Melissa Rorie Named UNLV International Center for Gaming Regulation Research Fellow

Dec. 15, 2016

Melissa Rorie, an assistant professor of criminal justice, was appointed as a UNLV International Center for Gaming Regulation research fellow.  

The ICGR—a partnership between the International Gaming Institute (IGI) and the William S. Boyd School of Law—awarded Rorie, assistant professor in UNLV’s Department of Criminal Justice at the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs, and Simon Planzer, a lecturer in law at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, with its first fellowship positions.

“I am convinced that the two research projects that have been selected will contribute significantly to the ICGR’s objective of promoting excellence in gaming regulation around the world,” said Andre Wilsenach, ICGR’s executive director.

Over the course of a period no greater than six months, the ICGR will provide up to $20,000 apiece to Rorie and Planzer in support of their research projects. Each fellow will produce a white paper with the goal of sparking further discussion and debate among regulators around the world on regulatory best practices. The ICGR anticipates that other deliverables (e.g., journal publications, conference presentations, and policy efforts) will also develop as a result of these fellowships.

From the time she joined UNLV in 2013, Melissa Rorie has focused her efforts on collecting data from environmental regulators and professionals. She has published several scholarly articles on environmental offending, corporate crime, and regulation.

Rorie will continue her data-collection work through her ICGR fellowship, this time centering her research more specifically on regulatory agencies and environments in Nevada and New Jersey. She will compare the regulatory processes in the two states to determine how regulators in these jurisdictions have navigated the legalization of gaming.

More specifically, Rorie’s study will examine how regulators balanced protecting the public while at the same time promoting a revenue-generating industry that would benefit their respective states. She will explore how economic recessions or booms, public pressures, market competition, and legislative changes have shifted this delicate balance and influenced regulatory strategies. Her research will subsequently inform and promote a more balanced, consistent, proportional, and efficient approach to enforcement in the future.

"Through an increased understanding of regulatory environments, I hope to provide practical and evidence-based suggestions for regulators as they work to balance the interests of industry with those of the state," Rorie said.

Rorie’s data will also be utilized in a larger, international comparative study that includes the Netherlands. Read more about the fellowship.