UNLV has launched the International Center for Gaming Regulation (ICGR), a first-of-its-kind resource for independent education, research and training programs to aid gaming regulators and emerging jurisdictions around the world.
The ICGR – a partnership of UNLV’s International Gaming Institute and William S. Boyd School of Law – will create tools and educational opportunities for policymakers, regulators, gaming lawyers, law enforcement, and gaming industry leaders. It will also develop and maintain the primary global source for regulatory research and information, including the first database of scientific findings on regulatory issues and a repository of various regulations, test results, and related data.
UNLV is recognized around the world as a leader for gaming and hospitality research and education, and the ICGR will advance the university’s leadership in gaming regulation and add a needed resource as gaming expands across the globe.
"For many years we’ve had requests from international governments to put together a center like this to serve the regulatory community,” said International Gaming Institute executive director Bo Bernhard. “This center will produce what all great universities produce: world-class teaching and important, relevant, cutting-edge research that will be beneficial to regulators across the globe.”
The ICGR is led by André Wilsenach, a former gaming regulator and noted policy expert who spent the past 14 years leading the Alderney Gambling Control Commission as it helped pioneer the regulation of Internet gambling. Wilsenach was previously appointed by the Mandela government to launch regulated land-based gaming in his native South Africa to support nation-building efforts in the then-new government.
The importance and need for an International Center for Gaming Regulation cannot be underestimated, Wilsenach said. “There are emerging markets in Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere that will all need guidance in operating and functioning according to the highest regulatory standards. Regulators and operators in those regions will be able to turn to UNLV’s new center for that guidance,” Wilsenach said.
Noting that this is his “third chance at a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help play a pioneering role in a vital new sector,” Wilsenach emphasized the historic nature of this appointment: “I am very excited about this tremendous opportunity to join UNLV. I am looking forward to applying my experience and knowledge of regulating both land-based and online gaming sectors in promoting best practices around the world. There is no better place to launch the Center than in Las Vegas, the global intellectual capital of gaming.”
Last year, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and the Nevada State Legislature shared in the long-term vision for the ICGR by allocating $500,000 annually for its sustainable operation. Private sponsors provided additional support to help launch the ICGR, including Wynn Resorts, Gaming Laboratories International and the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers.
"The ICGR and the recent introduction of our Masters in Law in Gaming Law and Regulation build on the extraordinary gaming expertise here in Nevada,” said Boyd School of Law Dean Dan Hamilton. “In an era where gaming is expanding around the country and across the globe, we are poised to be the leaders in providing graduate instruction in a sophisticated and burgeoning area of the law."
The center is on track for formal review and approval from the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents later this year.