Gale leaving control board post

The Gaming Control Board’s audit division chief since 1987 is hanging up his calculator. Gregg Gale, a 30-year employee of the agency, will retire in March.

Lynda Hartzell, a deputy chief in the audit division assigned to the board’s Las Vegas office, will replace Gale. She has held that post for 10 years.

Hartzell began her control board career with the audit division in 1982 and served in several posts before being appointed to deputy chief in 1999.  Hartzell is a Nevada certified public accountant and graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in accountancy.

Shirley Springer, another veteran of the audit division, will fill the deputy chief position vacated by Hartzell.

The budget cuts proposed by Gov. Jim Gibbons might impact the way the board audits the gaming industry. Last week, Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander told the Assembly Ways and Means Committee that proposed salary reductions and diminished benefits resulting from Gibbons’ agency budget cuts would amount to as much as 17 percent less in compensation for some long-term staffers.

Neilander said that the control board froze hiring over a year ago and will cut 30 positions, 27 of which are currently vacant. To cope with the cuts, the board will conduct audits of major casinos less frequently.

The audit division looks at the records of casinos to determine whether taxable gaming revenues and live entertainment tax revenues have been properly reported. Nevada casinos produced approximately $980 million in tax revenues for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008.

“Many of our licensees are experiencing market conditions vastly different than what we are used to and our audit function is of great importance to the state, now more than ever,” Neilander said in announcing Hartzell’s appointment.

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