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The Gaming Hall of Fame

2011 Inductee

William R. Eadington

Bill Eadington

Industry Leader


William R. Eadington (1946-2013) pioneered the academic study of gambling and was a noted consultant and advisor to gaming operators, regulatory bodies, and governments.

Eadington was the first holder of the Philip J. Satre chair in Gaming Studies, a professor of economics, and founding director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). He was perhaps the single most influential person in establishing the academic study of the gaming industry, both in Nevada and worldwide.

Eadington was an internationally recognized authority on the legalization and regulation of commercial gambling, and the economic and social impacts of gaming.  In addition to teaching and conducting research and analysis at the University of Nevada, Reno, he served as a consultant and adviser to state and provincial governments, Native American tribes, and private sector organizations throughout the world.  His gaming-related work involved a wide variety of topics, including the economic feasibility of proposed gaming facilities, identification and measurement of economic and social impacts, formation of gaming legislation and regulations, cost/benefit analysis of the legalization of commercial gaming, economic forecasting, economic valuation, probability analysis of new games and devices, establishment of problem gambling programs, and development of training programs for professional organizations.

Dr. Eadington organized the First through Fourteenth International Conferences on Gambling and Risk Taking, dating back to 1974, and developed the Executive Development Program for Senior Casino Management through the University of Nevada, Reno, a program which has been offered annually since 1991. He is on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Problem Gambling and was its president from 2008 through 2009.  He also served on the boards of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling and the Institute for Research on Gambling Disorders, and is Chairman of the Governor’s Advisory Board on Problem Gambling for the State of Nevada. 

Dr. Eadington  edited or co-edited a number of books, including Integrated Resort Casinos: Implications for Economic Growth and Social Impacts (2009); Optimal Play: Mathematical Studies of Games and Gambling (2007); The Downside (2003); Finding the Edge (2000); The Business Of Gaming (1999); Gambling: Public Policies and the Social Sciences (1997); Gambling and Public Policy: International Perspectives (1991); Gambling and Commercial Gaming (1992); Gambling Behavior and Problem Gambling (1993); Gambling and Society (1976); Indian Gaming and the Law (1990); and Tourism Alternatives (1992).  He was a primary contributor to the European Commission report, Study of Gambling Services in the Internal Market of the European Union (2006). 

During his tenure at the University of Nevada, he served as an Academic Visitor to the London School of Economics, a Visiting Professor at the Center for Addiction Studies at Harvard Medical School, a Visiting Lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Visiting Professor to the Centre for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Salford in the United Kingdom.  He was a founding member of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, and a former Associate Editor of the Annals of Tourism Research.  He was a member of the editorial board for the Gaming Law Review & Economics, Journal of Gambling Studies, and Annals of Tourism Research.


Interview: Reflections on His Career

In this November 2, 2011 interview following his induction into the Gaming Hall of Fame, Professor Eadington reflects on his career in gaming studies, starting with his youth in Orange County, California, continuing through his decision to pursue a career in economics and his subsequent emphasis on gambling and casinos, and finishing with his thoughts on the future of gaming studies. Among the topics Dr. Eadington discusses are the foundation and development of the International Conference on Gambling and Risk-Taking, the expansion of gambling in the past decades, and the changes he has seen in the study of gambling over his 40-year career.

Listen to the audio file (mp3)

Insights from Studying Gambling during its Era of Change

Lecture delived in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, October 2012. This was his final appearance before an academic/industry audience, and a summing-up of his career.

Remarks from U.S. Senator Dean Heller: Remembering Professor Eadington

[Congressional Record Volume 159, Number 24 (Thursday, February 14, 2013)] [Senate] [Pages S766-S767]

Mr. President, today I wish to honor the life of a world renowned gaming authority and professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, UNR, Bill Eadington, whose passing on February 11, 2013, has brought great sadness to the Silver State. After 18 months, Mr. Eadington lost a courageous battle with cancer. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.

Bill Eadington joined the faculty at UNR as an economist in 1969. He is the author of several books on the social and economic impacts of gambling and was a world-renowned authority on gaming issues. Mr. Eadington founded the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at UNR and served as its director since 1989. Outside of the classroom, he has served as a resource for governments and private sector organizations worldwide ongaming laws, casino operations, regulation, and public policy. In 2011, Bill Eadington was given the honor of being inducted into the American Gaming Association Hall of Fame and was honored with a Special Achievement Award for Gaming Education. Mr. Eadington was a board member on the National Council on Problem Gambling for 30 years, and in 2012 the board presented him with the Goldman Lifetime Award for Advocacy.

Gaming is a uniquely important industry in Nevada, and Mr. Eadington's academic contributions and expertise in this field have been invaluable to the State of Nevada and to UNR. Coupled with the tourism industry, it is our economic backbone, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs. I have been proud to support policies to keep Nevada's gaming industry and economy growing and prosperous and thank Mr. Eadington for all his work on an issue vitally important to our State. Today, I ask my colleagues to join me in celebrating the life of this honorable Nevadan.


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Last modified Friday, 08-Apr-2022 11:31:07 PDT



This page last updated Friday, 08-Apr-2022 11:31:07 PDT .