Robert Rippee

Director, Hospitality and Esports Laboratory
UNLV International Gaming Institute
Expertise: Hospitality Innovation, Esports, Business Development


Robert Rippee is a nationally recognized authority on the hospitality industry, particularly technology innovation, esports, and business and product development. He is often called upon by local and national media to provide context to emerging trends in hospitality, esports, robotics, artificial intelligence, and other technology applications in the service industry. 

Rippee directs the Hospitality and Esports Lab within UNLV's International Gaming Institute and is former senior vice president of marketing for Las Vegas Sands Corporation. The lab is project-oriented and guides students from an array of disciplines through the innovation process. The lab’s environment is one of the unique learning environments at UNLV, combining the development of disruptive innovation with guidance from subject matter experts in esports, robotics, artificial intelligence, experience design, virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchain, and more. 

Rippee is active as a board advisor, mentor, and consultant to several early stage and mature technology startup companies. He is also a veteran, having served as a pilot in the United States Navy. 


  • M.B.A., Operations Management, University of Georgia
  • B.S., Finance, The University of Wyoming

Robert Rippee In The News

Las Vegas Review Journal
February 22, 2021
Esports boomed online over the past year. It’s unclear whether that success continues in a post-pandemic world, but experts see renewed possibility for Las Vegas to take esports to the next level.
February 5, 2021
Back when we had in-person conferences, one of the common comments was regarding the lack of female presenters and attendees. Entain is hoping to change that, having announced their partnership with the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), Women’s Innovation Igniter.
February 4, 2021
Entain plc and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) have launched the Black Fire Women’s Innovation Igniter, an academic, technology, innovation and mentoring program designed to provide UNLV undergraduate and graduate women with a pathway toward careers in the sports betting, gaming, and technology industries.
The Press-Enterprise
February 3, 2021
Before stepping foot in a casino in 2021, there are cameras ready to take temperatures and, in some cases, identify guests. It’s the kind of technology that even in 2019 would have seemed foreign to casino visitors but has now become the new normal because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Articles Featuring Robert Rippee

medical worker in full protective suit making "LV" sign with hands
Business and Community | December 31, 2020
As the pandemic tightened its grip on Nevada, the nation, and the world, UNLV responded in ways big and small. Members of the media also turned to UNLV's faculty experts for answers.
A portrait of UNLV's new president Keith Whitfield on campus.
Campus News | August 10, 2020
As summer heats up, so do the accomplishments on UNLV’s campus.
Campus News | May 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.
Esports arena at Luxor
Business and Community | May 5, 2020
With live sports temporarily on hold, more Americans than ever have turned to esports to fill the void. UNLV expert Robert Rippee on the phenomenon and what’s next.