With a gaming management degree, you will most likely work as a manager or supervisor of a casino or racetrack. You will provide direct oversight of gaming operations in the casino, and provide supervision of employees in the casino. Gaming managers play a vital role in ensuring the facility is run smoothly, properly and profitably.
What Is Gaming Management?
A degree in gaming management provides you with the skills and knowledge to work in casino management, hospitality management and other types of guest service environments. Most professionals who earn their degree in gaming management work in casino management.
One of the most common occupations that people with a gaming management degree work in is gaming service worker. This professional serves gambling customers in casinos and racetracks and similar places. Some workers will work with slot machines and others will deal cards. Managers with a bachelor’s or master’s degree will usually supervise gaming service workers and ensure that customer needs are being served. Some of the typical duties of gaming service workers are:
- Work with customers and ensure they are having a good experience
- Monitor casino and gaming customers for violations of any gaming regulations or policies of the casino
- As a manager, inform supervisors of any violations taking place
- Enforce casino rules and report any hazards
- Explain how games are played to casino customers
Gaming managers and supervisors typically will circulate among casino tables and ensure that everything is running in a smooth manner. Managers also will address any customer complaints about service, and explain house operating rules when customers do not understand them. Also, gaming management supervisors will schedule when employees are to work, and will interview, hire and train them.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS, the job outlook for gaming service workers and managers is mixed, with 2% growth anticipated through 2026, which is slower than average. Employment may be driven somewhat by more popularity of gaming establishments.
Some states that do not have commercial gaming facilities may have new casinos built; this could occur as the US Supreme Court recently ruled that more states can decide whether or not they want to have casinos. It also is possible the increasing strength of the US economy could lead to greater growth in casinos and racetracks.
But there is a risk of oversaturation of casinos in some states and this could cause some areas to scale back their plans. Also, the greater attraction of online gambling could draw some people away from going to traditional casinos.
BLS reports there were 176,100 gaming service workers in the US in 2016 in these occupations:
- Gaming dealers: 96,900
- Gaming supervisors: 38,500
- Gaming service workers: 12,500
- Slot supervisors: 12,100
- Gaming and sports book writers and runners: 11,700
- Gaming managers: 4,500
The median salary for all gaming services workers was $22,300 in 2017. The bottom 10% earned less than $17,000 per year, and the top 10% with the most education and senior positions earned $58,000. Median wages for all gaming services workers in 2017 was as follows:
- Gaming managers: $72,900
- First line supervisors: $48,800
- Gaming service workers all others: $27,000
- Gaming and sports book writers and runners: $24,000
- Gaming dealers: $19,800
According to Payscale.com, the median salary for gaming managers was $61,500 with a range between $29,000 and $110,000.
For professionals with a gaming management degree, these cities are the best for getting hired in the hospitality industry:
- Las Vegas
- New York City
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
With a degree in gaming management, you will be well qualified to work in a variety of gaming establishments across the country and world. These are some of the biggest casino and gaming companies in the country:
- Hard Rock Jobs
- Caesars Entertainment
- MGM Mirage
- Wynn Resorts
- Boyd Gaming
- Station Casinos
- Penn National Gaming
- Pinnacle Entertainment
- Ameristar Casinos
- Las Vegas Sands
A bachelor’s degree in gaming management will provide you the education about the legal, business and hospitality aspects of the gaming industry. Coursework usually includes subjects such as popular casino games, gambling regulations and security, accounting and hospitality. Students who have a background in business or mathematics will have an advantage in this type of bachelor’s program.
Most of the educational programs in gaming management are for earning a bachelor’s degree. However, American University does have a master of science in sports analytics and management that can serve as the basis for a gaming career in social media, mobile technology, fantasy sports, e-sports gaming, and performance data analytics.
Typical requirements to be admitted into a master’s program in sports analytics and management are:
- GRE scores
- Background in business with prerequisite courses
- Three letters of recommendation
- 5 GPA
- Updated resume
- College transcripts
Common courses that you may take in a bachelor’s program in gaming management are:
- Gaming HR management
- Social issues in the gaming industry
- Gaming information systems
- Casino accounting
- Management strategies
- Casino security and operations
- Front office casino operations
- Legal issues
Students who want to earn their degree in gaming management and work in casinos and/or the hospitality industry may be able to have part of their tuition paid with the help of some of the following scholarships and grants:
- AGEM Scholarship: Various amounts
- AH&LEF Graduate Scholarship: $5000
- AIANTA Tourism and Hospitality Scholarship: $1000
- American Express Scholarship $500 to $1000
- Clem Judd Jr. Memorial Scholarship: Various amounts
- Davidson and Jones Hotel Corporation Scholarship: $1000
- FirstCaribbean International Bank Scholarship: $5000
- Gerald J. Roper Scholarship Fund: $2000
- Harvey and Laura Alpert Scholarship Award: $5000
Another option for students interest in casino or gaming management is to earn an online casino management certificate. This is a good option for students who are working in the hospitality industry and want to boost their qualifications for management positions. The University of Southern Mississippi, for example, offers an online undergraduate certificate program that teaches you the oral, written and administrative skills that are important to succeed in gaming management.
To increase your networking and education prospects in gaming management, consider joining the following organizations:
- American Gaming Association
- International Association of Gaming Regulators
- Gaming Standards Association
- North American Gaming Regulators Association
- Casino Management Association
- Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers
The gaming industry is a dynamic and exciting one, and those who wish to work in management in this field may want to consider earning their degree in gaming management.
- Gaming Service Workers. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/gaming-services-occupations.htm#tab-2
- Casino Management Certificate. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.usm.edu/undergraduate/casino-management-certificate