Gaming Management Degrees: Bachelor's, Associate & Online Course Info

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Associate's and bachelor's degrees in gaming management can lead to careers in casino management. Get the truth about the requirements, courses and online options, and find out what you can do with your degree.
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Studying Gaming Management: Associate's and Bachelor's Degrees at a Glance

Gaming managers are employed by casinos and other recreational establishments. They are responsible for managing staff, overseeing gaming operations and making sure that patrons follow established rules. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in the profession is predicted to grow about 11% during the 2010-2020 decade.

Although it is possible to find degree programs dedicated solely to the field of gaming management, most gaming establishments will only require you to have a high school diploma or GED in order to secure employment, according to the BLS. These establishments often expect you to work your way up from slot technician or customer service jobs to management positions. However, earning a postsecondary degree or certificate in gaming management can provide you with some of the business acumen necessary to secure a management position.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals interested in mid-level gaming operations or management positions People who want to start out in gaming management or supervisory roles
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - Gaming surveillance operator ($33,000 )*
- Slot supervisor ($32,000 )*
- Gaming manager ($75,000 )*
- Gaming manager ($75,000)*
- Gaming supervisor ($50,000 )*
Time to Completion Two years About four years
Common Graduation Requirements - Completion of hospitality, business and casino operations courses
- General education courses
- Possible cooperative experience or internship
- Core business and general education courses
- Possible minimum GPA requirement
- Capstone course
- Possible internship
Prerequisites -Basic computer skills
High school diploma or GED
- High school transcript or equivalent
- Basic math and writing skills
- Possible academic skills assessment exam
Online Availability Hybrid programs available Rare

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Associate's Degrees in Gaming Management

Associate's degree programs in gaming management or casino management are designed to prepare you for entry-level management positions in gaming facilities. Sometimes, these programs are offered as concentrations within hospitality management degrees. In addition to gaining the knowledge necessary to oversee the daily operations of a gaming business establishment, you should also gain a general education and pick up basic customer-service skills. You might also be required to complete a cooperative experience or internship in a gaming facility before graduation.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A degree can give you a competitive edge over those with no postsecondary education.*
  • Many associate's degree programs in the field can also prepare you for careers in hospitality management, lodging management and foodservice management.
  • The growing popularity of casino/racetrack hybrid establishments is expected to increase employment in the field. *

Cons

  • Employers might need you to have professional experience in addition to a degree.*
  • You might still need to work as a dealer or slot technician before moving up to a management role.*
  • You will likely face strong competition for gaming management positions.*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Courses and Requirements

In addition to covering the basics of casino management, associate's degree programs in gaming management should also provide you with an understanding of basic business principles, such as accounting, marketing and management. Other topics might relate particularly to the hospitality industry. Some examples of courses include:

  • Introduction to economics
  • Customer relations
  • Casino marketing
  • Gaming law
  • Surveillance management
  • Slot machine management

Online Degree Options

Some accredited community colleges with gaming management programs offer hybrid courses, which consist of both on-campus and online components. Completely online programs are rarely offered by accredited and not-for-profit schools.

Stand Out with This Degree

If you choose to earn an associate's degree in gaming management, one way to set yourself apart from the competition is to specialize. Some degree programs allow you to focus on particular concentrations, such as gaming surveillance, regulations, gaming leadership and customer service. They might even offer certificate programs dedicated solely to these subjects. You might also want to become acquainted with all of the games associated with casino floors by taking courses in blackjack, craps and other games.

Bachelor's Degrees in Gaming Management

A bachelor's degree program in gaming or casino management might be an ideal choice if you are looking to gain a well-rounded education that stresses hospitality and business management principles. Much like associate's degree programs in the field, these bachelor's programs can be offered as concentrations within areas of study such as hospitality management or entertainment management. They often include internship or cooperative work experience requirements, sometimes pairing you up with a gaming establishment near your particular school. Some schools even require you to complete up to 2,000 hours in non-credit gaming experience before you can graduate.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A bachelor's degree program should provide you with the business acumen and management skills valued by employers.
  • A well-rounded degree program in hospitality management with a focus on casino management can also prepare you for other positions in the hospitality field.
  • Many 4-year programs include internship and cooperative work components that provide you with the hands-on training you need.

Cons

  • Bachelor's degrees aren't often a requirement in this field.*
  • Jobs are much more widely available in certain states, such as Nevada and California.*
  • You may need to earn licensure to work in the gaming services industry.*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Courses and Requirements

In addition to core courses in casino management skills and principles, these degree programs often include general education requirements, business requirements and electives. Some specific courses you might find include:

  • Hospitality management
  • Gaming management principles
  • Overview of tourism industry
  • Business ethics
  • Economic principles
  • Management dynamics and techniques
  • Management math and statistics

Online Degree Options

It will be extremely difficult to find online bachelor's degree programs in gaming management offered by accredited, not-for-profit schools. However, some universities do offer individual casino management and gaming management courses online. These courses can often be taken independently of a degree program and are designed to provide you with the basic skills necessary to manage the floor of a gaming establishment.

Stand Out with This Degree

One way you can stand out with a bachelor's degree in hospitality management is to put an emphasis on business and management courses. Having a detailed understanding not just of management principles, but also of management software and organizational systems, can give you a competitive edge over job seekers who have years of professional experience in the gaming field. You may want to look for degree programs that offer courses in team building, management skills, Microsoft Excel and business technology.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • AASBA in Food/Hotel Management
      • Associate: Business Admin.
      • AASBA in Event Planning
      • AASBA in Health Club Operations
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Indiana Wesleyan University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • A.S. Business
      • A.S. General Studies - Business
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Business Management
      • Associate of Science - Business Studies
  • Campus and Online Programs
    4. Virginia College

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate's - Business Admin
  • Online Programs Available
    5. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts in Business Administration
  • Milwaukee, WI

    Milwaukee Area Technical College

  • Rochester, NY

    Rochester Institute of Technology

  • Online Programs Available
    8. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts - Accounting

Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • AASBA in Food/Hotel Management
  • Associate: Business Admin.
  • AASBA in Event Planning

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Indiana Wesleyan University

  • A.S. Business
  • A.S. General Studies - Business

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Herzing University

  • Associate of Science - Business Management
  • Associate of Science - Business Studies

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Virginia College

  • Associate's - Business Admin

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American InterContinental University

  • Associate of Arts in Business Administration

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Keiser University

  • Associate of Arts - Accounting

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