Industry veteran Sara Slane has been named a distinguished fellow at International Center for Gaming Regulation at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Slane is a former senior vice president of the American Gaming Association and a former vice president of MGM Resorts International. She is also the founder of Slane Advisory, a global gaming strategies company. She will lead the center’s Thought Leadership Council on sport betting, focusing on policy as the industry continues to grow in this segment.
“We are honored to have such a well-respected member of the gaming industry join our team as a distinguished fellow,” said Joe Bertolone, the center’s executive director. “Sara offers an important perspective as an industry expert, trusted advocate, and leading voice in the gaming industry. Her insights will help us further the center’s contributions to the gaming ecosystem.”
Slane is the center’s fourth distinguished fellow of 2021, and her appointment completes the first phase of the center’s growth plan. The first phase was focused on expanding expertise in the areas of iGaming, sports betting and tribal gaming. Earlier this year, three other industry leaders were named as distinguished fellows: Professors Kathryn Rand and Steve Light as well as nationally recognized expert Chris Grove.
“I’m honored to join the center as a distinguished fellow and to lend my insights on a range of gaming issues that are rapidly evolving,” said Slane. “The center plays an important role in educating everyone involved in our industry, particularly around complex regulatory matters, and has become an invaluable resource since it was established nearly a decade ago.”
Slane has 15 years of experience in the casino gaming industry. Prior to launching her own strategic advisory firm, she was the senior vice president of public affairs at the American Gaming Association (AGA). She now advises multiple leagues, teams and media companies about the sports betting opportunities and drives meaningful business development. She also serves as an advisory board member to multiple companies.
In her new role, Slane said she will use her background to bring together diverse gaming interests. “It’s a really hard position to take because you actually have to corral people around a unified position,” Slane said. “And not just as competitors who are fiercely competitive. At the end of the day, we all need to realize that there are bigger issues that impact the industry writ large, and we have to put aside our differences to think about how we can collectively tackle issues together.”
With the AGA, Slane helped develop strategies that led to the overturning of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. For MGM Resorts, she led a ballot initiative in Maryland that culminated in a license for MGM National Harbor.
“Sara offers an important perspective as an industry expert, trusted advocate, and leading voice in the gaming industry,” said Joe Bertolone, executive director of The Center, in a statement. “Her insights will help us further The Center’s contributions to the gaming ecosystem.”
Responsible gaming will also be an area of emphasis.
“You have to view every expansion of gaming through the risk side of problem gambling,” Slane said. “Especially because this is rolling out on a state-by-state basis, and there will be national media coverage of this, you have to think about the downside (of sports gambling). Unfortunately, there will be people who have problem gambling issues. How are you going to tackle that and how are you going to educate and not oversaturate the market with corporate advertising?”
Slane also plans to encourage and advocate for the inclusion of women and minorities in gaming industries.