Las Vegas Sun

June 19, 2021

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New Gaming Control Board appointee ready to listen, work

Brittnie Watkins

Josh Hawkins/UNLV Photo Services

Brittnie Watkins

Las Vegas attorney Brittnie Watkins has been named to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced today.

Watkins, whose term will begin May 3, will replace board member Terry Johnson, who has served the body since 2012.

A former attorney with Las Vegas law firm Pisanelli Bice, Watkins has practiced hotel and gaming law, according to a news release.

Last year, Watkins, 36, became the first Black woman elected to the State Bar of Nevada Board of Governors, which oversees Nevada’s legal profession.

In a statement, Sisolak said Watkins was the “right person for this crucial appointment,” while lauding her legal experience.

“As Nevada’s gaming industry continues to recover from the pandemic, it’s critical that we remain the gold standard and operate with the highest integrity, and I am confident Brittnie will help us achieve that goal,” Sisolak said.

After earning bacherlor’s degrees in psychology and criminal justice from Michigan State University, Watkins received a law degree from UNLV’s Boyd School of Law.

She also has two master’s degrees from UNLV and a doctorate in philosophy.

Watkins will join Chairman J. Brin Gibson and Philip Katsaros on the three-member board. Along with the Nevada Gaming Commission, the board regulates the state’s gaming industry.

Watkins said she is looking forward to helping guide Nevada’s gaming industry as it continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity, and I’m ready to serve the state of Nevada,” Watkins said. “This is a such a historic and well-respected regulatory body.”

A Michigan native and mother of three, Watkins said she moved to Las Vegas to pursue a master’s degree in criminal justice but ended up finding a permanent home in Southern Nevada.

“I absolutely love it here in Las Vegas,” Watkins said. “When I came here, as soon as I touched down, I knew I would probably never leave. I have a love of learning, and I can say I’m just ready to listen to my fellow board members and to the gaming industry.”