Casino management is a set of overarching functions, duties, tasks, and responsibilities that involve planning, leading, organizing, and controlling all of the action at the casino. It is a professional vocation that requires hands-on experience, management expertise, delegation, authority, and leadership.
Casino managers span the full spectrum, including: casino slot managers, roulette managers, blackjack managers, baccarat managers, dual-rate dealers and supervisors, full-floor supervisors, dual pit managers, casino pit bosses, food and beverage managers, and casino general managers. It's worth pointing out that the casino industry follows a structured management regimen, despite the fun-loving nature of these leisure resorts.
Management is a learned discipline, and with the right attitude, it is possible for good managers to become effective leaders too. In this expose, we are going to tackle the issue of casino management in detail, showing you exactly what you need to know about it, what type of education you need, what casino management jobs are available, and how you can boost your knowledge with all of the resources that are available. This guide will put you on the right track to building your casino management career!
Table of Contents
CASINO MANAGEMENT DEGREE
With billions of dollars in annual revenues, casinos are the cash cows of the business world. It comes as no surprise that many impressionable young people are interested in building a career in casino management. There are several academic pathways to follow at a handful of academic institutions across the United States. Casino management degrees typically encompass a traditional Bachelor’s Degree in Casino Management or a Casino Management Certificate.
The latter option is also available at many colleges in an online format. A major in Casino Management is available at a limited number of schools, including the following options: National University, Central Michigan University, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, DC State University, and Schenectady County Community College (SUNY), among others.
These casino management schools are the best options for pursuing a Casino Management Degree in the US. The biggest schools on the list include UMass Amherst with approximately 29,000 enrolled students and a student-teacher ratio of 21:1, CMU with approximately 27,000 enrolled students and a student-teacher ratio of 27:1, Columbus State Community College, with approximately 26,000 enrolled students, and a student-teacher ratio of 40:1, and National University with approximately 17,500 enrolled students, and a student-teacher ratio of 30:1.
The University of Southern Mississippi offers a Casino Management Undergraduate Certificate 100% online. This serves as an affordable alternative to a bachelor’s degree program in casino management. The certificate course is geared towards business and non-major students who are interested in resort casino management, particularly those with a penchant for professional gaming, and hospitality management. This particular academic program is fully endorsed by the Mississippi Casino Operators Association, and requires 15 hours of coursework.
THE DEGREE COURSES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
• Hospitality Law
• Casino Products
• Table Game Management
• Casino Game Supervision
• Gaming Industry Technology
• Casino Regulations and Laws
• Casino and Resort Marketing
• Human Resource Management
• Conventions and Event Management
CASINO MANAGEMENT JOBS
Armed with a casino management qualification, there are many jobs to apply for. These include gaming operations managers, casino operations specialists, gaming security officers, general casino management, et al. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2015, some 3,950 gaming manager positions were available with a median salary of $68,380 per annum.
In 2016, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated a surge in the number of casino gaming managers to 4,500. The highest concentration of casino gaming managers was evident in Iowa, Oklahoma, Michigan, Nevada, and California. As a general gaming manager at a casino, several duties need to be performed including the following:
• Customer service related to hotel and casino guests.
• Serving as an intermediary between security managers and casino employees to ensure that tasks, duties, and responsibilities are taken care of. Casino management is also responsible for conflict resolution, professionally addressing discrepancies, and maintaining a happy workplace environment.
• Enforcement, maintenance, and facilitation of casino rules, frameworks, policies, and security procedures.
• Training, development, and management of blackjack dealers, baccarat dealers, roulette croupiers, supervisors, and others.
The majority of casino gaming managers work in casino hotels (31%) like those located in Atlantic City, local government (26%), gambling industries excluding casino hotels (22%), self-employed personnel (13%), and spectator sports (3%). The minimum educational requirement for a casino management job typically entails having an Associate’s Degree at the bare minimum, although some casinos will accept applicants with a GED or high school diploma to begin their career as a casino manager.
As of 2016, businessstudent.com indicated that the national average salary for a casino gaming manager was $84,668, based on statistics collected through 50,000 employees. This equates to an average hourly wage of $44.10, or a monthly income of $7,056. The state of Indiana had the lowest casino gaming manager salary at $18,201, while state of California ranked #1 with a salary of $117,768. In Nevada, the average salary for a casino gaming manager is $80,144.
Multiple casino management systems are currently employed by the world's premier land-based and online casinos. A casino management system, or CMS, is like the ‘motherboard’ of a casino’s operations. It determines how everything at the casino works, including the cash flow and transactions, daily activities, and overall management of surveillance and security systems at the casino.
More than that, a casino management system is geared towards maximum efficiency of day-to-day operations at the casino. It encompasses a wide range of resources including tools and software that are vertically and horizontally integrated for maximum effectiveness.
