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Executive Director's Past Message

UNLV 16th International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking

by Sue McNabb, editor
American Gaming Lawyer

The 16th UNLV International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking, the “Eadington Conference,” was attended by over 600 delegates from 31 countries, including many IMGL members serving as session moderators and participants.  Bo Bernhard and the co-chairs of the event, along with the conference committee, prepared an excellent program that superbly carried forth Bill Eadington’s vision of gathering the world’s intellectual thought-leaders of gaming researchers, educators, treatment professionals, industry leaders, attorneys, and gaming consultants.

From the opening reception in Siegfried and Roy’s Garden at the Mirage Hotel to the last event, the Eadington Conference reflected Bo Bernhard’s attention to detail by providing excellent networking opportunities for attendees and selecting a variety of timely topics.  

The opening keynote address was delivered by gaming industry visionary and developer Steve Wynn.  Mr. Wynn did not disappoint and set the bar for an objective view of the gaming industry, its challenges in the changing dynamic of visitors to Las Vegas and other gaming venues, new technology - not only with skill-based games designed to appeal to millennials but also the use of robotics to supplement services - and, most importantly, to the business paradigm shift from a focus on gambling to a focus on the resort experience.  The shifting business paradigm of the gaming industry was well represented by a presentation on the resort destination casinos and integrated resorts being developed around the world.

Conference sessions covered every area of gaming.  The sessions ranged from the historical development of casinos and lotteries to academic presentations analyzing responsible gaming issues and the role of government in player protection.  Many interesting questions were raised regarding the role of government versus the role of the industry in managing problem gambling. 

One session featured a mock trial to consider  the question, “Should Daily Fantasy Sports platforms such as DraftKings and FanDuel be regulated under existing gaming laws, given the potential for underage use and problem gambling?”  The team supporting the affirmative response won the mock trial that existing regulations should apply. 

Among the many panels was a special session featuring Alfredo Lazcano Samano providing updates in Central and South American jurisdictions.  Other excellent sessions included IMGL members Jennifer Roberts, Brett Abarbanel (the conference co-chair), Alan Meister, Jorge Godhino, Changbin Wang, Anthony Cabot, Steven Andrew Light, Andre Wilsenach, Daniel Waugh, Pieter Remmers, Connie Jones, Kevin Rosenberg, Herbert Beck, Bob Stocker, and Suzanne Faris.  IMGL member Jeff Derevensky was honored with the Joanna Franklin Award.  Many other IMGL members were in attendance and participated in the many functions associated with the Eadington Conference.

The Eadington Conference truly carried forth the mission of gathering the world’s leaders in gambling studies.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and University of Nevada, Reno, jointly announced today that Bo Bernhard, executive director of UNLV’s International Gaming Institute, has also been appointed as the Philip G. Satre Chair in Gaming Studies at UNR.  Read more about this here.