The International Gaming Institute (IGI) at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) has received a generous donation of $200,000 from ESPN in preparation for the launch of the ESPN BET platform. The donation will be used to fund research on safer gambling practices.
With the new funding, the IGI will be able to develop a groundbreaking program focused on studying the intersection of sports betting and the media, as well as providing education and counseling on responsible gambling. The program will have five main focal points, including enhancing responsible gambling practices, developing insights based on evidence from evaluating companies’ policies, researching responsible marketing practices, creating responsible gambling program parameters, and educating industry leaders about best practices.
Brett Abarbanel, the executive director of IGI, expressed gratitude to ESPN for their support, emphasizing the need for extensive research in light of the rapid growth of the sports betting sector. She highlighted the increasing presence of betting and gambling content in US media and the growing calls for extended research and thought leadership in this area.
In an interview with Sports Handle, Abarbanel explained that the partnership with ESPN aims to investigate the best practices for presenting gambling in media and sports media. She described the partnership as an “incredible opportunity” to leverage the expertise of an established organization and ensure that IGI’s research is grounded in reality.
In conjunction with the donation to IGI, ESPN is set to launch its ESPN BET platform, a highly anticipated joint venture with PENN Entertainment and the Walt Disney Corporation-owned media channel. The platform represents Disney’s entry into the world of sports betting and is expected to attract a large audience, given ESPN’s status as one of the most followed brands on TikTok.
In conclusion, the generous donation from ESPN will enable the IGI at UNLV to advance research in the field of safer gambling and contribute valuable insights to the industry.