Areas of interest include progressive jackpots, casino slots management, casino counting systems, bonuses and promotions, player tracking, and ticketing. Multiple casino management system vendors are available, including the following:
• Next Level
• Micro Systems
• Casino Systems
• Security Systems
• HCL Technologies
• Bally Technologies
• Intercard Incorporated
Various other casino management systems are being used, including Agilysys Property Management System Suite of Products by the Choctaw Casinos & Resorts, WIN TECHNOLOGIES USA in the Ada Gaming Center and the Megastar Casino properties of the Chickasaw Nation, SYNKROS by the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, and Aristocrat’s Oasis 360 Casino Management System used by Comanche Nation Entertainment.
Given the widespread appeal of the modern-day casinos to individuals, couples, families, and business travelers, casino management systems need to use sophisticated IT solutions to understand customer behavior, maintain customer satisfaction, and facilitate money movement at the casino. With the overarching management function of safety and security of all patrons and staff, CMS are sacrosanct to the smooth functioning of these entertainment venues.
Casino Management Software works in tandem with management systems to provide overall property management. Casino managers can enjoy a 360° perspective of overall casino operations, allowing departments to address concerns quickly and achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
Casino management software is geared towards creating and maintaining lasting relationships that improve guest satisfaction. Revenues are accelerated through enhanced guest engagement, resulting in a better bottom line for the casino. Casino management software offers cutting-edge solutions for a wealth of casino resort operations. The software serves as the mainframe for the casino management system.
These include online booking engines, inventory management, procurement, casino business analytics, activity scheduling, self-service kiosks at the casino, POS systems, casino property management, casino reservations, and table management, payment gateways, and document management, et al.
From inception to cash out, casino management systems are designed to streamline casino and hotel operations for guests. These have the added benefit of boosting revenues with enhanced retail efficiency, and higher food & beverage profitability. With respect to online casino gaming software, there are dozens of different types of operators including Playtech, Microgaming, NetEnt, Evolution Gaming, Dragonfish, Merkur Gaming, and others.
A STRATEGIC APPROACH
There is a difference between a tactical approach and a strategic approach to casino management. The strategic approach follows conventional management doctrine whereby the overarching objectives (long-term strategic goals) of the casino are evaluated, assessed, and plans are implemented to achieve those preselected objectives. This approach was popularized in a bestselling casino management book of the same name.
The eponymous book by Kathryn Hashimoto PhD (East Carolina University) was published by Pearson Prentice Hall in 2008. It serves as the quintessential guideline to anyone interested in gaming, casino marketing, and casino management. The book goes to great lengths to examine the inner-functionality of the casino industry from a business perspective.
A variety of factors are considered, notably external environmental factors and internal control points. This makes it easier for readers to understand the industry from a holistic perspective, and sheds light on casino’s operations.
The Strategic Approach highlights many important issues, notably surveillance and security, guest satisfaction, casinos within the framework of the entertainment industry, and marketing. This book offers useful casino management insights over 411 pages. It is part of the Casino Essential Series of books geared towards casino management in the hospitality industry.
CASINO MANAGEMENT BOOKS
Notwithstanding Casino Management: A Strategic Approach, there are a plenitude of books on this specific subject. Gamblers General Store and Amazon list a variety of highly-rated casino management books including the following: Dealing and Supervising, Card Counting for the Casino Executive, Casino Abuse of Skilled Players, The Casino Security Training Manual, Blackjack Dealer Instruction Manual, Casino Management in Integrated Resorts, Introduction to Casino Management, Casino Security and Gaming Surveillance, Casino Operations Management, Casino and Gaming Resort Investigations, and many others.
When selecting casino management books, it's important to choose a specific management discipline such as security and surveillance, fraud detection, operations management, casino games management, organization and culture, and so forth. Many of these expertly-written books offer in-depth analysis of a specific management function, with well researched content for the aspiring casino manager.
Casino management careers offer lucrative pay and benefits for the highly qualified casino manager. Most everybody starts at a base level as a casino dealer (blackjack, baccarat, roulette, craps, et cetera) and worked their way up to the level of supervisor, full floor supervisor, dual pit manager, pit manager, and higher-level management positions.
A pit boss commands a salary in the region of $60,000 – $95,000 per annum, with significant variance in that range. As you advance through higher-level management years, you spend less time on the floor and more time fulfilling administrative tasks, duties, and responsibilities. High-level casino managers are involved in tactical and strategic management objectives such as:
• Safety and security protocols for guests and staff
• Attracting, satisfying, and retaining casino guests
• Marketing campaigns to promote the hotel and casino resort
• Game management and repairs for gaming machines, gaming tables, video lottery terminals, et cetera
• ROI for individual casino games, collective casino games, and the overall casino resort
• Compliance with regulatory frameworks, and codes of conduct, reporting, and auditing