UNLV’s new gaming director prepares to help shape the future of the gambling industry worldwide.
The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) is unlike any other college on the planet. Its location amidst the epicenter of gambling in the western hemisphere presents a unique opportunity to proffer education in some very distinct genres; things like hospitality, gambling math, and the legal aspect of gaming regulations.
No one knows this better then Joe Bertolone, the new Director of the International Center for Gaming Regulation (ICGR) at UNLV. It’s not just his current role, but years’ worth of progressive occupational education that’s fine tuned his understanding of the school’s felicitous diversity. Taking the helm, his primary focus is ensuring regulatory framework can keep up with the pace of ever-evolving technology.
Shaping the Future of the Global Gambling Industry
The gambling industry is moving forward at a more rapid pace than ever before. The centrifugal force within its evolution is technology. There’s no denying that technology is shifting and transforming at a rate past generations never experienced. Any regulated industry that relies on technology is going to require a legal framework that can keep up with the pace.
That’s where the ICGR comes in. The gaming center focuses on educating students in the field of gaming, and so much more. It’s a research facility that deals with regulatory needs, and not just in Nevada. Its representatives travel all over the world to discuss, debate and resolve matters of legislation, regulation and compliance. The UNLV center has worked closely with many different jurisdictions, from Austria, Canada and Japan, to countries in South Africa and South America.
Bertolone agrees that technology is the hottest topic in the industry to date. “I don’t talk to anyone in the industry, whether it’s operators or manufacturers or regulators, who doesn’t think about how technology can make them more efficient and impact what they do,” explains Bertolone. “How will technology continue to impact them? That’s what people are thinking about.”
For the gaming public, the technology is widely appreciated. Just look how mainstream online gambling has become in the last two decades. The largest concern for players, then and now, has been the trust factor. Are the games fair, and how can operators prove it?
To this end, Bertolone stresses the need to ensure that regulatory demands keep pace with technology, particularly in the assurance that social responsibility remains at the forefront of the industry. “People are very concerned about fairness, from a regulatory perspective,” he says.
“That’s a tough challenge,” continues Bertolone. “Every jurisdiction has different laws. Every jurisdiction has different concerns and needs as companies and regulators come together to operate in this industry. Every business wants certainty. When I’m in Europe, I hear that, and I hear it when I travel domestically. What we do here is to try to help that process.”
He goes on to state that the consumers concern over fairness is not just reasonable, but necessary and proper, and that regulators in every jurisdiction must do the same. “It’s the right thing to think about when you expand any industry,” assisting in the development of “better products and regulations,” Bertolone explains; better for the entire ecosystem of gambling.
Bertolone’s leadership within ICGR assures a positive future for the gaming industry worldwide. He comes in with an impressive resume that began with his position as Chief of Administration for the Nevada Gaming Control Board in 2002. He moved into the private sector in 2007, working for a number of established companies, as well as running his own gaming consultancy business. Prior to taking on his new role in January 2020, Bertolone served as the president of Ainsworth Gaming Technology’s North American division. It’s fair to say he genuinely knows the industry inside and out, both from a business and regulatory perspective.