Jennifer Togliatti is set to head the Nevada Gaming Commission in a meeting this Thursday, becoming the first woman to chair the five-member gaming regulatory board. She was first appointed to the commission last month, along with former state Senator Ben Kieckhefer, by Governor Steve Sisolak.
Togliatti, a retired Clark County District Court judge, was initially slated to occupy the role earlier but this saw a delay because of a prior work commitment. She received a bachelor’s degree from UNLV in 1989 and got her Juris doctorate in 1993 from the California Western School of Law.
She worked as a deputy district attorney in Clark County, where she was part of the Crimes Against Women and Children’s Unit between 1994 and 1998. When the Las Vegas Township Justice Court expanded, Togliatti became a justice of the peace, reports Las Vegas Review-Journal.
In 2002, when Judge Stephen Huffaker retired, Gov. Kenny Guinn appointed Togliatti to a judicial position in the Eighth Judicial District. As a District Court judge for nearly two decades, she took on a series of high-profile trials.
“I’ve always supported Jennifer, and she really was one of the better judges on the bench,” retiring Gaming Commission chairman John Moran Jr. said about Togliatti. “I can’t think of a better pick the governor could make, and I’m looking forward to watching her as she makes her decisions on the commission.”
Former U.S. District Court Judge Philip Pro, also a former NGC commissioner who mentored Togliatti earlier in her career, said her experience dealing with regulatory and statutory frameworks will help her in commission work. “I think those kinds of skills, that kind of background, will be of great assistance to her as she embarks upon chairing the various sessions,” he said.
Togliatti first got to know Governor Steve Sisolak during her time on the District Court bench, further reports Review-Journal. Togliatti served there as chief judge, while Sisolak was a Clark County Commissioner back then.
Her appointment to the Gaming Commission followed Moran’s departure, the body’s longest-serving member. “I’m really honored to have been appointed to this position, and I’m so proud that I’m the first woman chair,” Togliatti said. “I can’t thank Gov. Sisolak enough.”
Togliatti further said she believes her best contribution to the regulatory board will be in regulatory matters and finances: she has a business degree.
Moreover, Togliatti said she believes her years of experience making tough decisions from the bench will help her make similar choices in her commission work. She further noted technology issues as important ones for the regulatory board to tackle.
“I think that in order for Nevada to continue to be the gold standard and for us to have a robust gaming economy, we have to be mindful of innovation and technology moving forward. But I have no preconceived notions,” Togliatti said.