Larry Gregory, who currently serves as executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC), has entered into a letter of intent with the Mississippi Casino Operators Association, Inc. (MCOA) for the position of executive director.

The parties are working toward finalizing an employment contract.

Gregory recently announced his retirement from the Mississippi Gaming Commission, a position he has held since December, 2001. He is expected to begin his new position at MCOA sometime during September.

Prior to his appointment as executive director of the MGC, Gregory also held the positions of deputy executive director from 1998 – 2001 and chief of staff from 1996 – 1998. Before working for the MGC, Gregory served in other state government capacities, including deputy director of the Mississippi State Personnel Board, secretary to the Mississippi Transportation Commission and staff member to the Mississippi Legislature. A native of Jackson, Miss., he also served four years in the United States Air Force.

Gregory received a Bachelors of Science degree in Political Science from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Masters in Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University. He also received a Certificate of Paralegal Studies from Mississippi College.

During his time at the MGC, Gregory has helped to regulate the $2.8 billion Mississippi gaming industry, managing a staff of 145. He has helped to institute a strict but fair regulatory approach within the industry, modeling the state’s free market approach of regulation behind that of Nevada. A guest commentator and speaker to numerous media outlets, forums, conferences, and civic clubs, Gregory attributes the success of the gaming industry within the state to solid regulation and a sound business approach.

Most recently, in the wake of devastating Hurricane Katrina, Gregory has helped move forward recovery and reconstruction efforts for the state’s gaming industry, drafting regulations to redirect rebuilding along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In recognition of his efforts, the International Masters of Gaming Law named Gregory 2005 Regulator of the Year.

Mississippi Casino Operators Association Chair Tess Ingram, general manager of Lighthouse Point Casino in Greenville Miss., believes the appointment of Gregory to MCOA will solidify the industry’s good working relationship with the State of Mississippi and the public’s perception of gaming as a positive economic benefit to all Mississippi citizens. “We are extremely pleased to be able to continue to work with Larry as our executive director after many years working with him at the MGC,” said Ingram. “His experience and knowledge of our industry as well as his established working relationships throughout the industry will make this an easy transition for him as well as our members and we look forward to expanding the Association’s impact and reach with Gregory at the helm.”