Innovation Lab

Powered by the International Gaming Institute

IGI’s Hospitality & Esports Innovation Lab class launched in 2016, created on the premise that the global hospitality industry could be disrupted with innovations driven by a new generation. A new generation, with a different perspective on gaming, technology, design, experience, and application, that can redefine the hospitality experience.

This class is a project-oriented, action lab that guides students from an array of disciplines through the innovation process. The lab’s environment is one of the unique learning environments on campus which combines the development of disruptive innovation with guidance from subject matter experts in esports, robotics, artificial intelligence, experience design, virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchain, and the Internet of Things.

Since Fall 2016, 11 patent applications have been filed for innovations created by our Hospitality & Esports Innovation Lab students.

The program is led by hospitality innovator, Professor Robert Rippee. Rippee brings more than 25 years of innovation experience in hospitality along with a robust network of advisors and mentors across venture capital, big tech, big hospitality, and gaming. Guest speakers include experts from a range of hospitality brands and roles to speakers on innovation from successful startups.

Past guest speakers have represented every major company on the Las Vegas Strip—Caesars, Sands, MGM, and Wynn—as well as various venture capitalists and executives from and numerous tech companies like Savioke Robotics, WayBlazer, Duetto, and Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance.

Students should look forward to working with experts to patent and commercialize their ideas and working with Las Vegas integrated resorts to test, prototype, and evaluate their innovations—using the newly formed Black Fire Innovation facilities as a creative launch pad. This brand-new space offers a first-of-its-kind resort and casino innovation lab to assist students in their design of the integrated resort of the future.

This class is:

  • Offered each Fall and Spring semester;
  • Open to all UNLV students from any college provided they meet the prerequisites of 4 hours of 400 level course completion and consent of the department; and
  • Open to non-degree seeking individuals from the industry.

For further information, please contact

UNLV International Gaming Institute Hospitality Lab Class

"What does hospitality look like in Las Vegas in 2050? It looks like your imagination. The capital of hospitality and entertainment will be providing entertainment experiences defined by your imagination not by the physical structure or somebody else’s idea of hospitality and entertainment. Everything will be connected and connected to you: seamlessly, intelligently and constantly."

Professor Robert Rippee