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Gaming Guru

 

Career Opportunities in the Casino Industry

12 November 2003

What industry has expanded its employee base by 85 percent in the last decade? What same industry has expanded the number of states that allow it to operate ten-fold since 1976? The answer is the casino gaming industry, which now includes 11 states with commercial casino gaming and 29 states where Native American casino style gaming is authorized. The gaming industry directly employs over 700,000 people.

According to the federal government's 1999 National Gaming Impact Study Commission Report, the revenues from legal wagering grew nearly 1,600 percent from 1979 to 1997. As quickly as the gaming industry has established itself as a major component of the American leisure and entertainment industry, various new career opportunities have exploded onto the scene.

Punam Mathur, vice president of Corporate Diversity and Community Affairs at MGM MIRAGE, states that she was attracted to the gaming industry because "the industry places people first  both employees and customers." Ms. Mathur also said "the industry's rapid growth means that there are many opportunities for employees to learn and grow. Plus, there is such rich diversity in the types of jobs and careers that the industry offers employees."

When one evaluates a career in the casino gaming industry, it is not only important to look at the growth of the industry, but also at the tangible benefits that will be experienced during the course of a career. Most casino careers include attractive benefit packages and offer true career advancement opportunities due to the industry's "hire from within" philosophy.

There are a number of jobs that are specific to the gaming industry, i.e., dealer, slot attendant, marketing director, MIS, casino surveillance, etc. However, the type and scope of career opportunities will continue to evolve as the industry introduces new technology. For example, systems such as MindPlay's Table Management System, IGT's EZpay technology and the introduction of advance guest service technology will surely create new and exciting technical employment opportunities within the industry. Despite the fact that many gaming industry jobs are specific in nature, it is still important for an employee to learn as many areas of casino operation as possible, if one hopes to advance one's career. As future gaming complexes evolve to become more entertainment-diverse, so will the need for talented individuals to apply their understanding of gaming in unique areas of casino operation. Beth Deighan, president of Casino Careers Online (http://www.casinocareers.com), said "The disciplines are so varied in the gaming industry that many educational and experiential backgrounds can be adapted to a department in the casino gaming industry."

As the financial and personal development benefits from casino gaming employment continue to grow, so do the number of geographic locations where a casino career can be developed. No longer is the gaming industry bound to just Nevada and New Jersey. Now, a career in the casino gaming industry can be explored worldwide.

Making the most out of your career in any discipline requires one to expand his or her knowledge about the industry and how it operates. In the gaming industry, it is imperative for an individual who wants to continue to advance to understand the legal, regulatory and compliance issues related to the daily operation of the business. It is also important for an individual to understand technology trends affecting the operation and direction of the industry. In addition, understanding the necessary role of responsible gaming is extremely important as an individual's career in the gaming industry develops. Much of this education can occur during the daily interaction at the casino property, but expanding one's learning outside the confines of the casino is also extremely important. Pursuing college and/or graduate degrees, along with attending gaming certification programs will be very beneficial to one's ability to distinguish his/herself from the rest of the competition.

Rick Fields, vice president of Casino Operations and Player Development, Primm Valley Resorts, noted that "in order to succeed and move up in the gaming industry, a person must develop their interpersonal skills so whether they are talking with a disgruntled employee, a wonderful employee or a guest who just lost thousands of dollars, the outcome is that of respect, trust and understanding."

The casino gaming industry is an exciting component of the American leisure industry and one that has seen dramatic growth not only in its revenues, but also in the number of locations where it is authorized. Selecting the casino gaming industry as a career choice is extremely insightful as the industry will continue to expand as the "Pong" and Nintendo generations increase the amount of discretionary income they allocate for gaming activities. The gaming industry has become mainstream and as its hold on the American economy continues to take shape, so will the number of high profile career opportunities affiliated with it.

David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com
David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com