PA Gaming Control Board Chairman Tad Decker Steps Down
HARRISBURG: Thomas “Tad” Decker today announced that he will not seek a second term as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and will leave that position effective August 9, 2007.
Decker oversaw the development of the Gaming Control Board, an organization that did not exist and now has a staff of over 250 individuals with offices in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and staff currently on-site at five casinos.
Decker says he was very fortunate to have this opportunity and be able to serve as Chairman with a great number of talented and dedicated persons.
"During my tenure as board chairman, I have valued the support of my fellow board members and our great employees,” Decker said. “Their hard work and, above all, their dedication to the citizens of the Commonwealth led to the start of a new industry in record time, one that will provide lasting benefits to all Pennsylvanians.”
Decker said he is also grateful to Governor Rendell for the faith in his capabilities, and to the Legislature and its staff for input and guidance during the past three years.
Executive Director Anne LaCour Neeb says that while the swift success of the PGCB in propelling legalized slots gaming was a team effort, the leadership and vision Tad Decker brought to the fledgling organization was crucial.
“He was the right person at the right time. The Governor could not have made a better choice,” Neeb said. “Since becoming the Chairman, Tad worked diligently through many long hours to successfully resolve numerous challenges that come with starting a new industry. Citizens throughout the Commonwealth, who will benefit for years from the revenues generated through slots gaming, owe a big thanks to Chairman Decker for taking on this significant task.”
Neeb says a lot was accomplished during Chairman Decker’s tenure in a relatively short period of time including:
- Awarding of 11 casino licenses after hearing from the public and government leaders during 22 public input hearings and 19 applicant licensing hearings:
- The opening of five casinos at horse racing tracks that are now generating an average of $1.8 million a day in tax revenue;
- Total revenues to the Commonwealth, including license fees, of $750 million;
- The creation of nearly 4,000 living wage jobs;
- $65 million dedicated to the revival of Pennsylvania horse-racing industry;
- The creation of Pennsylvania’s first new agency in nearly 35 years including needed regulations to properly oversee the new gaming industry.
Decker also announced today that he will be returning to private practice as President and CEO of Cozen O’Connor, a law firm for which he previously served as Managing Partner.
Prior to serving as the chairman of the Gaming Control Board Decker worked in executive positions throughout his career as a nationally respected corporate lawyer and previously sat on the Delaware River Port Authority Board and Port Authority Transit Corporation. At Cozen O’Connor, Decker served as Chairman of the firm’s Management Committee and concentrated on mergers and corporate law, corporate governance and alternative dispute resolution. He has served as Chairman of the Committee of Corporate General Counsels of the American Bar Association’s Section of Business Law, and, as a former Chair of the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners, he was appointed by the State Supreme Court to oversee admission to the Pennsylvania Bar. Decker earned his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1971.
Decker was appointed to a three-year term as the Gaming Board’s first Chairman in July, 2004 by Governor Edward G. Rendell. A gubernatorial appointee may not serve more than two full terms.
Under the Gaming Act, an appointee by the Governor is subject to a background investigation conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police, and can be seated on the Board upon successful completion of that investigation.