The Virginia Lottery, which assumes newly expanded gaming responsibilities on July 1, has hired a former Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) executive to lead new regulatory and licensing functions for casino gaming and sports betting. Gina M. Smith will serve as the Virginia Lottery’s new Deputy Director for Gaming Compliance.
Smith served two decades as Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer of the MLGCA. She twice served as Interim Director in Maryland, including the period when the Maryland Lottery added casino gaming to its regulatory portfolio. She recently retired as Deputy Legislative Auditor in Maryland’s Office of Legislative Audits. Smith is a certified public accountant and a graduate of the University of Baltimore.
“We’re so pleased to welcome Gina Smith to help us design, build and then lead the appropriate regulatory structures for casino gaming and sports betting,” said Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall. “Selecting an industry leader with Gina’s experience and proven skills demonstrates our commitment to do this important work in a thoughtful and responsible way.”
“I look forward to a new challenge in my career,” said Smith. “The Virginia Lottery is well respected throughout the industry and I embrace the opportunity to be a part of this exciting new chapter in its 31-year history.”
Additionally, the Virginia Lottery announced the hiring of Robert Fontaine to serve as Deputy General Counsel with a focus on casino gaming and sports betting regulations. Fontaine recently retired as Assistant Attorney General and Principal Counsel for the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, a position he held since 2008. Fontaine will take the lead in developing and then overseeing the application of the Virginia Lottery’s regulations for casino operators and sports betting licensees. He began work June 1.
“Bob Fontaine is nationally recognized for his extensive legal experience around gaming issues,” Hall said. “His expertise will be invaluable to the Virginia Lottery as we construct and manage these important new responsibilities.”
The 2020 Virginia General Assembly assigned regulatory authority and oversight for casino gaming and sports betting to the Virginia Lottery. Citizens and stakeholders can access the legislation, links to participate in the regulatory process, information on anticipated timelines, and FAQs about casino gaming and sports betting at www.valottery.com/aboutus/casinosandsportsbetting.
Authorized by Virginia voters in a successful 1987 referendum, the Virginia Lottery generates more than $1.7 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools. For more information, visit the Virginia Lottery’s Giving Back page, visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and check us out on YouTube. With all gaming, please remember to play responsibly.