Gaming Services Workers


Quick Facts: Gaming Services Workers
2017 Median Pay $22,300 per year 
$10.72 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in a Related Occupation  
On-the-job Training  
Number of Jobs, 2016 176,100
Job Outlook, 2016-26 2% (Slower than average)
Employment Change, 2016-26 3,800

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Gaming Services Workers Career, Salary, and Education Information

What Gaming Services Workers Do

Gaming services workers serve customers in gambling establishments, such as casinos or racetracks. Some workers tend slot machines or deal cards. Others take bets or pay out winnings. Still others supervise or manage gaming workers and operations.

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Gaming Services workers

Duties of Gaming Services

Gaming services workers typically do the following:

  • Interact with customers and ensure that they have a pleasant experience

  • Monitor customers for violations of gaming regulations or casino policies

  • Inform their supervisor or a security employee of any irregularities they observe

  • Enforce safety rules and report hazards

  • Explain how to play the games to customers

The following are examples of types of gaming services workers:

Gaming managers and supervisors direct and oversee the gaming operations and personnel in their assigned area. Supervisors circulate among the tables to make sure that everything is running smoothly and that all areas are properly staffed. Gaming managers and supervisors typically do the following:

  • Keep an eye on customers and employees to ensure compliance with all gaming and casino rules

  • Communicate with other departments if security or customer-service issues arise

  • Address customers’ complaints about service

  • Explain house operating rules, such as betting limits, if customers do not understand them

  • Ensure payouts are correct

  • Schedule when and where employees in their section will work

  • Interview, hire, and train new employees

Slot supervisors oversee the activities of the slot department. The job duties of this occupation have changed significantly, as slot machines have become more automated in recent years. Because most casinos use slot machines that give out tickets instead of cash and thus require very little oversight, workers in this occupation spend most of their time providing customer service to slot players. Slot supervisors typically do the following:

  • Watch over the slot section and ensure that players are satisfied with the games

  • Refill machines with tickets when they run out

  • Oversee payment of large jackpots

  • Respond to and resolve customer complaints

  • Interview, hire, and train new employees

Gaming dealers operate table games such as craps, blackjack, and roulette. They stand or sit behind tables while serving customers. Dealers control the pace and action of the game. They announce each player’s move to the rest of the table and let players know when it is their turn. Most dealers are often required to work at least two games, usually blackjack or craps. Gaming dealers typically do the following:

  • Give out cards and provide dice or other equipment to customers

  • Determine winners, calculate and pay off winning bets, and collect on losing bets

  • Continually inspect cards or dice

  • Inform players of the rules of the game

  • Keep track of the amount of money that customers have already bet

  • Exchange paper money for gaming chips

Gaming and sports book writers and runners handle bets on sporting events and take and record bets for customers. Sports book writers and runners also verify tickets and pay out winning tickets. In addition, they help run games such as bingo and keno. Some gaming runners collect winning tickets from customers in a casino. Gaming and sports book writers and runners typically do the following:

  • Scan tickets and calculate winnings

  • Operate the equipment that randomly selects bingo or keno numbers

  • Announce bingo or keno numbers when they are selected

  • Oversee the cash that comes in (on bets) and goes out (on winnings) during their shift


Work Environment for Gaming Services Workers

Gaming services workers held about 176,100 jobs in 2016. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up gaming services workers was distributed as follows:

Gaming dealers: 96,900

Gaming supervisors: 38,500

Gaming service workers, all other: 12,500

Slot supervisors: 12,100

Gaming and sports book writers and runners: 11,700

Gaming managers: 4,500

The largest employers of gaming services workers were as follows:

Local government, excluding education and hospitals: 26%

Self-employed workers: 13%

Spectator sports: 3%

Some gaming services occupations are physically demanding. Gaming dealers spend most of their shift standing behind a table. Although managers and supervisors may spend some limited time working in an office, they must frequently walk up and down the casino floor.

A casino atmosphere also may expose gaming services workers to hazards such as secondhand smoke from cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Noise from slot machines, gaming tables, and loud customers may be distracting to some, although workers may wear protective headgear in areas where machinery is used to count money.

Work Schedules

Most casinos are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Employees are often scheduled to work nights, weekends, and holidays, which are typically the busiest times for casinos.


How to Become a Gaming Services Worker

Most gaming jobs require a high school diploma or equivalent. Some casinos may require gaming managers to have a college degree. In addition, all gaming services workers must have excellent customer-service skills.

Education

Gaming dealers, gaming supervisors, sports book writers and runners, and slot supervisors typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. Educational requirements for gaming managers, however, differ by casino. Although some casinos may only require a high school diploma or equivalent, others require gaming managers to have a college degree. Those who choose to pursue a degree may study hotel management, hospitality, or accounting in addition to taking formal management classes.

Training

Individual casinos or other gaming establishments have their own training requirements. New gaming dealers may be sent to gaming school for a few weeks to learn a casino game, such as blackjack or craps. These schools teach the rules and procedures of the game, as well as state and local laws and regulations related to the game.

Although gaming school is primarily for new employees, some experienced dealers have to go to gaming school if they want to be trained in a new casino game.

Completing gaming school before being hired may increase a prospective dealer’s chances of being hired, but it does not guarantee a job. Casinos usually audition prospective dealers for open positions to assess their personal qualities.

