Bo Bernhard

Vice President of Economic Development
Professor, Sociology and Hospitality
Special Advisor, International Gaming Institute
Expertise: Gaming, Tourism, Problem Gambling, Sports Wagering


Bo Bernhard's research and teaching work focuses on the impacts of gaming and tourism industries on communities around the world. His grant-funded studies have supported more than a dozen student researchers who share his interest in examining the sociological laboratory of Las Vegas. He is currently exploring the long-term health of problem gamblers and Nevada’s regulated sports betting industry within the context of professional sports in Las Vegas. In addition, he has studied the health contours of multiethnic and multiracial individuals in the United States.

He began his research career at Harvard University, with an undergraduate thesis on the community impacts of the gaming and tourism industries in Nevada. He then came to UNLV to earn his Ph.D. and soon extended his analysis to global perspectives.

In 2010, he was named executive editor of the UNLV Gaming Research Journal and a Lincy Fellow at UNLV’s Brookings Mountain West. Bernhard spent more than a decade as executive director of UNLV's International Gaming Institute (IGI) before transitioning in 2023 to serve full-time as UNLV vice president of economic development. He maintains his affiliation with IGI as special advisor.

His work on gambling, society, and Las Vegas has been prominently featured on CNN, The Discovery Channel, the BBC, and The History Channel.


  • Ph.D., University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • B.A., Sociology, Harvard University
  • B.S., Psychology, Harvard University

Bo Bernhard In The News

Associated Press
A meeting scheduled in the 1980s between the NFL and sportsbook directors sparked hope in Las Vegas that their relationship would soon take a much more positive turn after decades during which the league kept the city at arm’s length.
The Nevada Independent
Sports, tourism and entertainment businesses worldwide combined for $13.7 trillion in 2022; new companies seek a piece of the action.
That convergence adds up to a staggering $13.7 trillion — equivalent to 14% of the global economy
‘CES is just a few days. This is for years,’ one tech CEO says as startups flock to the desert

Articles Featuring Bo Bernhard

a female student sits in the grass by a tree reading a book
Campus News | September 1, 2022

A roundup of prominent news stories highlighting university pride, research, and community collaboration.

U.N.L.V. Football players entering Allegiant Stadium
Campus News | May 2, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and student changemakers at UNLV.