All In? Everything You Need to Know About Casino Management

Casinos are an always profitable and increasingly popular form of entertainment. Check out what you need to know about a career in casino management.

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by Blake Weil

Published August 24, 2022

Edited by Amelia Buckley
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All In? Everything You Need to Know About Casino Management
Image Credit: Simon Webb and Duncan Nicholls / OJO Images / Getty Images


What Is Casino Management?

Gambling in America is stuck between two opposing forces. On the one hand, casinos are highly regulated — most states do not allow casino gambling outside of specified locations or licensed casinos. On the other hand, casinos are highly popular, pulling in high profits every year.

A casino manager handles the legal and customer service sides of casino gaming. Typically, a casino manager needs at least an associate degree, although many have bachelor’s degrees. Casino manager responsibilities include:

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Where Do Casino Managers Work?

Casino managers work at all kinds of gambling facilities. This includes casino resorts and racetracks. A majority of states have gambling centers of some kind — though gambling laws vary by state, and some states, such as Utah, have blanket bans on gambling, Casinos in the U.S. are concentrated in Las Vegas, Nevada. The gambling capital of America, Las Vegas is home to a large number of casino resorts and smaller casinos. Nevada has the highest concentration of casino manager jobs, according to 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Casino managers oversee kinds of staff, including dealers, the security team, food and drink service workers, and maintenance workers on any electronic gambling devices. This is because a manager has to be responsible for preventing cheating, and these workers have inside access. They use a wide variety of software to help their jobs, including programs like CasinoTrac, Bally Casino Management System, and Ensico.

Casino Management Licensing

Casino managers require a license to work in the gaming industry. Licensing requirements vary from state to state. In general, obtaining a license is fairly simple. In addition to a licensing fee, casino managers need to pass a criminal background test and drug test.

Casino Management Careers

While you don’t need a casino management degree to become a casino manager, a casino management degree can make it easier to find a job. Other potential degrees include general business degrees and hospitality management.

Casino managers typically enter the industry as shift managers — or pit bosses, in casino terms. Developing further into their career, they can become supervising managers or general managers for the entire casino.On average, casino manager salaries are high. According to BLS data, the median salary for gambling managers was $76,910 as of May 2021.

Pit Manager

A pit manager is the floor manager supervising day-to-day casino operations. They enforce regulations, help settle disputes, and make sure operations are running smoothly. They work with the security team to make sure no one is cheating and with the hospitality team to make sure customers are taken care of.

Median Annual Salary: $67,410 (Payscale data, July 2022)
Career Outlook 2020-30: 20%
Degree/Experience Level: Bachelor's/Entry-Level

Director of Table Games

The director of table games is the casino manager overseeing all table games within a casino. These include card games like blackjack and dice games like craps. They oversee all operations of these games, including hiring dealers, regulating house rules, and monitoring them to ensure fairness and profitability for the casino.

Median Annual Salary (Payscale, July 2022): $81,390
Career Outlook 2020-30: 20%
Degree/Experience Level: Bachelor’s/Mid-Level

Director of Casino Operations

The director of casino operations is a top manager responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a casino. They are the highest party responsible for executing the casino's business plan and adhering to regulations. They supervise other casino managers and act as a link between upper management and the floor.

Median Annual Salary (Payscale data, July 2022): $102,490
Career Outlook 2020-30: 20%
Degree/Experience Level: Master’s/Upper Level

Education

While you can technically work in casino management without a degree, a majority of casino managers have a bachelor’s or associate degree. Some casinos will not hire a manager without a bachelor’s degree. Common degree subjects for casino managers include business administration, economics, and hospitality management.

While advancement is typically based on experience, managers at high-profile gambling sites often have a master’s degree. An MBA program is a particularly good choice, as it teaches several skills an experienced casino manager would need, including management, marketing, and finance.

The Future of Casino Management

Casino management is a fast-growing profession, with the BLS predicting 20% growth between 2020 and 2030. However, the industry continues to shift, with more states allowing casino gaming, online casinos becoming more popular, and new table games hitting the casino floor.

Online casinos have also changed, with many now offering free-to-play games, virtual reality, and mobile casino gaming. While right now, casino managers most typically work in gaming hubs like Las Vegas, they should educate themselves to prepare for a new digital frontier.

Want to learn more about casino management careers? Check out our guide on how to become a casino manager.

Is Casino Management Right for Me?

Casino management is a great career for someone who thrives in a fast-paced environment and can manage irregular work hours. The job demands multitasking and communications skills, and as such, it may not be a good option for those who need to take things one step at a time.

Pros and Cons of Casino Management

Pros

  • Casino managers are generally well paid, consistently earning strong salaries.
  • Casinos are a fast-paced and exciting work environment and are often in vibrant cities.
  • Casinos are increasingly popular, ensuring the field will continue to grow.
  • Casino manager licenses are relatively easy to obtain compared to other jobs that require a license.
  • Educational requirements are flexible in casino management, and casino managers hold a wide range of degrees.

Cons

  • Casinos are concentrated in a handful of geographic areas, limiting the locations a casino manager can typically find work in.
  • Casinos and gambling are considered vices and may conflict with your religious or moral code.
  • Casino regulations are constantly shifting, adding some volatility to job stability.
  • As gambling is a popular evening activity, most casino managers have to work night shifts.
  • Licensing requirements mean that someone with a prior criminal record cannot pursue a career as a casino manager.

Casino management could be right for you if…

Frequently Asked Questions About Casino Management

What does a casino manager do? true

A casino manager is responsible for overseeing operations at a casino. This means hiring and managing staff, ensuring regulations are followed and working in customer relations.

While job duties may vary from day to day, they are all linked in that a casino manager is ultimately responsible for everything that happens on a casino floor, from gaming to entertainment to security. This means they work with a large team to ensure operations are smooth, profitable, and enjoyable for customers.

How much can I make as a casino manager? true

Casino manager salaries are generally high. As of 2021, the BLS reports a median salary of $76,910 for gambling managers. People who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher often command higher salaries.

With experience and additional education, salaries can be higher, entering into six figures. For example, a director of casino operations can make a median salary of $102,490, according to 2022 Payscale data.

Do you need a degree to become a casino manager? true

There are no official regulations requiring a degree to get your license to work as a casino manager. However, many casinos will not hire a manager without a bachelor’s degree. Without a degree, it is possible to work your way into management from working on the floor of a casino, but you may eventually reach a roadblock where a degree is required for advancement. Some upper-level casino management positions require an MBA.

Many colleges offer casino management degrees. There are also casino management courses online from accredited online colleges. Other degrees that apply to casino management are general business degrees and degrees in hospitality management.

Which state employs the most casino managers?

According to BLS data, California employs the most gambling managers of any state in the United States, but Nevada employs the highest concentration of these professionals.

This makes sense as California is the most populous state and Las Vegas has the highest concentration of casinos in the country. As the center of the U.S. gambling industry, Nevada is a good place for those hoping to advance their careers in casino management. Other states with a high number of casino managers include Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.

How can I find casino management jobs?

You can find casino management jobs in a wide variety of ways. College graduates can contact their school’s career office to be connected with both recruiters and alumni to network with. Job postings are regularly posted online on websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Many casinos and cities with casinos in them also host career fairs where they look to hire a large number of people over the course of the event.

Applicants should highlight their prior work experience in service and hospitality, soft skills like communication, and any applicable coursework. Courses in management, finance, and marketing are all useful for the work of a casino manager.

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