Gaming Services Occupations Career Information
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Significant Points· Usually there are no minimum educational
requirements; each casino establishes its own requirements for education, training,
· Workers need a license issued by a regulatory agency, such as a casino control board or commission; licensure requires proof of residency in the State in which gaming workers are employed.
· Job prospects are best for those with a degree or certification in gaming or a hospitality-related field, previous casino gaming training or experience, and strong interpersonal and customer service skills.
Nature of the WorkLegalized gambling in
the United States today includes casino gaming, State lotteries, parimutuel
wagering on contests such as horseracing, and charitable gaming. Gaming, the
playing of games of chance, is a multibillion-dollar industry that is responsible
for the creation of a number of unique service occupations.
The majority of all gaming services workers are employed in casinos. Their duties and titles may vary from one establishment to another. Despite differences in job title and task, however, workers perform many of the same basic functions in all casinos. Some positions are associated with oversight and direction-supervision, surveillance, and investigation-while others involve working with the games or patrons themselves, performing such activities as tending slot machines, handling money, writing and running tickets, and dealing cards.
Like nearly every business establishment, casinos have workers who direct and oversee day-to-day operations. Gaming supervisors oversee the gaming operations and personnel in an assigned area. They circulate among the tables and observe the operations to ensure that all of the stations and games are covered for each shift. It also is not uncommon for gaming supervisors to explain and interpret the operating rules of the house to the patrons who may have difficulty understanding the rules. Gaming supervisors also may plan and organize activities to create a friendly atmosphere for the guests staying in their hotels or casino hotels; and, periodically, they address and adjust service complaints.
Some gaming occupations demand specially acquired skills-dealing blackjack, for example-that are unique to casino work. Others require skills common to most businesses, such as the ability to conduct financial transactions. In both capacities, the workers in these jobs interact directly with patrons in attending to slot machines, making change, cashing or selling tokens and coins, writing and running for other games, and dealing cards at table games. Part of their responsibility is to make those interactions enjoyable.
Slot key persons, also called slot attendants, slot technicians or slot key persons, coordinate and supervise the slot department and its workers. Their duties include verifying and handling payoff winnings to patrons, resetting slot machines after completing the payoff, and refilling machines with money. Slot key persons must be familiar with a variety of slot machines and be able to make minor repairs and adjustments to the machines as needed. If major repairs are required, slot key persons determine whether the slot machine should be removed from the floor. Working the floor as front-line personnel, they enforce safety rules and report hazards.
Gaming and sportsbook writers and runners assist in the operations of games such as bingo and keno. They scan tickets presented by patrons and calculate and distribute winnings. Some writers and runners operate the equipment that randomly selects the numbers. Others may announce numbers selected, pick up tickets from patrons, collect bets, or receive, verify, and record patrons' cash wagers.
Gaming dealers operate table games such as craps, blackjack, and roulette. Standing or sitting behind the table, dealers provide dice, dispense cards to players, or run the equipment. Some dealers also monitor the patrons for infractions of casino rules. Gaming dealers must be skilled in customer service and in executing their game. Dealers determine winners, calculate and pay winning bets, and collect losing bets. Because of the fast-paced work environment, most gaming dealers are competent in at least two games-usually blackjack and craps.
Working ConditionsThe atmosphere in casinos
is generally fun-filled and often considered glamorous. However, casino work can also be physically demanding.
Most occupations require that workers stand for long periods; some require the
lifting of heavy items. The "glamorous" atmosphere exposes casino
workers to certain hazards, such as cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke. Noise
from slot machines, gaming tables, and talking workers and patrons may be distracting
to some workers, although workers wear protective headgear in areas where loud
machinery is used to count money.
Most casinos are open 24 hours a day and offer three staggered shifts.
EmploymentGaming services' occupations held 167,000 jobs in 2009. Employment by occupational specialty was distributed as follows:
Gaming dealers 88,000
Gaming supervisors 31,000
Slot key persons 14,000
Gaming and sports book writers and runners 12,000
All other gaming service workers 21,000
The majority are found in the hotel and amusement and recreation services industries. Gaming services workers are employed in land-based or riverboat casinos in 11 States-Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, and South Dakota. The largest number works in land-based casinos in Nevada, and the second-largest group works in similar establishments in New Jersey. Mississippi, which boasts the greatest number of riverboat casinos in operation, employs the most workers in that venue. In addition, there are 27 States with Indian casinos. Legal lotteries are held in 37 States and the District of Columbia, and parimutuel wagering is legal in 40 States. Forty-six States and the District of Columbia also allow charitable gaming.
For most workers, gaming licensure requires proof of residency in the State in which gaming workers are employed. But some gaming services workers do not limit themselves to one State, or even one country. Some workers find jobs on the small number of casinos located on luxury cruise liners, traveling the world while living and working aboard.
