Roll the Dice with a Career in Casino Management

According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), 2009 commercial casino revenue topped $30 billion, reflecting the tremendous (and growing) popularity of gaming in the United States. Given the positive growth outlook for the cagaming industry as a whole, now is a great time to consider careers in casino management. For example, you might become a gaming supervisor or gaming manager. Gaming supervisors are usually assigned a particular area of the casino in which they organize and instruct the staff and interact with patrons, making sure they adhere to casino rules and have a good time. Gaming managers usually have a supervisor's responsibilities, but also might hire and train workers, draw up work schedules and devise casino policies and business plans.

Whatever casino management career you pursue, you will need to obtain a state-issued license in order to work in a casino. Precise requirements vary by state, but to get a license you usually need to meet an age minimum, pay a fee, and pass a background check and drug test. Most casino managers and supervisors also have casino work experience, often as dealers, as well as an associate's or bachelor's degree.

There are a variety of academic programs that will qualify you for jobs in casino management. Many post-secondary schools offer two- and/or four-year degrees in hotel or hospitality management. To tailor a degree in hospitality management to casino management, you should take whatever casino management classes your school offers, in addition to classes in math, economics and/or accounting, since casino management jobs often call for handling large sums of money. Customer service-related classes are useful, too. There are also dedicated casino management schools offering degrees and certificates, such as the Certified Gaming Supervisor credential, which it's possible to earn through an 80-hour program. These schools might even feature a mock casino for hands-on training. Alternatively, you can take a casino management course or even earn a certificate or degree online.

Growth for jobs in casino management is expected to be good, but there will also be stiff competition for open positions. This is another reason to consider casino management school, since credentialed candidates will have an edge. That said, it's possible to work your way up to management from other casino jobs, such as dealer. Wherever you live, you will be likely to find employment opportunities nearby, because top gaming markets can be found in every region of the country. AGA data indicates that the biggest casino markets include not only well-known hotspots like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, but Midwest locations like Chicago and Detroit, as well as destinations in the South, including Tunica, Mississippi and Shreveport, Louisiana. Where you work impacts how much money you make. The BLS reports that in 2009, Michigan was the top-paying state for gaming supervisors ($59,950 mean annual wage) and Missouri was the best for gaming managers ($95,280 mean annual wage). Nationally, 2009 annual mean wage was $48,920 for gaming supervisors and $74,030 for gaming managers.

Casinos can be glamorous places to work, but they are also complex businesses that are challenging to manage. So to map out a route to a rewarding career, consider your education options and research the job requirements at the casinos where you want to work.


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