EXPERIENCE A 5th generation Nevadan, Dr. Bo Bernhard calls Las Vegas home, but he works frequently in jurisdictions as diverse as South Africa, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, Macao, Mexico, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil, Russia, Portugal, Albania, Austria, Greece, England, Serbia, and Canada – as well as dozens of states in the U.S. Dr. Bernhard began his research career at Harvard University, where as an undergraduate he completed a double major (sociology and psychology) magna cum laude thesis on the impacts of the gaming industry in Nevada – while captaining the baseball team and earning an MVP award on the nationally-ranked soccer team. The foundations of Bo’s undergraduate analysis have since been extended worldwide, and by the age of 30, Dr. Bernhard had lectured on his pioneering research on six continents.
After earning his Ph.D. in 2002, Dr. Bernhard was named the inaugural Research Director at the UNLV International Gaming Institute, and he was awarded a dual professorship in hotel management and sociology. In 2013, he was named Executive Director at the IGI, where he now oversees all research and academic functions. Since 2013, he has grown the organization from two employees to 38, overseeing five “centers of excellence” in gaming hospitality-tourism. Representing the university in these roles, Dr. Bernhard has delivered over 300 global keynote addresses in clinical, regulatory, government, and policy settings. He has published in the top journals in both the business sciences (including Cornell Quarterly) and the social sciences (including a guest edited special volume of American Behavioral Scientist), and currently serves as executive editor for a leading peer-reviewed academic journal, Gaming Research and Review.
Dr. Bernhard’s projects have been prominently featured in local and national media outlets (including The New York Times, The Discovery Channel, The Australian Broadcasting Channel, The History Channel, CNN, PBS, NPR, and all three major US networks). Overall, he has directed over US$12 million in funded projects, on subjects ranging from gaming policy to new technologies to the socio-economic impacts of casino industries to diversity in hiring to internet and mobile wagering. These efforts have earned him several awards: in 2007, his focus on globalization earned him the World Affairs Council’s International Educator of the Year award; in 2008, he was given the UNLV Hotel College’s top research award, the Boyd Award for Research; in 2009, he was given the Hotel College’s top teaching award and the university-wide Spanos Teaching Award; in 2010, he was named a Lincy Fellow at Brookings Mountain West; and in 2013 he was given the university-wide Barrick Scholar Award and the hotel college's Denken Career Award for research. In 2016, he was awarded the university’s top research distinction, the Harry Reid Silver State Research Award, making him the only individual in the history of UNLV to win the university’s top research and teaching awards. Since 2016, Dr. Bernhard has held the Philip G. Satre Chair, the most prestigious chair in the gaming field, which makes him the only faculty member in Nevada to hold a chair at both of the state’s major research universities. Most recently, ESPN profiled Dr. Bernhard for his rare research-based academic impact in bringing the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, in a manner that effectively countered long-harbored doubts on sports gambling and professional sports (see this link).