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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gaming & gambling

Brett Abarbanel In The News
August 2, 2020
What are customers prioritizing as the Covid-19 pandemic drags on? With casinos now mostly reopen in the U.S., we can observe and get anecdotal stories, but a real study provides better data to work off of. Thankfully, Brett Abarbanel, Director of Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) international gaming institute has conducted one with the help of KPMG, and she joined our Becky Liggero Fontana for the latest episode of The Long Con.
CDC Gaming Reports, Inc.
July 16, 2020
Casinos across the United States are adopting a “show, don’t tell” approach as they work to convince the public they’re safe places to visit and work. From outfitting cleaning crews in bright uniforms and requiring face masks to enforcing social-distancing guidelines, casinos are taking a variety of steps to bounce back from their first-ever nationwide shutdown.
Las Vegas Review Journal
April 20, 2020
The spread of the novel coronavirus has devastated the gaming industry, prompting the shutdown of arenas, casinos and resorts across the country.
September 5, 2019
In June this year the eSports Integrity Coalition called the industry to a match-fixing summit, after it revealed it had received an "alarming" 74 suspcious betting alerts in 2018.

Articles Featuring Brett Abarbanel

Campus NewsMay 20, 2020
A collection of news stories highlighting the staff and students of UNLV who exemplify what it means to be a Rebel, even from home.
unlv professor arya udry looks at a meteorite that she's holding up to the light
ResearchDecember 26, 2019
A collection of stories featuring interesting discoveries driven by UNLV that have made news in 2019.
A video game controller and keyboard used in an esports game.
ResearchMay 8, 2019
UNLV gaming researcher explores the potential impacts of cheating in a burgeoning industry.
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.