ormer Nevada Gaming Control Board chairwoman Becky Harris has joined the UNLV International Center for Gaming Regulation (ICGR) as an academic fellow with an emphasis in the study of sports betting.
The fellowship will support the ICGR’s expanding role in the area of sports betting following a recent Supreme Court ruling that repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and paved the way for the legalization of sports wagering across all 50 states.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my partnership with UNLV’s International Center for Gaming Regulation,” said Harris, whose appointment began Jan. 30. “Since the repeal of PASPA last May, more states are looking at the viability of establishing and operating legalized and regulated sports betting in their jurisdictions. This role will allow me to showcase impactful research and best practices in gaming regulation to maximize the benefits and minimize the costs of sports betting across all 50 states and internationally.”
As an academic fellow in sports betting, Harris will collaborate with stakeholders on behalf of ICGR to finalize the formation, launch, and first convening of the U.S. Sports Betting Forum—an outlet designed to convene stakeholders to discuss policy and regulatory issues relating to legal sports wagering.
“This position and Harris’ appointment are critical to the mission of UNLV’s International Center for Gaming Regulation,” says Jennifer Roberts, ICGR’s associate director, “With the continued expansion of legalized sports betting, the need for neutral resources and research in gaming regulation has become critical—and Ms. Harris’ research, background, and expertise will help the ICGR to provide just that.”
During her tenure with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Harris helped guide the Nevada gaming industry through controversial issues such as the #MeToo movement and cannabis regulation as it relates to casinos.
Prior to becoming the first female chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Harris received her LL.M. in Gaming Law and Regulation from the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law in 2016. Continuing her relationship with UNLV’s International Gaming Institute and ICGR, Harris was one of the first students to complete the institute’s gaming innovation class.
In her career, Harris has served on the Senate Finance, Judiciary, Education, and Commerce, Labor & Energy Committees in the Nevada Legislature. She also chaired the Responsible Gaming Committee of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCGLS).