Denver Attorney Richard Nathan Elected As Chair Of Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission

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The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission elected Richard Nathan as chair of the commission for fiscal year 2022 at Thursday’s meeting.

Nathan succeeds Kristen Blessman, whose term recently expired. Nathan, a longtime Denver attorney with more than 25 years of experience in regulatory law, served the past 12 months as vice chair of the commission.

“I want to thank my predecessor, she did a heck of a job while she was here,” Nathan said at Thursday’s meeting.

Nathan also lauded Colorado Division of Gaming Director Dan Hartman and his staff for launching statewide legal sports betting last spring at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nathan begins his tenure as chair at a time when Colorado has 22 online sports betting operators and 17 retail sports betting operators, a collective total that ranks among the highest in the nation.

Nathan’s history in the gaming space

Nathan began his law career in 1974 with a seven-year stint with the Colorado Office of the Attorney General. There, he served as the state’s first assistant attorney general for criminal justice and director of the state’s Organized Crime Strike Force. During the period, Nathan also advised the National Association of Attorneys General and National College of District Attorneys on the investigation and prosecution of organized crime, as well as cases involving political corruption.

Nathan joined Denver law firm Isaacson Rosenbaum P.C. in 1988, where he specialized in litigation and regulatory compliance.  After leaving the firm in 2001, he joined Robinson Waters & O’Dorisio P.C., as a special counsel. Throughout Nathan’s career, he has represented a bevy of gaming industry clients on matters before U.S. and international regulatory boards. One of his former clients, International Game Technology (IGT), received license renewals in three categories at Thursday’s meeting, including a state Vendor Major License. Nathan has not worked on behalf of IGT since 2014, he noted at the meeting.

Nathan also spent two years as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver College of Law, where he taught courses in gaming law. As it relates to sports, Nathan spent one season in 1984-85 as the president and general manager of the Denver Gold, a former franchise in the United States Football League. Nathan, who ran unopposed, is in his first term with the commission.

The LGCC also elected Justin Davis as vice chair of the commission. Davis, a certified public accountant, is employed as a fiscal manager for the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, where his responsibilities include grant management, budget management, and internal and external financial reporting. Davis also worked for a regional accounting firm in Las Vegas for a three-year period through 2005, where he conducted financial statement audits and internal audit compliance testing for casinos in three jurisdictions.

Both positions are one-year appointments. Davis and Nathan are both serving terms with the commission that expire on July 1, 2023. Under state law, the LGCC is designated as a five-member regulatory board appointed by the governor. At the moment, two positions remain vacant following the departure of Blessman and former commissioner Tim Carlson.

Licensing action

In total, the LGCC approved nearly 20 license applications or renewals at Thursday’s meeting. Besides IGT, Interblock USA L.C. and Aristocrat Technologies Inc. both received renewals for Manufacturer/Distributor Licenses and Operator Licenses at the meeting.

The LGCC also issued sports betting licenses to the following companies in the First Vendor Minor License category:

  • Al McMordie’s bigal.com
  • Fanalyze
  • Digital Rush Ltd
  • Shift4 Payments LLC
  • Growth Advisors Inc.
  • All Up AQ Pty Ltd
  • Shufti Pro Limited
  • Vegas Sports Inc.
  • GMT Consultancy Services LTD
  • SharpRank Inc.
  • Made Good Company
  • LSports data ltd

The LGCC is scheduled to meet next on Aug. 25. The commission typically meets on the third Thursday of every month.

Matt is a veteran writer with a specific focus on the emerging sports gambling market. During Matt's two decade career in journalism, he has written for the New York Times, Forbes, The Guardian, Reuters and CBSSports.com among others. In his spare time, Matt is an avid reader, a weekend tennis player and a frequent embarrassment to the sport of running.

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