Henry Williams officially became the Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director on Monday. Williams replaces Richard S. Kalm after a 34-1 roll call confirmation vote took place in the Michigan Senate.
“I am honored to begin my appointment as executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board,” said Williams following his confirmation by the Michigan Senate on May 13. “I look forward to leading the agency’s continuing success and thank outgoing Executive Director Richard S. Kalm for his leadership and the opportunities he provided that paved the way for my appointment.”
Williams’ term begins May 17 after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Williams’ appointment to a six-year term as executive director on April 23.
"The mission of the Gaming Control Board is to ensure the conduct of fair, honest gaming,” Whitmer said in a news release. “With the nomination of Henry Williams, I am confident that the board will continue protecting and advancing the interests of Michiganders and the state.”
Williams has 20 years of experience working at the MGCB. He recently served as the deputy director for the agency’s Casino Operations division that regulates the Detroit commercial casinos, issues occupational licenses, houses the agency’s Gaming Lab and manages self-exclusion programs for problem gamblers.
He started his career in state government in 1997 after having previously worked in various positions as a juvenile justice worker, family independence specialist, protective services worker and probation officer. He’s a resident of Detroit and earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Marygrove College. Williams is also a licensed social worker in Michigan.
Williams takes over for Kalm
The MGCB announced Kalm would be leaving the board on April 23. Kalm has served as the executive director since 2007 and led the regulation and licensing of Michigan’s online casino and mobile sports betting launch. Legalized online gaming officially went live in the state on Jan. 22.
“I’ve had a great run and accomplished my final goal with the successful launch of online gaming and sports betting,” Kalm said. “My career has been devoted to public service, and I have enjoyed serving the people of Michigan since 2007 as MGCB executive director. Our agency’s mission has grown since my initial appointment, and I am proud of the MGCB’s accomplishments during my tenure.”
During his time as executive director, Kalm worked with Williams for 14 years. He endorsed Williams’ appointment as his successor.
“I have worked closely with Henry for 14 years and promoted him to his current MGCB position as deputy director,” Kalm said. “I believe Gov. Whitmer has made a good choice in appointing Henry to be the next executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board.”