How to Become a Casino General Manager: Education and Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become a casino general manager. Learn about the job description, and read the step-by-step process to start a career in the casino gaming industry. View article »

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  • 0:00 Casino General Manager…
  • 1:03 Earn a Bachelor's Degree
  • 1:40 Obtain State License
  • 2:06 Gain Experience
  • 2:43 Earn a Master's Degree

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Casino General Manager Career Info

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Gaming management, hotel or hospitality management, or business administration
Licensure States require licensing/registration for most gaming workers
Experience Casino industry experience required; employers prefer at least 5 years of management experience
Key Skills Customer service, verbal communication, administrative, and math skills; knowledge of Microsoft Excel, Office and Word; must pass a background and drug test; may need to meet physical requirements like lifting certain weights or standing for long periods of time
Salary $68,380 (2015 median salary for all gaming managers)

Sources: Employer job postings from October 2012, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET Online

Casino general managers supervise and coordinate the overall operations at a casino. They strive to make sure the casino runs efficiently, earns a profit, and operates within parameters established by gaming laws. Marketing, personnel, customer satisfaction, and security are some of the areas overseen by casino general managers. Casino workers have to deal with second-hand smoke, high noise levels, and exuberant or upset customers. Casino general managers often must hold a bachelor's degree in a relevant field and have prior experience in the casino industry. These general managers must also have strong customer service skills; administrative skills; math knowledge; and knowledge of Microsoft Excel, Office, and Word. They must also be able to pass a background check and drug test and stand for long periods of time. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, gaming managers in general earned a median annual salary of $68,380 in 2015.

Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Gaming manager positions don't always require having a degree, but many employers request general managers earn a bachelor's degree. Acceptable degree fields include gaming or hotel management, hospitality, or business. Professionals also are able to learn the necessary skills by taking management courses or earning a certificate in a hospitality-related field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Students in gaming management bachelor's degree programs take courses in accounting, casino security, marketing, casino customer service, and gambling regulations. These degree programs include an internship.

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Obtain State License

As of 2012, the American Gaming Association reported that 22 states allowed casino gambling. These states required most gaming workers to register or hold a license. Requirements depended upon the individual state and the applicant's desired position. Applicants must supply a photo ID, meet age requirements, submit their fingerprints, and live in the state where they plan to work. The application process also includes a background check and drug screening.

Gain Experience

Casinos typically require at least 5 years of management experience for general manager jobs. Some casinos offer management training programs to new college graduates. Casino dealers, supervisors, and other employees rise through the ranks to secure a management job.

Those aspiring to work in management should assume numerous duties within a casino and learn different jobs. A casino employee's willingness and ability to take on new jobs and responsibilities can lead to promotions. Showing initiative in adopting new tasks and holding knowledge of different casino games helps an entry-level employee advance from dealer to supervisor.

Earn a Master's Degree

Some employers prefer casino general managers possess a graduate degree. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is typical among casino general managers holding an advanced degree. Some universities offer an MBA program with an emphasis in casino management. Students explore business math, casino supervision, and casino technologies.

To sum up, aspiring casino general managers might want to consider earning a bachelor's degree in a field such as gaming management, hospitality, or business before getting a job in a casino and working their way up to a management position.

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