairly with dignity can do,” said Williams. “I will be able to continue serving the citizens of the great State of Michigan as I have done over the past 24-years with pride and sincere joy.” 

Departing Executive Director Richard S. Kalm has some kinds words to pass on to his successor:

“I have worked closely with Henry for 14 years and promoted him to his current MGCB position as deputy director,” said Richard S. Kalm, MGCB executive director. “I believe Gov. Whitmer has made a good choice in appointing Henry to be the next executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board.”  

“Mr. Williams is the consummate professional; he treats everyone with respect and courtesy regardless of position, both at the casinos and with his colleagues at the MGCB. We know Mr. Williams to be fair, respectful, and honest, with his primary mission being preserving and protecting the integrity of gaming in Michigan,” said Bruce Dall the President of Motor City Casino, John Drake the Vice President and General Manager of Greektown Casino, and David Tsai the President and COO of MGM Grand Casino. “In our view, there is no person more qualified than Mr. Williams to take the helm of the MGCB at this time. His decades of experience, and his understanding of both the casino industry and agency that regulates us are simply unique.” 

About the Author

Cole Rush

Cole Rush is a Chicago-based freelance writer in the gambling, media, and entertainment space. His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns. Prior to freelance writing, Cole spent seven years in communications at a gambling and lottery supplier.