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

The Nevada Independent
UNLV Vice President of Economic Development Bo Bernhard recalled how two years ago, the university’s new president wanted to see cutting-edge high-tech companies populate the school’s recently opened Harry Reid Research & Technology Park.
CDC Gaming Reports Wednesday announced a 10-year lease agreement for its headquarters and artificial intelligence development center. The Las Vegas-based fintech developer will locate its new facilities at the Black Fire Innovation Campus at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Harry Reid Research and Technology Park.
Las Vegas Review Journal
Business owner Myles Bunch grew up in Las Vegas’ Historic Westside, and his family used to operate the now-closed restaurant and lounge Chez Place.
K.N.P.R. News
One of the toughest projects any city can undertake is lifting up a blighted area.

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.

U.N.L.V. signage with Fall leaves in the background
Business and Community | December 28, 2021

A yearlong collection of headlines featuring innovative ideas, discoveries, and partnerships to move Southern Nevada forward.

Professor, standing next to humanoid robot, leading a tour of office space
Business and Community | October 1, 2021

UNLV Incubator at Hughes Center will help students bridge the gap between a big idea and a marketable business.