Executive Director Karen Wells Named to Global Gaming Business’ 25 People to Watch for 2021

MGC Executive Director Karen Wells was recently named one of Global Gaming Business’ 25 People to Watch for 2021, highlighting her work related to gaming law, regulatory issues and the industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Per Global Gaming Business, the list, now in its 19th year, “celebrates the diversity and talent of those individuals who are shaping the future of the casino industry.”

“I’m honored to have been selected as one of Global Gaming Business’ 25 People to Watch for 2021,” Wells said. “As the Commonwealth’s gaming industry continues to adapt to the challenges created by COVID-19, I look forward to working with our team throughout 2021 as we continue to maintain a balance of appropriately rigorous regulatory requirements while maximizing economic benefits for the people of Massachusetts.”

Wells was named the MGC’s Executive Director in September 2020, after working in the role on an interim basis for a second time. As Interim Executive Director from January 2020 through September 2020, Wells led the MGC staff through the COVID-19 pandemic while working to support an orderly temporary suspension of gaming in the Commonwealth—and subsequently a safe re-opening of casinos in July 2020.

“This is the launching of Karen’s first full year as the MGC’s Executive Director, and we can’t think of a better way for her to be celebrated,” Chair Cathy Judd-Stein said. “We get to watch her on an everyday basis, but it’s really wonderful to note that she is being recognized internationally for her leadership here in Massachusetts. It’s exciting and truly deserved.”

Prior to her work as Executive Director, Wells had served as Director of the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) since 2013. As Director of the IEB, her work focused on protecting the public interest and ensuring the integrity of legal gaming in Massachusetts by leading the regulatory enforcement of the Expanded Gaming Act. On behalf of the MGC, she was also responsible for facilitating law enforcement activity involving the Massachusetts State Police, the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and other local, state and federal law enforcement partners.

“I’ve known Karen for a long time, and I’m not at all surprised that, as she steps into this role as Executive Director, people are taking notice of it,” Commissioner Eileen O’Brien said. “There’s a reason we put her at the helm in a permanent role, and congratulations to Karen on this achievement.”

Click here to find Global Gaming Business’ full list of the 25 People to Watch for 2021.

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