he University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) International Gaming Institute announced Tuesday a major new study to assess the US sports betting and online gaming markets in order to address many unanswered questions about the potential impacts, both positive and negative, of legalizing them across the United States.
The goals of the study are to identify the most important questions that policymakers and stakeholders are asking when looking to understand online gambling and sports wagering; provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based, scientific information to inform conversations; and investigate the U.S. gambling market's structure to propose a responsible, sustainable way forward through implementing regulatory best practices in the post-COVID world.
The study is being funded by GVC Foundation US, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting responsible gambling and sports integrity. An initial report will be issued by July 31, with a more detailed report published in the fall.
“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. Addressing challenges currently facing the gambling industry will lead to better outcomes for all,” said Martin Lycka, Trustee of GVC Foundation US and Director of Regulatory Affairs for GVC Holdings.
“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 PPAG.
"At the UNLV International Gaming Institute, we take pride in putting together 'dream teams' to conduct independent, scientific evaluations of the big questions of the day. Certainly, whether and how to pursue legalization of online wagering and sports wagering is one of those big questions in the U.S.,” stated Bo Jason Bernhard, Executive Director of UNLV-IGI. “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."
“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 Chairman 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 soundly 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.”