Governor Sandoval Announces MOU between UNLV and University Of Sydney

Participates in Panel Discussion at US Studies Centre


Mari N. St. Martin
Communications Director
(775) 684-5670
SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES - August 01, 2016

During his first day in Sydney, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval joined with Dr. Bo Bernhard, Executive Director of the International Gaming Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Alex Blaszczynski of the University of Sydney to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize a research collaboration between the University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute and the University of Sydney, Gambling Treatment Clinic & Research Unit.

As a result of conversations that took place recently at the 16th International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking, hosted this year by the International Gaming Institute, a need to evaluate regulatory requirements in minimizing the risks posed by gambling to maintain sports integrity was identified.

“As our state takes leadership of the emerging interactive gaming industry, it is important that this new segment of gaming be as accountable and regulated as the traditional gaming industry is in Nevada,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “In order to maintain the integrity of this sport, those who are participating, both from a user and provider standpoint, must be held to the same high-standard that we enforce on our casino floors. I can think of no better research entity to identify loopholes in the interactive gaming world as well as the psychological tendencies of those who seek to game the system than the International Gaming Institute at UNLV. Today’s partnership with the University of Sydney will help to ensure that those who seek to do harm to the interactive gaming industry are better prevented and that those who might be experiencing an addiction to this entertainment are better identified and assisted.”

During this event at the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Governor Sandoval gave a speech on the new Nevada and his efforts to diversify the State’s economy. Following his speech, the Governor and Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Director Steve Hill participated in a panel discussion, along with Sandy Burgoyne, Director of the Future Cities Collaborative, to talk about challenges faced when diversifying Nevada’s economy and how the vision for the new Nevada was born and cultivated.

On Monday, Governor Sandoval also met with the Premier of New South Wales, Mike Baird, and state officials in addition to a meeting with US Consul General Hugo Llorens. The Governor also met with IGT CEO Walter Bugno and General Counsel for Ainsworth Gaming.

MOU Background

Gambling, money laundering and manipulating matches to gain unfair competitive advantages represent significant threats to the integrity of sports. Internationally, the majority of sports betting activities take place on unregulated and/or illegal gambling channels. The capacity for gaming regulators to monitor and detect situations where the integrity of a sport is compromised is limited. Effective regulation requires that collaboration and cooperation of multiple partners including betting operators, data analysts, regulators and enforcement agencies. Opportunities exist to undertake research to gain an understanding of the factors contributing to behaviors that compromise the integrity of sports and to develop guidelines and principles designed to minimize such behaviors.

This partnership between the prestigious International Gaming Institute and the University of Sydney will offer both institutions the opportunity to lead in the field of policies and directions of research related to sports betting, integrity of sports, gambling regulation, and the psychology of gambling behaviors.

During the 2015 Nevada Legislative Session, Governor Sandoval signed into law Assembly Bill 114 which created the framework to fully legalize interactive gaming in Nevada which opens the door to allow Nevada licensees or those who would become licensed in this industry to engage in online gaming.

While Governor Sandoval was in his meetings, Nevada’s mining representatives participated in a discussion on sustainability issues and the impact they have on the mining industry at the University of New South Wales’ School of Mining Engineering. During this time, the higher education representatives were at the Newcastle Institute of Energy & Resources to participate in a discussion around Balanced Land Use and a roundtable on water technologies.

The day ended with a networking reception hosting by Nevada’s Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.


Recap from Melbourne, Victoria - July 27 – July 29

Governor Brian Sandoval and members of the Nevada Delegation met with Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, and other State of Victoria officials to identify specific areas of mutual interest as well as opportunities for collaboration which included:

  • The mining industry: innovation and the use of autonomous systems, water and environmental concerns
  • Water technology and commercialization
  • Potential academic research partnerships 
  • Healthcare improvements

“The State of Nevada is known worldwide as the leader in tourism and gaming, and that is a tremendous platform to have as we highlight the innovative industries that are shaping the new Nevada,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “Redefining existing industries and supporting the creation of emerging industries is not easy, and it certainly does not happen overnight. Incredible vision, perseverance, and dedication are what drive ideas forward, and I am energized to know that the work we are doing in Nevada has use across the world, especially in Australia. I look forward to the partnerships that we are cementing on this trade mission.”

In addition to his meeting with the Premier, Governor Sandoval also met with US Consul General Frankia A. Reed to introduce and promote Nevada and to receive a briefing on the economic and political issues facing Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and Northern Territory.

The mining and higher education representatives spent time traveling to RMIT University where potential collaboration in autonomous systems for mining was discussed. The delegation also traveled to Deakin University to meet with the Vice Chancellor to identify areas for research collaboration and student/faculty exchanges.

The focus of Governor Sandoval’s last day in Melbourne was technology, and along with the representatives from Nevada’s higher education and mining industry, he spent a portion of his day at Monash University, Australia’s largest university with a dedicated research footprint.

While at Monash University, the Nevada Delegation toured Monash CAVE2, an immersive environment similar to the Desert Research Institute’s (DRI) CAVE which can visualize data sets based on a wide variety of scenarios. For example, one use of DRI’s CAVE is to simulate the path of a forest fire to help plan for controlled burns and extinguishing plans.


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