Despite arrests, businessman recommended for Nevada gaming license

The state Gaming Control Board conducted a meeting today in Carson City.

The issue: The board conducted a suitability hearing and considered the licensing of Todd McTavish, senior vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer for Austin, Texas-based Multimedia Games.

The vote: 3-0 to recommend to the Nevada Gaming Commission approval of the licensing of McTavish.

What it means: The three-member Control Board spent more than two hours grilling McTavish about his brushes with the law in several states since the mid-1980s. Chairman A.G. Burnett said he didn’t know going into the hearing which way he would vote, but McTavish’s testimony persuaded him “by a yard.”

As a high school student, McTavish was accused of vandalizing a school. While in college as a student athlete at Penn State University, he was accused of being involved with a group of students manufacturing phony identifications.

In 1993 in Michigan, he was arrested and accused of the illegal sale of controlled substances for allegedly selling steroids to a friend.

He also was arrested on a count of disorderly conduct after an incident in a Michigan bar in 1995 and months later was accused of being involved in a disturbance at a friend’s home. Those charges were dismissed.

Months after that, he pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in Tennessee and has since been cited on numerous traffic violations and speeding tickets.

Board members also questioned McTavish about several small-claims judgments and ongoing cases involving him that he did not disclose in his licensing application. He said he did not remember those incidents when filling out the paperwork.

McTavish, whose company is a supplier of slot machines at the Orleans and is looking to expand within the state, was supported at the meeting by Multimedia CEO Patrick Ramsey.

“The 18-year-old and the 26-year-old Todd was a different guy,” said his attorney, Michael Bonner. “He was young and dumb. We’ve all known guys like that, but there are two Todd McTavishes, and this is a different guy.”

Bonner said he felt the McTavish’s problems happened long enough ago that he would be forgiven by regulators and allowed to be licensed.

McTavish told the board that he has changed and that he would never bring embarrassment to the state and the gaming industry if licensed.

The recommendation will go to the Nevada Gaming Commission for consideration at its Feb. 20 meeting.