Bo Bernhard

Professor, Sociology and Hospitality
Executive Director, 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 is studying 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.

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

CDC Gaming Reports
July 15, 2020
Swedish casino operator Casino Cosmopol has been praised for its work having remained operational longer than most casinos during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic with its ‘Corona Chat’ being hailed a ‘game changer.’
July 10, 2020
Nevada lawmakers gathered in Carson City Wednesday to begin a state legislature special session. As government officials look to address a $1.2 billion budget shortfall, they heard from proponents of problem gaming services who are critical of a proposed cut in the program’s funding.
July 8, 2020
No city may be more vulnerable to the coronavirus than Las Vegas. Every year it was inviting 42 million people in for dinner. The city’s economy is dependent on those visitors, and Cal looks at the history of Las Vegas for a clue as to how the city might reinvent itself after the virus subsides. Entrepreneur Tom Breitling, author of the book Double or Nothing, and some of his friends explain why they’re betting on a big Vegas comeback. This podcast offers lessons in reinvention and hints at why Las Vegas may be the place to be in 2022.
July 2, 2020
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), from its International Gaming Institute, announced a major new study Tuesday that will assess the U.S. sports betting and online gambling markets to try to respond to several questions about the possible impacts, both negative and positive, of its legalization throughout the country.

Articles Featuring Bo Bernhard

A photo of the area surrounding UNLV with the Las Vegas Strip in the background
ResearchJuly 13, 2020
UNLV researchers share lessons learned from Casino Cosmopol CEO Per Jaldung.
UNLV International Gaming Institute Logo
Business and CommunityJune 30, 2020
“The Big Questions: Online Gambling and Sports Wagering” will help identify a responsible path forward for policymakers and regulators nationwide.
Caesars Palace sportsbook
Campus NewsFebruary 12, 2019
From sports to themed casinos, UNLV researchers push the boundaries of hospitality scholarship.
International Gaming Institute sign
ResearchJuly 23, 2018
IGI reports offered analysis for officials, business leaders on gaming regulation and ways to balance growing tourism market while minimizing social costs.