Top 5 Tips for Launching a Casino Management Career
Ever wonder how to become a casino manager? Here are five tips and tricks to help you launch your successful career in casino management.
- Experience: Know what you’re managing before you manage it.
- Networking: It’s all about who you know.
- Absorb information: The more you know.
- Know your responsibilities: Know what you still need to learn.
- There’s no going back.
Hello and welcome to Vegas Aces live stream. Today we are going to be talking about the top 5 tips for launching your management career. If you don’t know already my name is Heather Ferris. I’ll be your host for today. And if you’re new to this channel we talk about a lot of things casino industry wise. Whether that is for players, dealers, or casino.
If you are a dealer looking into getting into casino management or if you’re not in the industry yet but you want to get in the industry and you want to be a casino manager one day, these five tips and tricks will help you with that and it will make things a lot easier climbing up the ladder. So if you have any questions about this or anything else please feel free to ask and I will answer your questions as we go through this.
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Know What You’re Managing Before You Manage It
The very first thing we are going to be talking about. And you can see all number. All five things in the description. The very first thing we are going to be talking about today is ‘Experience’. So, this goes for pretty much any job, any industry that you want to go into. It’s really good to have that bottom level experience before you go up into a higher level management position.
So, for example, you’re not going to help yourself if you become a floor supervisor after dealing blackjack for six months. Like you’re not going to help yourself at all. If your floor supervisor wants to be a casino, shift manager, casino manager, it’s really good to know the games. Its good to know how the games are run, how the games are dealt. What goes on in those games.
You really want to have that experience under your belt. So if you are planning to get into the casino industry upper management then it’s really good to start out as a dealer and know as many games as you possibly can and deal them as long as you can before going up the ladder. So again you want to have that experience, you want to be able to deal multiple games and you don’t want to start climbing up the ladder after six months of experience. So that is number one.
It’s All About Who You Know
This one is pretty important and this is ‘Network’. So in this industry, being “juiced in” is pretty substantial, it is pretty important. Like this is usually how people get their jobs is their “juiced in.” So when I say “juiced in” usually it’s you know, networking.
I know a friend who is a casino manager at this really awesome property. My friend is willing to hire me, you know, at this position at this awesome property. So, networking is really important in this industry. Be friends with everyone.
You don’t know if that dealer that you’re working with is going to be a casino manager at one of the highest profiting casinos in Las Vegas. And it happens. You know someone who’s a dealer will one day will be a casino manager at a good location another day and if you guys are friends you have a good relationship, you know each other then it won’t be very hard to you know text them and be like, hey! Looking for anyone? You need anyone? Hey if you’re ever low on someone let me know I would love to work you, you know, we’re friends. You know, who doesn’t want to work your friends, right? So, being “juiced in” is pretty important.
3. Absorb Information
The More You Know
You want to learn everything you can. If you’re starting off as a dealer, you’re probably going to have a few years.
At least four or five before you know all of the games and you can move up to different levels. It’s difficult, but if you could learn craps as well as all of the other table games you are going to be extremely valuable to the casino. And this takes time. So as you’re going through that, as you are, you know learning everything about the games absorb all the information you can. And you can do that either by talking with people that have been in the industry for a while, talking with coworkers, asking them questions, asking them about their experiences.
Also, too if you want to go to school, especially if you are located here in Las Vegas. UNLV has a fantastic program, same with CSN. So going to school is another good way to absorb information. And of course you can always listen to different podcasts out there. Some of them include, B in the Know by Benny Mancino. So I’m really looking forward to that. Also, too The Dropbox is a good podcast. And Richard Munchkin has a good podcast as well, Gambling with an Edge . Another thing you want to do to absorb information is read books. There’s a lot of good books out there, some include, Casino-ology by Bill Zender. Bill Zender is a really good person to read…if you read all of his books you are going to learn a lot of information. He has a lot of good knowledge, information. Really good. Same with Casio-ology 2 . Another good book to read is Table Games Management . And this one is by Vic Taucer. Vic Taucer is another person you want to read all of his books. Check them out. Really awesome guy. Again absorb as much information as you can.
2. Know Your Responsibilities
Know What You Need To Learn
There are many levels of casino management:
- Floor Supervisors
- Box Person
- Pit Manager
- Shift Manager
- Casino Manager
- Vice President(s)
- General Manager
You know what you need to do. You know what you need to get better on.
Floor Manager Responsibilities
- Rating players
- Handling disputes
- Game protection
- Employee direction
So for a floor supervisor, some of your responsibilities would include markers, fills, credits, rating players, paperwork of course there’s lots of paperwork. Handling disputes, if there’s any disputes on the table. Game protection. So it’s really good to know game protection. Employee direction. So it is the floor supervisors responsibility to watch their dealers.
And if they’re not following procedure or if they need some time of mentorship or teaching, it’s the floor supervisors responsibility to teach the dealer to be a better dealer.
- Verifying payoffs
- Dice inspection
As we go up the list for a box person, everything I said for a floor supervisor is the same for a box person, the only two responsibilities added to that the only two responsibilities added to that would be the Box person is verifying the payoffs and they also do dice inspection.
Pit Manager Responsibilities
- Bankroll inventory
- Administration duties
So as we move up the list…next comes the casino Pit Manager: And the Casino Pit Manager oversees gaming operations in that one pit. This includes bankroll inventory, of course more paperwork. Equipment, administration duties, utilization. Utilization is basically monitoring the volume of play on the tables and then either increasing or decreasing the minimum/maximum depending on that play. So that’s the Casino Pit Manager’s responsibilities.
