Brett Abarbanel

Director of Research, International Gaming Institute
Assistant Professor, William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration
Affiliate Researcher, University of California, Los Angeles Gambling Studies Program
Expertise: Esports & Gambling, Gaming, Gaming Technologies, Tourism, Responsible Gambling


Brett Abarbanel is director of research at the International Gaming Institute, with an affiliate position at the University of California, Los Angeles’s Gambling Studies Program. She has expertise in global gambling and social science applications, and her research covers Internet gambling policy and behavior, esports and gambling, operations and technology, and responsible gambling and community relations.

Abarbanel serves as co-executive editor of the UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal, which publishes internationally relevant gambling research articles representing a broad span of academic disciplines. She has been interviewed as a gambling expert for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Discovery Channel and served as a consultant for multiple industry and government entities around the world.

In 2015, she was honored by the Global Gaming Expo and The Innovation Group with their Emerging Leader Award, and was named to the 2016 Global Gaming Business 40 Under 40 list.


  • Sc.B., Statistics, Brown University
  • A.B., Architectural Studies, Brown University
  • M.S., Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Ph.D., Hospitality Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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Brett Abarbanel In The News

December 16, 2021
After the announcement of the establishment of a new eSports Technical Advisory Committee in Nevada, Yogonet spoke with one of its newly appointed members, Dr. Brett Abarbanel, Director of Research for the UNLV, International Gaming Institute, who provided an accurate description of the current panorama of eSports gambling and the reasons for the creation of this new committee.
November 9, 2021
The panel, consisting of seven industry professionals, has been tasked to provide the best practices in the field to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and provide guidance to ensure the integrity of esports wagering.
Esports Insider
November 8, 2021
The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has appointed several members to the Esports Technical Advisory Committee, a panel of individuals intended to better facilitate betting on esports in the state.
Asia Gaming Brief
November 1, 2021
In this face-to-face talk, Dr. Abarbanel gives her thoughts on the cross-over between video games, gamification, and gambling games, and also gives her thoughts on how skill-based gaming machines are likely to evolve in the future.

Articles Featuring Brett Abarbanel

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Campus News | November 4, 2021

A collection of news stories featuring stargazing and change at UNLV.

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Campus News | October 7, 2021

A collection of news stories featuring collaboration and reflection at UNLV.

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Campus News | April 14, 2021

A collection of news stories highlighting health, recovery, and celebration at UNLV.

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Campus News | February 3, 2021

A collection of news stories from the new year highlighting the experts and events at UNLV.