As states across the U.S. consider legalizing online gambling and sports wagering, legislators and regulators face many unanswered questions about the potential impacts.
UNLV’s International Gaming Institute (IGI) announced today a new study to answer these questions by assessing U.S. sports betting and internet gaming markets. The research team will scour markets nationwide to identify the most important questions that policymakers and stakeholders are asking when looking to understand online gambling and sports wagering.
“Effective public policy is always best served by an evidence-based approach to its creation,” said Alan Feldman, Distinguished Fellow in Responsible Gaming at IGI and chair of the International Center for Responsible Gaming. “In order to provide the necessary player protections as well as ensure a stable and well-regulated marketplace, policies should be based on sound research evidence rather than opinion or conjecture. It is our hope to contribute to the body of knowledge in this area so that the public can benefit from this activity and whatever harms may arise can be minimized to the greatest extent possible.”
The study is funded by GVC Foundation US, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting responsible gambling and sports integrity. The Foundation was created by the GVC Global Foundation and GVC Holdings PLC, one of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming groups.
“We’re at a crucial point in the development of U.S. gambling. COVID-19 has disrupted every area of life, including professional sports, mental health, and betting markets, and it’s more important than ever that we chart the course of this impactful industry,” said Martin Lycka, Trustee of GVC Foundation US and Director of Regulatory Affairs for GVC Holdings. “Addressing challenges currently facing the gambling industry will lead to better outcomes for all.”
Part of the IGI’s work includes analyzing the U.S. gaming market’s structure to provide up-to-date, evidence-based information to policymakers and a proposal to implement responsible regulatory best practices in the post-COVID world. An initial report will be issued by July 31, with a more detailed report expected in the fall.
“There is perhaps no U.S. industry more complicated, dynamic, and impactful than gambling. It’s crucial that we gain a better understanding of the questions that policymakers are asking so we can serve as effective resources of information and guide public policy discussions in a meaningful way,” said Bill Pascrell, III, Trustee of GVC Foundation US and Partner at Princeton Public Affairs Group.
For more than 25 years, IGI has provided research-based solutions, cutting-edge insights, and executive education to the global gaming industry. With expertise in areas like gaming and hospitality innovation, regulation and policy, esports, diversity, and responsible gambling, IGI has been called upon to share its research nationwide and with more than 50 jurisdictions across the globe.
“At IGI, we take pride in putting together 'dream teams' to conduct independent, scientific evaluations of the big questions of the day, including whether and how to pursue legalization of online wagering and sports wagering in the U.S.,” said Bo Bernhard, IGI executive director. “The good news is that research teams from all over the world have been advancing our understanding of the key issues at play here, and we look forward to providing a critical evaluation of these research findings to help policymakers make the best decisions possible."