Bet on the Future: Pursuing a Degree in Casino Management

By Jon Wurtmann

What if you could train for a job in a glitzy, glamorous, cash-intensive business?  A business with fun-filled locations like Las Vegas and Atlantic City?  New college degrees and certificates are now available in the burgeoning field of casino management.  In as little as two years of study you could be ready for an exciting – and rewarding – career in casino management.

How big is the casino industry?  How about $35 billion in the U.S. alone – more money than Americans spend on movies, music and video games combined.  This is why entrepreneurs and state governments want in on the action.  It’s easy money, and the house always wins. 

This astounding revenue is but one of the startling facts detailed in University of Arizona sociologist Jeff Sallaz’s new book, “The Labor of Luck: Casino Capitalism in the United States and South Africa.” Sallaz charts the enormous growth of this industry over the last three decades; legalized gambling is now in nearly 700 casinos spread across 35 states.  In fact, Pennsylvania has just embraced gambling as a way to help its woeful economy.

Where to Study Casino Management

You can get in on the action, too.  Upstate New York is home to Turning Stone Casino, on the Oneida Indian Nation in Verona.  This gleaming new casino won the Academy of Country Music Awards “Casino of the Year” and rivals the best that Vegas can offer.  Nearby Morrisville State College offers a degree program in Gaming and Casino Management that provides students with the: “managerial, technical and operational expertise that is integral to pursuing a career in the casino and entertainment segments of the hospitality industry,” according to their site.

Morrisville State describes the program in more detail:

Focusing on the latest technology, the program targets the legal/regulatory issues vital to protecting the integrity of casino gaming operations such as licensing, table game protection, surveillance operations and casino/hotel security. Students will learn about leadership, technology, the need for appropriate security in the casino business, biometrics, the particular functions of the different games and retail operations in a casino.

Iowa is the first state to vote in the primaries, and it’s one of the front-runners in gaming, too.  Iowa Lakes Community College offers a 69 credit Associates degree in Casino Management at its Emmetsburg campus.  Their 2-year program incorporates a summer internship at one of the local casinos.  They describe their program thus:

The Casino Management program at Iowa Lakes Community College provides you with the critical skill areas of human resources management, business management, marketing and interpersonal communications. It also provides you with an overview of vital technical skills necessary to succeed in gaming management. The Casino Management Associate in Science degree incorporates internships into the curriculum so you have a clear view of the industry and your career opportunities. 

Massachusetts, the Bay State, has the huge University of Massachusetts (UMass) system, and more recently, their online learning arm, UMass Online (http://degreeamerica.elearners.com/um.htm?) UMass Online is offering a certificate program in Casino Management.  The certificate requires five online courses and is described on their site thus:

The Casino Management Certificate is designed to provide students with an opportunity to learn the casino industry review legal and regulatory aspects of gaming, and understand the relationship of the casino industry to the overall tourism environment.

Over the five courses, students can expect to learn about Casino Management, Casino Products, Protection and Probability, Event Management, Club Management, and Gaming and Social Policy.

There are many more programs available, and all will give you a leg up in the exciting and expanding gaming industry.  It’s your future…bet on success!


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