Corbett appoints former acting AG to gaming post

Bryan Cohen Aug. 19, 2011, 1:56am


HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) - Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett announced the appointment Friday of William H. Ryan Jr. as a member and chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

The PGBC is the entity that oversees the 10 casinos now in operation across the state. Ryan has held multiple leadership roles at the office of the attorney general in Pennsylvania since 1997, including being named acting attorney general after Corbett resigned from the position to become governor.

"I have the utmost confidence in Bill Ryan, who I appointed as my first deputy attorney general for six years and later as acting attorney general," Corbett said. "Bill's proven integrity and more than three decades of experience as a prosecutor will serve him well as the new chairman of the GCB."

Ryan began his legal career with the district attorney's office in Delaware county in 1972. He became first assistant district attorney in 1981 until elected district attorney in 1987. He was also president of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association in 1993-4. Before becoming acting attorney general, he had previous served as first deputy attorney general and headed the criminal law division.

Ryan and his wife Debra live in Delaware county. They have two sons.

Ryan will succeed Gregory Fajt, who will continue to serve as the chairman until Ryan assumes his new role August 29.

The seven-member PGCB was established through the passage of Act 71 of 2004, also known as the Race House Development and Gaming Act. The board oversaw the creation of a casino industry offering both slot machine and table gaming. Currently, the 10 casinos in the state employ over 15,000 people and legalized gaming has generated $5.5 billion in tax and license fee revenue since the first casino opened in November 2006.

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