DES MOINES — The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission recently voted to appoint administrator Brian Ohorilko to another four-year term.
Ohorilko took over in 2012 to fill out two years of the term of Jack Ketterer who retired. “That was right at the beginning of the dispute in Sioux City. Kind of an unprecedented time in the State of Iowa, where we had a non-profit license holder and the for-profit license holder unable to reach an agreement for an extension,” Ohorilko says.
The IRGC eventually opened up the license again and then settled on the plan to retire the riverboat and move the casino to land. The company that had held the license then sued and lost the case. “That was definitely something that was a difficult challenge. And then of course, we’ve additional licenses issued — and then with sports gambling — that has really made a big difference in what the casinos do on a day-to-day basis,” he says.
Ohorilko got started in the gambling industry in 2001 and was the director of gaming in Iowa when he was elevated to the administrator position. “Time really does go fast and it feels like it was just yesterday when I was working in the industry,” Ohorilko says, “I am just blessed to have been able to do this in this state. Something that I love, being involved in the gaming industry, and not having to move to Nevada or New Jersey and just being able to do that here in a place I call home.”
Ohorilko will still have to be confirmed by the Iowa Senate to serve in his second four-year term.