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Outgoing gaming chairman named to board

Outgoing state Gaming Control Board Chairman Greg Fajt became incoming Gaming Control Board member Greg Fajt when Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa appointed him to a four-year term on Friday.

Gov. Tom Corbett appointed Fajt's replacement as chairman -- William H. Ryan -- a week ago. Ryan starts his term on Monday. Fajt's experience as chairman made him a logical choice for the board, Costa said.

Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate each appoint one member to the board, and the governor appoints three.

"There is no question that Greg Fajt has a great understanding of gaming issues, and his expertise has been an asset to the commonwealth over the years," said Costa, D-Forest Hills. "In addition to his vast knowledge of the industry, Greg has an outstanding reputation. His honesty and sound judgment were key factors in my decision."

Fajt, of Mt. Lebanon, has served as the board's chairman since 2009, when then-Gov. Ed Rendell appointed him. Before that, he was Rendell's chief of staff.

Ryan was Corbett's top deputy in the attorney general's office and became acting attorney general when Corbett became governor this year. During Ryan's time running the attorney general's office, investigators issued a grand jury report that tore into the gaming control board, alleging it protected politically connected casino applicants and put casinos' interests over taxpayers'.

Fajt defended his agency against the report, which covered a period of time before he joined the board. Fajt's tenure as chairman included the introduction of table games.

"I will continue to work with my fellow board members to ensure that the oversight of Pennsylvania's gaming industry is one which other states can emulate," Fajt said.

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