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January 6, 2023 Casino, Land Based, Personnel

The UNLV International Gaming Institute names new Executive Director

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Brett Abarbanel has been promoted from her previous role with IGI as Director of Research.

The UNLV International Gaming Institute (IGI), an academic center dedicated to gaming regulation, has announced its hiring of Brett Abarbanel as Executive Director. Abarbanel succeeds Bo Bernhard who will transition to serving as UNLV’s VP of Economic Development.

The appointment became effective on January 1, 2023, with Abarbanel having worked for IGI since 2016. Her previous role was as Director of Research, a position in which she accrued experience in research, advisory, and leadership work.

She has extensive experience in gaming operations, responsible gambling and community relations, having presented her work in more than 20 countries and dozens of US states.

Additionally, Abarbanel is also an associate professor with UNLV's William F. Harrah College of Hospitality and holds an affiliate research position at the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Centre.

Speaking about her appointment, Abarbanel commented: “It is an honor to step into the role of executive director at IGI, a world-renowned research, education, and innovation hub for the study of gambling with a brilliant staff.

“I am eager to collaborate with our many stakeholders in higher education, government, non-profit, and industry and build on IGI’s established momentum to improve industry learning, create workforce pipelines, and diversify the scope of knowledge in this field.”

UNLV Interim VP for Research David Hatchett reflected Abarbanel’s enthusiasm about her appointment. He said: “The Division of Research is looking forward to working with Brett Abarbanel and thanks Bo Bernhard for his tremendous leadership at IGI and his continued service to the institute and to UNLV.

“I am confident in Brett’s leadership of this very important program. I am also looking forward to having her join our executive leadership and the perspective she brings to the team.”

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