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Maryland lottery and gaming chief to retire after presiding over span with record lottery and casino revenues

Gordon Medenica, who oversaw the state’s lottery and casino industries during a period of steadily increasing revenues, is retiring from his position as chief regulator.

Medenica will remain director of the Baltimore-based Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency until June 1, the agency said Thursday.

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Deputy Director James R. Nielsen will then become acting director while Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s appointments office searches for Medenica’s successor.

“The lottery business is like no other,” Medenica said in a statement. “Where else can you raise important revenue for the state and its citizens — while still having so much fun?”

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Medenica, 69, was appointed by Hogan in 2015 to lead the agency, which has 310 full-time employees and a $104 million operating budget.

He presided during a period when the state continually set lottery and casino revenue records. The lottery is projecting a record high for sales in the fiscal year ending June 30. Lottery sales have topped $2 billion in each of the last three fiscal years.

The agency also regulates six casinos in Maryland, which set a revenue record of $1.7 billion in 2019 but dropped to $1.2 billion in 2020 after being closed for most of a quarter during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lottery profits go to Maryland’s general fund, which supports a variety of programs.

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Casino revenues are shared with the state. The largest chunk goes to the Maryland Education Trust Fund, which supports early childhood education, public elementary and secondary education, public school construction and capital improvement.

The horse racing industry, local government programs and small minority- and women-owned businesses also receive shares.

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