Gaming and sports book writers and runners usually do not have to go to gaming school. They can be trained by the casino in less than 1 month. The casino teaches them state and local laws and regulations related to the game, as well the particulars of their job, such as keno calling.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Gaming services workers must be licensed by a state regulatory agency, such as a state casino control board or gaming commission. Licensing requirements for supervisory or managerial positions may differ from those for gaming dealers, gaming and sports book writers and runners, and all other gaming workers. However, all applicants for a license must provide photo identification and pay a fee. They also must typically pass an extensive background check and drug test. Failure to pass the background check may prevent candidates from getting a job or a gaming license.

Age requirements also vary by state. For specific licensing requirements, visit the state’s gaming commission website.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Gaming and slot supervisors and gaming managers usually have several years of experience working in a casino. Gaming supervisors often have experience as a dealer or in the customer outreach department of the casino. Slot supervisors usually have experience as a slot technician or slot attendant. Some also may have worked in entry-level marketing or customer-service positions.

Advancement

Gaming managers are often promoted from positions as slot or gaming supervisors. They also may be moved from a management job in another part of the resort, such as hospitality, after learning about casino operations through an internship or on-the-job training.

Gaming dealers can advance to gaming supervisors and eventually managers. A slot supervisor can also advance to gaming manager.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Gaming services workers must explain the rules of the game to customers and answer any questions they have. Simple misunderstandings can cost a customer a lot of money and damage the reputation of the casino.

Customer-service skills. All gaming jobs involve a lot of interaction with customers. The success or failure of a casino depends on how customers view the casino, making customer service important for all gaming services occupations.

Leadership skills. Gaming managers and supervisors oversee other gaming services workers and must guide them in doing their jobs and developing their skills.

Math skills. Because they deal with large amounts of money, many casino workers must be good at math.

Organizational skills. Gaming managers and supervisors must be well organized to handle administrative and other tasks required in overseeing gaming services workers.

Patience. All gaming services workers must keep their composure when they handle a customer who becomes upset or breaks a rule. They also must be patient in dealing with equipment failures or malfunctions.


salaries for Gaming Services Workers

The median annual wage for gaming services workers was $22,300 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $17,170, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $58,060.

Median annual wages for gaming services workers in May 2017 were as follows:

Gaming managers: $72,930

First-line supervisors of gaming workers: $48,850

Gaming service workers, all other: $27,040

Gaming and sports book writers and runners: $24,030

Gaming dealers: $19,820

In May 2017, the median annual wages for gaming services workers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Local government, excluding education and hospitals: $23,830

Spectator sports: $20,820

Most casinos are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Employees are often scheduled to work nights, weekends, and holidays, which are typically the busiest times for casinos.


Job Outlook for Gaming Services Workers

Employment of gaming services workers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations.

Employment will be driven by the increasing popularity of gambling establishments. Additional states currently without commercial gaming establishments may allow new casinos to be built over the next decade in an effort to bring in more tax revenue.

However, the risk of oversaturation may force some states to scale back their plans to build new casinos. As more states approve expansions in the number of gaming establishments, the competition for customers will increase. Those establishments that fail to keep or attract customers may close, thereby negating some of the jobs created from new casinos.

Furthermore, the increase of online gambling may draw some customers away from traditional brick-and-mortar casinos.

Job Prospects

Although jobs are expected to open as workers leave the occupation, strong competition is expected for jobs at casinos. Those with work experience in customer service at a hotel or resort should have better job prospects because of the importance of customer service in casinos.

Those already with a gaming license and knowledge and training in different casino games will have the best job prospects.

Employment projections data for Gaming Services Workers, 2016-26

Employment, 2016: 176,100

Projected Employment, 2026: 179,900

Change, 2016-2026: +2%, +3,800


Careers Related to Gaming Services Workers

Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives interact with customers to handle complaints, process orders, and provide information about an organization’s products and services.

Financial Clerks

Financial clerks do administrative work for many types of organizations. They keep records, help customers, and carry out financial transactions.

Lodging Managers

Lodging managers ensure that guests on vacation or business travel have a pleasant experience at a hotel, motel, or other types of establishment with accommodations. They also ensure that the establishment is run efficiently and profitably.

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Public relations managers plan and direct the creation of material that will maintain or enhance the public image of their employer or client. Fundraising managers coordinate campaigns that bring in donations for their organization.

Public Relations Specialists

Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent. They craft media releases and develop social media programs to shape public perception of their organization and to increase awareness of its work and goals.

Retail Sales Workers

Retail sales workers help customers find products they want and process customers’ payments. There are two types of retail sales workers: retail salespersons, who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and automobiles; and parts salespersons, who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts.

Sales Managers

Sales managers direct organizations' sales teams. They set sales goals, analyze data, and develop training programs for organizations’ sales representatives.

Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers patrol and protect property against theft, vandalism, and other illegal activity.

OccupationENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION2017 MEDIAN PAY
Customer Service RepresentativesHigh school diploma or equivalent$32,890
Lodging ManagersHigh school diploma or equivalent$51,800
Public Relations and Fundraising ManagersBachelor's degree$111,280
Public Relations SpecialistsBachelor's degree$59,300
Retail Sales WorkersNo formal educational credential$23,370
Sales ManagersBachelor's degree$121,060
Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance OfficersHigh school diploma or equivalent$26,960
Financial ClerksHigh school diploma or equivalent$38,680

Citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Gaming Services Workers,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/gaming-services-occupations.htm