11: The Success Rates of Proactivity – Dr. Brett Abarbanel

How the International Gaming Institute Researches the Effectiveness of GameSense, and Why Responsible Gaming Efforts Don’t Need Empty Promises

Dr. Brett Abarbanel is the Director of Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ International Gaming Institute. She’s also an Assistant Professor at the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at UNLV and a research affiliate at the Gambling Treatment and Research Center at the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney in Australia. She also serves as the co-Executive Editor of the UNLV Gaming Research and Review Journal, a publication whose gambling research articles in a variety of academic disciplines are of international significance.  

Dr. Abarbanel’s research covers myriad topics that fall underneath gambling, such as problem addictions, responsible gaming and best practices, the socioeconomic impacts for new and longtime gambling jurisdictions, and new gambling technology such as esports and videogames.

In 2016, she made the Global Gaming Business Magazine 40 Under 40 List, and in 2015, she was honored with the Emerging Leader Award from the Global Gaming Expo and The Innovation Group. She holds a PhD and an MS at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and earned her B.S. in Statistics at Brown University.


In this episode, the following topics are discussed:

  • Brett Abarbanel introduction
  • International Gaming Institute current projects (Nevada Problem Gambling Project, GameSense)
  • The history of GameSense
  • Examples of GameSense implementation
  • Early data from the IGI’s MGM/GameSense research
  • Secondary benefits of employee engagement
  • Employee focus group responses
  • What problem gambling looks like, or doesn’t
  • Percentages of those afflicted and the “harm umbrella”
  • Wild ideas to ramp up responsible gaming efforts
  • The likelihood people will read responsible gaming print materials
  • How companies can commit to responsible gaming by G2E in October
  • Final thoughts
  • The discursive shift in terminology: “responsible gaming” vs. “responsible gambling”


Follow episode guest Dr. Brett Abarbanel on Twitter.

About No Line Media

No Line Media features stories behind the bet — a look behind the scenes of gaming — as told by the people, the gamblers, the prop makers, the payment providers, the innovators, and those in the forefront of the industry.

Hear from sports betting legends and leaders shaping the future.
Hosted by Philip James Beere.

No Line is sponsored by Play+.

About Play+
Play+ is a payment platform, developed by Sightline, and used by leading brands nationwide, including Draft Kings, Fan Duel, Caesars, MGM, William Hill, Mohegan Sun, Boyd, Station Casinos, and many others. Play+ is leading the industry toward cashless and an integrated resort experience, guaranteeing a better user-experience that promotes speed, security, and ease — all from the convenience of one’s phone. Sightline is committed responsible gambling.

Listen to all episodes on iTunes