Shift Manager Responsibilities
- Gaming operations during shift
- Credit authorization
- Betting limits
- Win/loss ratios
- Disciplining staff
- Identifying cheating and scams
- Identifying policies and procedures
- Comp authority
- Equipment oversight
And then as we go up to the Shift Manager: And they oversee gaming operations during that one shift. And this includes credit authorization, betting limits, win/loss ratios, discipline, disciplining staff and everything, figuring out cheating, scams, watching out for them. Figuring out the policies and procedures of the casino, comp authorities…so when you need an authority for comp…they would give that authority. They are in charge of communication, and they are also in charge of equipment such as cards and dice.
Higher Level Roles
So as we go up from there…Higher is a Casino Manager and then you get into the VP’s. Vice President of Table Games Operations and that type of a thing. And then a General Manager is the highest.
1. There’s No Going Back
Good To Know
I know that sounds ominous…right? But it is so true.
So, casinos have a shortage of supervisors. They have a shortage of management. That means that once you have any experience as a dual raid or floor supervisor. If you try to get hired at a casino they will always hire you as a floor supervisor and they won’t hire you for a dealer. And that was one of those obstacles that people would find themselves in. I knew a Shift Manager who really wanted to be a dealer, because the dealers were making the same amount as the Shift Manager…which happens…and they have less responsibilities. They worked less. It was fun. It was enjoyable, but no matter what this person did they couldn’t get a job as a dealer because once you have casino management on your application that’s what you get hired for. So once you do this, there is no going back. It’s just extremely hard. It might happen, there are always exceptions, but for the most part. If you’re a dealer and you become a floor supervisor and then you try to get hired somewhere as a dealer it’s not going to happen. So, last tip, once you do this there is no going back.
Questions & Answers
What is the one top mistake a person can make getting into upper management?
A pretty big mistake when casinos are short on floor supervisors, they need to hire people.
If they don’t have anyone to hire, what they’ll do is they will ask new dealers, so what happens sometimes is a break-in dealer will go in. They are only there for 3, 6 months…literally that’s how long their dealing.
And then the casino will be like, “Hey we really need a floor supervisor, can you do it?” And the persons like, “Yeah, sure your offering me full time, your offering insurance, benefits, like yeah of course I want to take it.” The alternative would be to be an extra board dealer for 2 years before you get full time and insurance and so a lot of people jump at the chance and I don’t blame them. But what they don’t realize is that they are hindering themselves by doing this. Having that experience dealing different table games and being on the table for longer than 6 months is extremely helpful later on in your career.
As you’re going through and you’re being a floor supervisor. Also, as a floor supervisor, if anything happens to your dealer, whether they are sick, they have to go to the bathroom really fast…if something happens to them, the floor supervisor is responsible to take the dealer out and clap into the game and deal the game.
So if you are a floor supervisor that has only dealt for 6 months and you need to take someone out of Let-it-Ride and you have never dealt Let-it-Ride, like what are you going to do for the next hour or however it takes for them to get a dealer? That’s not going to be good, seeing you try to deal the game. So again that’s one of the pitfalls people run into as a floor supervisor.
What are the Pros and Cons of suiting up vs dealing?
The pros of being a dealer is that it’s an 8 hour job, your on break for 2 hours of it. You don’t have to do paperwork. If there’s any problems you hand it to the floor supervisor and it’s their responsibility and your job is to have fun. And you get paid very well. You get paid on the same level or a bit more than a floor supervisor.
Being a dealer is a great job. A lot of people stay at this job for a very long time because it’s so awesome. The Cons of being a dealer: You have to wait 2 years as an extra board before you get insurance or benefits. Extra board…it depends on the casino but they could work you 2 days a week or 7 days a week. It just really depends. A lot of people don’t like that…they want insurance, they want stability, they want a salary.
So dealers make hourly plus tips and you never know what the tip is going to be. But Floor Supervisors make salary so they always know what their paycheck is going to be and some people really like that stability. So that’s the pros and con for the dealer.
With the floor supervisor some of the cons would be more paperwork, more responsibility, more hours, they are on salary but that sometimes means that they have to work later or come in earlier for a meeting or something they need to do. Or if they have to work overtime they don’t get paid extra for it because they are salary. Paperwork, responsibilities, meetings…so those are some of the cons. Some of the pros…again like I was saying once you get it full time, salary, insurance.
Are casinos looking for supervisors even now with COVID-19?
Fantastic question. So a lot of videos that I am giving you are for normal times. We live in an abnormal world now. COVID has created a whirlwind of uncertainty.
The thing with the casinos right now is when a lot of the casinos closed they laid off their workforce. When they opened they only hired 50% of their workforce back so they still have to hire most of their people back before they will hire new people.
Now again, if you guys go check out Bennie Mancino, really awesome. He just started doing live streams. His channel is “Be in the Know.” He was just doing a livestream the other day, talking about casinos coming back and he said some of those casinos are hiring. Like they were really desperate for people before the pandemic. So some of them are still hiring.
So it really just depends on the casino and their situation and what they did before and after the COVID closings and re-openings. So, go check out your casino. If you want to know if a casino is hiring you can always as for a shift manager and then as they if they are hiring and if you can audition. Like I have said in earlier videos, if you’re going to do this put your application in beforehand and make sure you show up in your salt and peppers.
If someone doesn’t wish to be a supervisor, could they leave that off their application or will the casino be able to see that information somewhere?
So that’s a good question. One thing about that is if you do leave it off the application you will need to explain about that gap. So if you were working somewhere for a year as a floor supervisor, and you leave it off the application the casino will be like… What have you been doing for a year? Why do you have a year gap? That doesn’t look good.
So again that just depends. Now can they find out that information elsewhere? Not unless you put that info on the application and they are able to call. There is always the gaming license but I don’t know enough information about the NV Gaming Control Board and what they can and cannot see to be able to answer that question confidently.