Massachusetts Gaming Commission Appoints Interim Director

Posted on: July 13, 2023, 03:38h. 

Last updated on: July 12, 2023, 06:38h.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has chosen a new person to replace Executive Director Karen Wells.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission MGC Todd Grossman
Todd Grossman, general counsel for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, has been named the interim executive director of the agency. The MGC regulates commercial casino gambling in the commonwealth, which currently consists of three brick-and-mortar properties and online sports betting. (Image:

Wells announced her departure plans last month after serving as the MGC’s executive director for 10 years. She led the gaming regulatory efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wells joined the MGC in 2013 and initially oversaw the agency’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau.

After two periods as interim executive director, Wells was officially appointed to the position in September 2020. Her departure became effective today as the MGC named a temporary successor.

Todd Grossman, who has been with the MGC for 11 years and held the role of general counsel, has been selected as the interim executive director. The executive director is responsible for overseeing the agency’s staff and reporting to the three MGC commissioners, led by Chair Cathy Judd-Stein.

Grossman Following Wells’ Path

In a bio provided by the MGC, Grossman has a similar background to his predecessor. Like Wells, he obtained a law degree and his first job after college was at the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. Wells also began her career there as an assistant district attorney in Middlesex.

Grossman later served as one of the inaugural commissioners of the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission, which regulates boxing and mixed martial arts in the commonwealth, before joining the MGC in 2012.

During his time as the MGC’s chief legal advisor, Grossman provided counsel on various matters related to the oversight and administration of the MGC’s duties.

Mr. Grossman has contributed to the development and implementation of new regulations and policies governing the process of awarding gaming licenses and regulating the casinos, as well as being involved in the development of an enhanced code of ethics for commissioners and staff of the commission,” an MGC statement on Grossman’s experience detailed.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has over 100 employees who work to “create a fair, transparent, and participatory process for implementing the expanded gaming law,” according to the MGC mission statement.

Double Duty

During their July 12 meeting, the MGC commissioners voted to designate Grossman as the interim executive director, while he will continue serving as general counsel. The MGC has started a nationwide search to find a permanent successor for Wells.

Wells’ successor will have a difficult task ahead. As executive director of the MGC Investigations and Enforcement Bureau, Wells oversaw the opening of each of the state’s three commercial brick-and-mortar casinos.

Plainridge Park, the slots-only casino, opened in 2015. The state’s two resort casinos, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor, opened in August 2018 and June 2019, respectively.

The investigations team faced a significant challenge when considering Wynn Resorts’ casino license after sexual misconduct allegations against Steve Wynn surfaced in early 2018. The MGC decided to allow Wynn Resorts to keep its state-issued gaming license for Encore Boston Harbor after Wynn resigned and the company agreed to pay a record $35 million fine.

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