Brett Abarbanel, Ph.D.

Dr. Brett Abarbanel is Executive Director the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, International Gaming Institute, and Associate Professor in UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. She has a research affiliate appointment at the University of Sydney School of Psychology’s Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic.

Dr. Abarbanel’s research explores the intersection of of gambling with esports, video games and traditional sports. She also has extensive experience in gaming operations and technology, responsible gambling and community relations, and gaming history. Dr. Abarbanel is the Executive Editor of the UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal, and editorial board member at International Gambling Studies and Harvard’s Division on Addiction’s Brief Addiction Science Information Source. and recently completed a term on the International Advisory Panel for Singapore’s National Council on Problem Gambling. She is a founding director of the Nevada Esports Alliance, which promotes development of best practices at the intersection of the esports and regulated gambling industries. In 2021, she was among seven industry expert professionals named to the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s first-ever Esports Technical Advisory Committee, which is responsible for making recommendations to the board on guidelines for maintaining integrity in esports when betting is involved.

Dr. Abarbanel was honored by the The Innovation Group with their 2015 Emerging Leader Award, and was named to the 2016 Global Gaming Business 40 Under 40 list. She completed her B.S. in Statistics and B.A. in Architectural Studies at Brown University, where she received the Hartshorn Hypatia Award for excellence in mathematics. She completed her M.S. and Ph.D. at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she received the Best Thesis and Best Dissertation awards for her work on sports book patronage and online gambling user experiences, respectively.