Casino Association picks former state rep as president

Matt Bell, a former state representative and chairman of the Indiana Gaming Commission, has been picked to lead the Casino Association of Indiana, succeeding longtime president Mike Smith.

Bell’s appointment was announced Friday. He will start the job Dec. 1. Smith, who led the lobbying group for 13 years, announced his resignation in June.

The association represents eight of the 13 casinos in Indiana, including Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson and Indiana Grand Racing Casino in Shelbyville, which are owned by Indianapolis-based Centaur Gaming.

Bell is currently a principal in Catalyst Public Affairs Group, a lobbying group he co-founded in 2013. Bell will remain in that position, and Catalyst will serve as a consultant to the Casino Association.

Bell concluded a four-year term as a commissioner for the Indiana Gaming Association in October 2014. He was chairman of the association from 2013-14.

The University of Tennessee graduate was president of Ivy Tech Corporate College (2012-13), founding CEO of the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana (2011-12) and state representative from District 83 in (2005-10).

Among other previous work, Bell graduate spent eight years as executive director of the Literacy Empowering and Advocating Project in Noble County.

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