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Growing Casino Industry Has Jobs in the Cards

It's not just gamblers who get a rush of excitement from the sight of a casino. The many hard-working people employed in this multi-billion-dollar industry also enjoy the flashing lights and fast pace of a casino industry career.

"Many students are drawn to the casino industry because of the excitement," says Jane Bokunewicz. "It's a business where high rollers are wined and dined, celebrities perform, and customers go for fun and entertainment."

Bokunewicz is an assistant professor in the hospitality and tourism management studies program at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She says casinos offer many different types of positions.

"The casinos have such a wide variety of jobs, including casino floor, food and beverage, hotel, accounting and finance, administrative and sales and marketing, among other areas," she says. "Employees have the opportunity to move into other areas if they are not happy with their first job."

Casino workers also have the option to work at other casinos across North America, or even overseas. A willingness to move can open many doors.

"If you are willing to relocate to other parts of the country, your potential for beginning a quality career in the casino industry increases tremendously," says Bokunewicz. "New properties offer great potential for recent graduates to start a career and move up quickly."

Once you get your foot in the door, you can start to prove your worth and move into roles with more responsibility.

"I would encourage young people to take an entry-level job in any casino and show your management what you are capable of by learning quickly and voluntarily taking on additional responsibilities," says Bokunewicz. "Your chances for a promotion are much better when you demonstrate the ability to do higher-level jobs."

Keep in mind that it's not all fun and games in the casino industry. The perks come with challenges.

"Because casinos are open 365 days per year and 24 hours per day, the working hours can be challenging for some," says Bokunewicz. "Additionally, customers are spending large amounts of money and often have high expectations of the employees."

Not all casinos have booming business. This can lead to cuts in certain positions. Technology can also have a negative effect on some casino jobs.

"Over the years, technology has reduced the need for some frontline positions like slot attendants, slot mechanics and slot change," says Bokunewicz. "Table games innovations could potentially reduce the need for dealers in the future."

Overall, however, there seem to be plenty of opportunities in the casino industry.

"The availability of jobs fluctuates by region," says Bokunewicz. "Although Atlantic City has seen revenue declines and staffing cuts in recent years, new jurisdictions are opening each year -- like Massachusetts, for example -- and others are expanding, like New York and Florida. Even casinos in Atlantic City are hiring employees because of turnover."

"Casinos are a multi-billion dollar industry that in many ways is recession proof," says Chad Barnett. He's the general manager of The Casino Institute in San Diego.

"People have a tendency to gamble in good times and in bad," says Barnett. "The casino also offers one of the highest paying entry-level positions, [with] a table games dealer starting out on average at $50,000-plus per year. Experienced dealers can make up to $100,000-plus per year at some casinos."

The Casino Institute offers a table games dealer course that takes about four months to complete.

"For the past 10 years, we have been able to place every single student that has graduated from our school," says Barnett. "Many casinos have recently expanded in the Southern California area, adding floor space, hotels and new parking garages."

Drew Gardiner is the admissions manager at a college that offers a diploma program in hotel, restaurant and casino management. "A high school student should focus on successfully completing their [high school diploma] and pay special attention to English and computer courses," he says.

According to Barnett, casino workers need to be good with people and have exceptional customer service skills. They also have to be able to stand for long periods of time.

"To be successful in the casino management field, or just hospitality in general, a student should be outgoing, approachable, hard working and resourceful," says Gardiner.

If you have the above qualities, the casino industry offers many opportunities for a short-term job or a long-term career.

"The casinos offer an outstanding opportunity for a long-term career in the business," says Bokunewicz. "Employees can start at entry level with very little training [since] often the training is provided by the casinos, and move up through several levels of management including supervisor, manager, director, vice president and president/general manager."


American Gaming Association
News and facts about the gaming industry

North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries
A central information source for the lottery industry

The Wager
A weekly addiction gambling education report

Michael Pollock's Gaming Industry Observer
The latest industry news and trends in gaming

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OCAP believes that financial literacy and understanding the financial aid process are critical aspects of college planning and student success. OCAP staff who work with students, parents, educators and community partners in the areas of personal finance education, state and federal financial aid, and student loan management do not provide financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice. This website and all information provided is for general educational purposes only, and is not intended to be construed as financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice.