How to Become a Casino Manager in 5 Steps

Research what it takes to become a casino manager. Learn about education requirements, job duties, median wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. 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 and to enforce house rules. Your administrative duties include hiring, training and evaluating staff, preparing work schedules and deciding what games to offer and at what odds. Consider the information in the following table to determine if a career as a casino manager is right for you.

Degree Required High school diploma or equivalent; some casinos require managers to have a college degree
Key Skills Communication, customer service, leadership, and math skills
Licensure RequiredVaries state to state
Job Growth (2014-2024)-1% change for all gaming managers*
Median Salary (2015) $68,380 for all gaming managers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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 131,900 people worked in the gaming services industry in 2014 (www.bls.gov). Of these, gaming and sports book writers and runners accounted for 11,500 jobs. Employment in the industry was projected to show little or no change from 2014-2024, 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 94,900 jobs, while gaming supervisors held 22,640 jobs and gaming managers held 3,950 jobs as of 2015. Employment of casino managers was expected to decrease by one percent between 2014-2024.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

An individual interested in a career in the gaming or hospitality industries may consider becoming a gaming surveillance officer or a lodging manager. Both of these careers typically require only a high school diploma or GED. Lodging managers work at hospitality businesses such as hotels. Gaming surveillance officers monitor casinos to enforce rules and laws.

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