How to Become a Casino Manager in 5 Steps

Learn what education and training can prepare you for a career as a casino manager. Find out about state licensure as well as the typical duties and advancement opportunities are available in this field. See the job outlook for the gaming industry as a whole. Schools offering Hotel & Restaurant Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Casino Manager?

A casino manager, also known as gaming manager, oversees the daily operations and staff within her or his facility. In this job, you may monitor the floor to make sure players aren't cheating, as well as to ensure dealers conduct games properly. You may also explain house rules to patrons, resolve disputes and distribute gifts and other bonuses to players who qualify based on playing time and betting totals. Your administrative duties include hiring, training and evaluating staff, preparing work schedules and deciding what games to offer and at what odds. You'll also decide what food and beverages to serve, and you'll set budgets and track wager amounts and revenue per game.

Step One: Obtain Gaming Employment

Casino managers typically start out in an entry-level position. You are most likely to find one at casinos in Nevada. Other opportunities are available on riverboat and racetrack casinos and at casinos on Native American reservations. At a minimum, most casinos prefer to hire entry-level workers who have a high school diploma or GED.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that approximately 178,700 people worked in the gaming services industry in 2008 (www.bls.gov). Of these, entry-level slot key workers and gaming and sports book writers and runners accounted for about 24,400 and 16,200 jobs respectively. Employment in the industry was projected to grow 14% from 2008-2018, but competition for jobs was expected to be intense.

Step Two: Complete a Training Program

You can access training in multiple forums, depending on your interests and location. For example, almost all casinos have an in-house training program. To provide this training, some casinos partner with community colleges and 4-year schools to offer certificate programs. However, some of the largest casinos own and operate training schools.

Whichever option you choose, you'll receive an overview of basic casino operations. Your program's content may address fundamentals like surveillance and security, floor management, casino marketing, gaming regulations and customer service. Training might also prepare you for specific positions, such as slot attendant, cashier or dealer.

Step Three: Obtain a Gaming License

All gaming workers, including casino managers, need to be licensed by a state casino control board, casino commission or other regulatory agency. You will need to meet the state's age threshold for licensing. Then, you'll provide a photo ID, pay a fee and pass a background check and drug test. Some states may only grant you a license if you're a resident.

Step Four: Earn an Associate's Degree or Bachelor's Degree

An associate's degree or bachelor's degree isn't required to become a casino manager, but earning a degree can help you acquire a stronger base of casino knowledge to supplement what you learn through direct experience. Degree programs adapt general business and management concepts to the casino environment as well as explore gaming-specific subjects. Possible course topics include internal casino organization and interactions, casino accounting and human resources management. You may also study food and beverage management, public relations and the gaming industry's social and economic impact on society. Associate's degrees may be earned in two years and bachelor's degrees in four years.

Step Five: Advance Your Career

Your willingness and ability to learn new jobs will influence how far you advance. A slot attendant can rise to become a slot floor supervisor, for example; however, to move beyond that, you should become a dealer for the various table games including poker, blackjack, craps, roulette and baccarat. From there you could rise to the managerial level. Sometimes aspiring casino managers advance by changing jobs to successively larger and more popular casinos. According to the BLS, gaming dealers held 91,100 jobs, while gaming supervisors held 40,900 jobs and gaming managers held 6,200 jobs as of 2008. Employment of casino managers was expected to grow 12% between 2008-2018.

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