Study Casino Management: Associate's, Bachelor's & Online Degree Info

About this article
What will you learn in a casino management degree program? Read about program requirements, the pros and cons of an associate's and a bachelor's degree and potential careers.
View available schools

Casino Management Associate's and Bachelor's: Degrees at a Glance

Casino managers, also called gaming managers and supervisors, are responsible for overseeing employees and gaming operations in a casino environment, such as a riverboat casino, land casino or casino located in a hotel. Employment of gaming managers is predicted to grow 11% over the 2010-2020 decade, which is about as fast as average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

You might not need a degree at all in order to work in the gaming industry. According to the BLS, gaming managers often move up from entry-level roles and only need to take a few formal courses in the field. However, earning an associate's or bachelor's degree can set you apart from your competition when it comes time to look for a job.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals who want to earn management-level positions in casino or resort operations Individuals who want to earn casino management positions with the possibility of advancement
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - Gaming supervisor ($50,000 - this salary is more common for people with several years of experience)*
- Gaming manager
($71,000 - this salary is more common for people with several years of experience)*
Career paths for the bachelor's degree are similar to those of the associate's, although there might be more advancement opportunities for candidates holding a bachelor's degree. Also includes:
- Hotel manager ($55,000 - this salary is more common for people with 1-5 years of experience)*
Time to Completion Two years, full-time Four years, full-time
Prerequisites High school diploma or GED High school diploma or GED
Online Availability Yes Yes

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2012)

Associate's in Casino Management

Some community colleges offer specialized associate's degree programs in casino management, while others offer programs in hospitality management with a focus on casino or gaming management. Both degree programs should provide you with a basic understanding of how to oversee a casino establishment and also cover business principles and general education topics. Typically, graduates are prepared to seek entry-level employment in the gaming industry.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Many 2-year programs in casino management can prepare you for hospitality management positions as well
  • All gaming service occupations, including those at the entry level, should see average job growth from 2010-2020*
  • A variety of programs related to casino management are available at the associate's degree level

Cons

  • You may be competing for jobs against applicants with less education but more experience
  • Must gain licensure from a casino commission or control board (typically requires a fee)
  • Casino managers must often work nights and weekends

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Courses and Requirements

While core courses in an associate's degree program in casino management might cover management skills and principles, additional courses can also serve to prepare students for other roles. For instance, many of these programs offer courses in hotel management or operations as well, which can prepare students to take on more generalized management roles in casino hotels. Courses include:

  • Management principles
  • Introduction to casino management
  • Hospitality management
  • Casino games
  • Introduction to surveillance
  • Hotel operations

Online Degree Options

Online associate's degree programs in casino management do exist, although for-profit schools primarily offer them. You might also consider taking casino management courses through a related online program, such as those available in business administration. These programs focus more on business and management basics than on specific casino management skills but can still prepare you for a career in gaming management.

Stand Out with This Degree

You will likely need to have some previous knowledge, experience or skills in order to secure a job as a casino manager, even if you do have a degree. You might look for schools that offer internships within casino management associate's programs; internships allow you to gain hands-on experience in the field. A good understanding of casino security systems or video surveillance systems can also help put you ahead of the competition.

Bachelor's in Casino Management

At the bachelor's degree level, it is much more rare to find degree programs specifically geared towards casino management. However, several 4-year universities do offer hospitality management or hotel management degree programs with courses in casino management. In these programs, you can learn the basics of marketing, management and business strategy.

Programs that offer a focus in casino management can teach you about the basics of the gaming industry while also teaching you management skills. Depending on the program, you may also need to complete a practicum or internship experience in the hospitality industry.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A bachelor's degree in casino management can often prepare you for upper-level management positions or hospitality management positions
  • A bachelor's degree program may include an internship component that can give you experience
  • Studying casino management at this level can help you develop a background in other related fields, such as hospitality

Cons

  • A bachelor's degree isn't always necessary for this position (as of 2011, only about 18% of casino managers have this degree)*
  • Management positions may require several years of experience before advancing
  • Work on nights and weekends is common for casino managers

Source: *O*Net Online

Courses and Requirements

Many of the core casino management courses in these bachelor's degree programs provide an overview of the gaming industry while also covering specific management skills. Courses also cover the basics of certain games and gaming procedures. Other courses include:

  • Personnel management
  • Casino products
  • Gaming industry
  • Casino probability
  • Casino management
  • Hospitality and tourism
  • Event management

Online Degree Options

Online bachelor's degree programs in casino management are available through select schools. At the bachelor's degree level, it might be best to attend an on-campus program in order to have access to any available internship opportunities.

Stand Out with This Degree

Just like those who have earned an associate's degree in casino management, the best way for you to stand out in the field is to have actual experience working in a casino. Even if you just earn experience as a slot supervisor or dealer, this can help prepare you for a career in a casino environment and provide you with valuable networking opportunities. You may have to relocate to have access to a casino. As of 2011, the American Gaming Association keeps a list of the 22 states with operating, commercial casinos.

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. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Business Management
      • Associate of Science - Business Studies
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Science in Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    4. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts in Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Indiana Wesleyan University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • A.S. Business
      • A.S. General Studies - Business
  • Campus Locations:
    6. Virginia College

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate's - Business Admin
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts - Accounting
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Southern New Hampshire University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • AS in Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Thomas Edison State University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • AS in Business Administration (ASBA)
  • Milwaukee, WI

    Milwaukee Area Technical College

Featured Schools

Kaplan University

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

Which subject are you interested in?

Herzing University

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

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Technical University

  • Associate of Science in Business Administration

Are you a US citizen?

American InterContinental University

  • Associate of Arts in Business Administration

Are you a US citizen?

Indiana Wesleyan University

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

What is your highest level of education?

Virginia College

  • Associate's - Business Admin

What is your highest level of education completed?

Keiser University

  • Associate of Arts - Accounting

What is your highest level of education?

Southern New Hampshire University

  • AS in Business Administration

What is your highest level of education?