Safe Bet Show: The ‘complex’ change in leadership in the US sports betting industry

Despite the rapid growth of online sports betting in northeastern states such as New Jersey and New York, Las Vegas and the state of Nevada remains lucrative and the way C-level executives lead must change, according to Executive Director of the International Gaming Institute, Dr. Bo Bernhard

Speaking to Martyn Lycka on the latest episode of the Safe Bet Show, Bernhard noted that for operators interested in entering the ‘Gambling Capital of the World’, they must first understand the dynamics of the city to have effective leadership, owing to its ‘complex’ nature. 

He remarked: “As we enter 2022, the most expensive buildings that humans have created on earth are the buildings on the Las Vegas boulevard. They’re massively complex buildings now, and leadership has changed significantly as well. 

“You could have been a CEO of one of those buildings by just being a gaming person, now you have to be somebody who is good at not just casinos but at nightclubs, retail shopping and high-end shopping, day clubs and swimming pools, hotels, food and beverage. 

“It requires a different and I would say more complex series of leadership traits to operate there, certainly compared to when I was growing up.”

Despite the growth that companies are experiencing and the state taxes that come alongside that growth, Bernhard detailed that the rate of problem gambling has increased since the repeal of PASPA.

The University of Nevada Las Vegas VP of Economic Development explained that a ‘Spider-Man Line’ approach should be taken to piece together all aspects of gambling, including problem gambling and conduct an investigation of these areas to form an appropriate response to the rising numbers of people suffering gambling-related harms. 

He added: “With the expansion of gambling opportunities comes different and new responsibilities to invoke a Spider-Man line because we’re in a situation now where, of course, we have unprecedented access to betting on sports,” he noted. 

“And when those things happen, it’s time to pay attention to the problem gambling issue. Keith White, my friend at the National Council, is fond of saying that at each point when we see these new legislations, we need to see new funding streams from the government, from the private sector, hopefully, collaborative in support of problem gambling, research, treatment and all forms of assistance for those who develop a gambling problem.”