The ICGR is a partnership between University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ International Gaming Institute and The Boyd School of Law. It is the only globally recognized academic institute dedicated to the education and study of global gaming regulation. On January 1st, 2020 the ICGR welcomed its new Executive Director, Joe Bertolone. As a former industry regulator at the Nevada Gaming Control Board, gaming operator at William Hill US and former President and CEO for slot machine and table game companies, Bertolone offers a look at the ICGR’s current state and presents insights for The Center’s coming fiscal year.
The Center’s primary objectives are to drive regulatory education and research, while offering an independent, neutral and safe harbor platform to convene industry leaders for strategic thought. As my first month as the Executive Director comes to a close, I’m continually reminded of my good fortune and how honored I am to have a role in continuing to build The Center’s success. The dedicated staff that has built and supported ICGR has done an amazing job. Being a data and numbers guy, whenever I take on a new role, I’ve made it habit to account for what’s in place. To that end, my “by the numbers exercise” speaks to what the ICGR has accomplished and helps us to develop metrics for the future. The following highlights are extremely positive and well worth noting for an organization that has only been in existence for three years:
When you take a even closer look at the data, another thing that stands out to me is that our students have been gaming and non-gaming regulators, operators and manufacturers, state and federal legislators, accountants, lawyers, news organizations, trade group representatives, federal and state law enforcement, sport league representatives and UNLV students. This is truly broad spectrum of individuals that have participated in our classes.
ICGR classes are offered in a thoughtful and thorough format. Having been a former instructor and student at the ICGR, I can personally vouch for the tremendous value in real time discussions between attendees with diverse disciplines and backgrounds. The various perspectives are invaluable in gaining an understanding of sometimes complex gaming and regulatory matters. The academic setting with law school professors, industry experts and practitioners make for a truly unique educational experience, materially differentiating the ICGR from other seminars, forums or conference formats. Moreover, as the classes are typically designed in 1-5 day agendas, the opportunity to exchange ideas and questions amongst attendees and instructors is a key component to The Center’s educational success. Simply put, learning goes well beyond the classroom through the relationships established while at the ICGR.
Our location is invaluable. We have access to and regularly engage the most seasoned regulatory, academic and gaming industry experts from around the world. To be clear, we don’t just offer a local perspective, rather, we leverage the Universities’ reach and proximity to the very industry we regulate and study. This translates directly to the content provided which is rooted in a global perspective. The concentration of corporate headquarters for the world’s largest global gaming operating and manufacturing companies within a 10 mile radius of UNLV’s campus is unmatched anywhere in the world. This confluence and our ability to take advantage of the people and resources available is truly remarkable.
In the coming year, in addition to our full slate of existing classes, we will continue to evolve our offerings with revised and new curriculum. Courses coming later this fiscal year will include certification programs for regulatory and compliance staff members. We’ll continue to offer what has become one of the most comprehensive curriculum on sports wagering as it rolls across the U.S. Issue such as ownership, partnerships, fee structures, suitability and licensing matters are thoughtfully addressed. We also design customized training courses for gaming jurisdictions all over the world, bringing the UNLV and ICGR brands global recognition. Finally, we will sponsor and conduct more meaningful and relevant research that is backed by the rigors of the University’s academic environment.
Universities do certain things really well - we educate, convene and research. I look forward to carrying on the hard work and executing our objectives as we continue to build the ICGR.