Training, Qualifications, Adv.Usually, there are no
minimum educational requirements for entry-level gaming workers, although most
employers prefer a high school diploma or GED. However, entry-level gaming services
workers are required to have a license issued by a regulatory agency, such as
a casino control board or commission. Applicants for a license must provide
photo identification, proof of residency in the State in which they anticipate
working, and pay a fee. Age requirements
vary by State. The licensing application process also includes a background
In addition to a license, gaming services workers need superior customer service skills. Casino gaming workers provide entertainment and hospitality to patrons, and the quality of their service contributes to an establishment's success or failure. Therefore, gaming workers need good communication skills, an outgoing personality, and the ability to maintain their composure even when dealing with angry or demanding patrons. Personal integrity also is important because workers handle large amounts of money.
Each casino establishes its own requirements for education, training, and experience. Almost all casinos provide some in-house training in addition to requiring certification. The type and quantity of classes needed may vary.
Many institutions of higher learning offer training classes -toward certification in gaming, as well as offering an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree in a hospitality-related field such as hospitality management, hospitality administration, or hotel management. Some schools offer training in games, gaming supervision, slot attendant and slot repair technician work, slot department management, and surveillance and security.
Gaming services workers who manage money should have some experience handling cash or using calculators or adding machines. For such positions, most casinos administer a math test to assess an applicant's level of competency.
Most casino supervisory staff have an associate or bachelor's degree. Supervisors who do not have a degree usually substitute hands-on experience for formal education. Regardless of their educational background, however, most supervisors gain experience in other gaming occupations before moving into supervisory positions because knowledge of games and casino operations is essential for these workers. Gaming supervisors must have leadership qualities and good communication skills to supervise employees effectively and to deal with patrons in a way that encourages return visits.
Slot key persons do not need to meet formal educational requirements to enter the occupation, but completion of slot attendant or slot technician training is helpful. As with most other gaming workers, slot key persons receive on-the-job training during the first several weeks of employment. Most slot key positions are entry level, so a desire to learn is important. Slot key persons need good communication skills and an ability to remain calm, even when dealing with angry or demanding patrons. Personal integrity also is important because these workers handle large sums of money.
Gaming and sportsbook writers and runners must have at least a high school diploma or GED. Most of these workers receive on-the-job training. Because gaming and sportsbook writers and runners work closely with patrons, they need excellent customer service skills.
Nearly all gaming dealers are certified. Certification is available through 2- or 4-year programs in gaming or a hospitality-related field. Experienced dealers, who often are able to attract new or return business, have the best job prospects. Dealers with more experience are placed at the "high roller" tables.
Advancement opportunities in casino gaming depend less on workers' previous casino duties and titles than on their ability and eagerness to learn new jobs. For example, an entry-level gaming worker eventually might advance to become a dealer or card room manager or to assume some other supervisory position.
in gaming services occupations is projected to grow faster than the average
for all occupations through 2010. As a direct result of increasing demand for additional table games
in gaming establishments, the most rapid growth is expected among gaming dealers.
Job prospects in gaming services occupations are best for those with a degree
or certification in gaming or a hospitality-related field, previous casino gaming
training or experience, and strong interpersonal and customer service skills.
In addition to job openings arising from employment growth, opportunities will
result from the need to replace workers transferring to other occupations or
leaving the labor force.
Gaming has increased, reflecting growth in the population and in disposable income. More domestic and international competition for gaming patrons, and higher expectations among gaming patrons for customer service, should result in more jobs for gaming services workers. Job growth is expected in established gaming areas such as Las Vegas, Nevada, and Atlantic City, New Jersey, and in other States and areas that may legalize gaming in the coming years, including the development of more gaming establishments on Indian tribal lands.
EarningsWage earnings for gaming services workers vary according to occupation, level of experience, training, location, and size of the gaming establishment. The following tabulation shows the range of median earnings for various gaming services occupations in 2009:
Gaming supervisors $37,900
Slot key persons 21,620
Gaming and sports book writers and runners 17,100
Gaming dealers 13,330
Related OccupationsMany other
occupations provide hospitality and customer service. Some examples of related occupations are
security guards and gaming surveillance officers, recreation and fitness workers,
sales worker supervisors, cashiers, gaming change persons and booth cashiers,
retail salespersons, gaming cage workers, and tellers.
For additional information on careers in gaming, visit your public library and your State gaming regulatory agency or casino control commission. Information on careers in gaming also is available from:
Sources of Additional Information
For additional information on careers in gaming, visit your public library and your State gaming regulatory agency or casino control commission.
Information on careers in gaming also is available from: