|By Howard Stutz, Las Vegas
Review-JournalMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Mar. 10, 2010--Nevada Resort Association President Bill Bible resigned Tuesday from the trade group he has headed for more than a decade to become a member of MGM Mirage's board of directors.
Bible, 65, has overseen the resort association, the gaming industry's primary statewide lobbying group, during a period in which the membership has seen several peaks and valleys because of fractures among the various company executives and leaders.
The organization was established in 1965, but several insiders questioned its future with Bible's departure. Most of the major casino operators employ in-house government affairs and lobbying divisions. The American Gaming Association is the industry's chief Washington, D.C., lobbying organization.
In a statement, Bible said he will help the organization transition to a new day-to-day leader.
"I truly enjoyed being a part of an industry that saw a decade of dramatic change," Bible said.
Monday's appointment of Bible, a 27-year state government employee who spent 10 years as chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, is subject to regulatory approval.
"Bill's wealth of expertise and familiarity with a wide range of financial and regulatory matters in both hospitality and gaming will serve as a tremendous asset to our company," MGM Mirage Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Murren said in a statement Tuesday.
Bible is leaving a full-time position with the resort association for a part-time board members' role with MGM Mirage. According to the company's 2009 Proxy Statement, Bible will receive $50,000 a year plus $1,500 per board meeting. He is also eligible for additional benefits, compensation and stock options.
The nomination comes more than a week after Bible, one of the gaming industry's top lobbyists, participated in the special legislative session in Carson City and played a role in the debate over a potential fee increase to be imposed on the gaming industry.
Bible said the resort association's members could not reach a consensus on a legislative proposal that would have raised $32.5 million in fees the gaming industry pays annually to the state. The extra fees would have been used to fund the operating budget of the gaming control board.
Bible held various budgetary positions in Nevada government and was the state budget director under Gov. Richard Bryan in the 1980s. In the 1970s, he worked for the administration of Gov. Mike O'Callaghan.
Gov. Bob Miller appointed Bible as chairman of the control board, where he oversaw the gaming industry's growth outside of Nevada.
In 1997, Bible was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, which spent two years exploring the impact of legalized gambling on American consumers and communities.
Boyd Gaming Corp. CEO Keith Smith, the resort association's current chairman, said the organization will miss Bible's experience.
"Bill's service to the industry over the years has been remarkable," Smith said. "His sharp insight and leadership that guided the NRA through both robust and challenging times is respected and appreciated."
Bible fills one of three vacancies on the MGM Mirage board.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig, who died Feb. 20, resigned from the board in October. Dr. Joseph Sugerman resigned effective Feb. 25 to concentrate on his medical practice.
Gary Jacobs, former MGM Mirage president of corporate strategy and general counsel, left the board and the company in December.
Bible will join a board that includes Los Angeles billionaire and MGM Mirage founder Kirk Kerkorian, former Nevada two-term Gov. Kenny Guinn, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, former Telemundo CEO Roland Hernandez, and renewable-energy proponent Rose McKinney-James.
Murren and CityCenter CEO Bobby Baldwin are the only current day-to-day MGM Mirage executives on the board of directors.
Contact reporter Howard Stutz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3871.
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