Former Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has joined MGM Resorts International as President of Global Gaming Development. His brief is to drive the firm’s global expansion efforts, principally in Japan, and focus on state public policy efforts around sports gaming while solidifying the company’s presence in the growing sports betting market.

With the Governor joining the team, MGM Resorts President Bill Hornbuckle will now lead global casino marketing with a focus on building the company’s overall growth in Macau.

“Few leaders are as widely respected, accomplished and knowledgeable as Brian Sandoval, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him as part of the MGM family,” said Chairman and CEO Jim Murren. “Governor Sandoval brings an unparalleled level of skill, leadership and experience to the company, and we will benefit greatly from his in-depth expertise in gaming, public policy and economic development.”

Murren continued: “Likewise, Bill Hornbuckle has a proven record of developing and implementing marketing strategies that excite and entertain in ways that translate to revenue enhancement and value creation. We are pleased that, with the recent launch of MGM 2020, a business operations and digital transformation program, Bill can enhance his focus on the vital role of leading global casino marketing so we can expand our market share in Las Vegas and abroad.”

Sandoval, commenting on his return to the private sector for the first time in over 20 years, said: “MGM Resorts is a global leader in gaming and entertainment, and I look forward to joining the MGM team led by Jim Murren, someone who I greatly respect. Jim has formed critical relationships in Japan and in sports, and I look forward to building upon this strong foundation.”

Serving from 2011-2019 as Nevada’s first Hispanic Governor and as one of the nation’s most popular state leaders, Sandoval transformed Nevada with key accomplishments in economic development, veterans’ issues, health care expansion, workforce development, renewable energy policy, innovative gaming policy and modernizing Nevada’s public education system.

As Governor, he re-instituted the Gaming Policy Committee and was a leading voice in favor of the legalization of sports gaming. He served as the Chairman of the National Governors Association, Western Governors Association, National Council of State Governments and the Education Commission of the States.