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May 13, 2013
By Deanna Hearn
The legacy of the late Bill Eadington, one of the University of Nevada, Reno's longest-serving and most prolific professors, will continue in May 27-31 when the 15th International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking convenes in Las Vegas.
Conference attendees will honor Eadington's work and world-renowned reputation as a preeminent academic voice in the commercial gaming industry at a special dinner on May 30 entitled, "Dr. William R. Eadington: A Celebration."
Eadington created the University's International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking in 1974, at a time when he was a pioneer in the research and study of the gaming industry, and organized all 14 previous conferences. It is recognized today as the premier research-oriented conference in the world, bringing international experts together every three years to examine and analyze gambling from many perspectives.
Because of his extensive work in the field, Eadington founded the University's Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming in 1989, the first academically oriented program of its kind designed to broaden the understanding of gambling and the commercial gaming industries.
This year's conference is sponsored by the University's Institute and UNLV's International Gaming Institute. It will be held at Caesars Palace. Topics will cover a broad variety of disciplines including economics, public policy, mathematics, social sciences, psychology and treatment. Six special interest tracks will include gaming management, economic and social studies, problem gambling research, public policy, gaming mathematics and hospitality.
As a professor in the Department of Economics in the College of Business, Eadington served as the Institute's director and Philip G. Satre Chair in Gaming Studies until his death this past February. He was also the founder and co-moderator of the Institute's annual Executive Development Program for Senior Level Casino Executives.
"Bill was absolutely the best scholar in the world in his field of the economics and regulation of gaming," College of Business Dean Greg Mosier said. "He paved the way for the academic study of gambling and the issues surrounding it, and he is held in high esteem because of his towering international reputation in the industry."
Eadington wrote extensively on issues relating to the economic and social impacts of commercial gaming. He authored and edited several books and amassed an exceptionally large collection of published works during his 44 years at the University.
He was inducted into the American Gaming Association's Hall of Fame in November 2011, the highest honor accorded by the gaming industry, and received the Goldman Lifetime Award for Advocacy from The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) for his lifetime of work addressing problem gambling. He served on the NCPG board of directors for 30 years, including as president in 2008.
In addition to his academic pursuits, Eadington served as a consultant and advisor for governments and private sector organizations throughout the world on issues related to gaming laws, casino operations, regulation, legalization and public policy.