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Commission Staff

The Casino Control Law authorized the Commission to complete the functions of licensing, regulating, investigating and penalizing casino operators, management companies, holding companies, key employees, casino gaming employees, and gaming related vendors. As the regulator, the Commission has jurisdiction over all persons participating in casino gaming. 

To fulfill the mission and the responsibilities of the Commission,the Executive Director oversees seven divisions that provide critical functions to ensure the integrity of casino gaming; communications, enforcement, government affairs, legal counsel, licensing & investigations, operations and regulatory compliance.

Matthew T. Schuler
Executive Director

Matt Schuler is the Executive Director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission. He was hired in November 2011 to lead the new agency given his vast experience in legislative leadership and public policy.

Schuler's public service career began at Ohio’s Statehouse while he was earning a political science degree at The Ohio State University. He worked as a Senate page and then, following his college graduation, he served as legislative aide for the chair of the state Senate’s finance committee. From there, Schuler used his public policy experience in the private sector at the Ohio Manufacturer’s Association. By 1998, he returned to the state Senate as clerk and then became chief of staff in 2005.    

Schuler is a native of Mansfield, Ohio and currently resides in Gahanna, Ohio with his wife, Jill, and their four school-aged children.


John Barron
Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel

John Barron serves as the Deputy Executive Director, overseeing all Divisions and day to day operations of the Commission. As the General Counsel for the Commission, Barron is responsible for providing advice and counsel in policies and procedures impacting the Commission’s work in regulating casino gaming.

Barron brings a wealth of legal experience to the Commission, having served as Chief Legal Counsel for the Ohio Senate and the Ohio Department of Development and Deputy Chief Legal Counsel for the Ohio Governor. He received both his undergraduate and law degree from The Ohio State University, and served in the U.S. Air Force prior to embarking on his legal career.

John and his wife, Lori, reside in New Albany, Ohio with their three daughters.


Laura P. Clemens
Director of Government Affairs & Responsible Gambling Program Coordinator

Laura Clemens came to the Commission from the Ohio House of Representatives, where she served as a legislative aide and spent more than a decade serving as parliamentarian and Clerk of the House. As director of the Government Affairs Division, her knowledge and experience are put to use in representing the Commission before the Ohio General Assembly and other governmental entities on legislative and regulatory matters.

Clemens also heads up the Commission’s Responsible Gambling efforts, including the Voluntary Exclusion Program that permits individuals to ban themselves from entering a casino facility.  The Responsible Gambling Program Coordinator also works with state and local partners to provide treatment options, professional counselor training, educational materials and programs aimed at problem gambling. It also oversees the compulsive and problem gambling plans implemented at each of Ohio’s four casinos.


Tony Forchione
Director of Licensing & Investigations

Anthony Forchione brings nearly 30 years of regulatory experience to the Commission, where he serves as Director of Licensing & Investigations. The Division is responsible for determining the suitability of casino operators, management companies, vendors and employees for licensure.

Forchione previously worked for the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, where he oversaw the Compliance Division and Human Resources operations, and also developed and implemented licensing standards and requirements for casino operators and employees. Forchione graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Business Administration.



Jessica Franks
Director of Communications

Jessica Franks heads the Communications Division for the Commission, which handles all media inquiries and public speaking requests. The Division also produces reports and other publications used to update the Legislature and external and internal stakeholders on the work of the Commission.

Franks is well-versed in government communications, having helped members in both the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House of Representatives communicate with the media as well as their constituents. She has also worked as a policy analyst and legislative aide. Jessica graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism.


Patrick D. Martin
Director of Regulatory Compliance

Patrick Martin came to the Commission from Kansas, where he served as Chief Counsel and Interim Executive Director of the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, the agency tasked with ensuring the integrity of gambling in Kansas. While there, he helped ready the agency following the passage of Kansas’ casino expansion law and organized the selection process for casino managers.

Here in Ohio, Martin is in charge of the Commission’s Division of Regulatory Compliance, which ensures that licensees comply with all pertinent state laws and regulations, as well as each casino’s internal control system. He attended the University of Kansas, receiving his bachelor’s degree as well as his law degree.



Michael S. Masterson
Director of Enforcement

Masterson leads the Ohio Casino Control Commission’s (OCCC) Enforcement Division comprised of Gaming Agents, Investigators, and Gaming Agent Supervisors who are all certified peace officers. OCCC Gaming Agents are on duty 24-7 at each of Ohio’s four casinos and have full police powers and arrest authority.

Masterson worked for the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) where he retired in December 2013, as the Special Agent In-Charge (SAIC) of Gaming. Masterson held various positions with BCI over the course of his career specializing in complex, long term investigations involving narcotics, money laundering, illegal gambling, organized crime, and fugitive apprehensions.

Through an agreement with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Masterson was re-assigned to the OCCC as the Toledo Casino Gaming Agent Supervisor in April 2012. Following his promotion to SAIC of Gaming, he was named the Deputy Director of Enforcement for the OCCC. As the Commission began to hire its own enforcement staff, Masterson helped facilitate hiring and training.

Masterson received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Bowling Green State University, and is a Certified Peace Officer in Ohio.



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