We think you’ll agree with us – there’s something exciting about a career in the gambling industry.
It isn’t just the bright lights and glamour of a big Vegas casino. Sure, bells and whistles are nice, but any work environment gets old after a while.
It isn’t just the excitement of big jackpots, crisp bills exchanging hands, and the smiles on winner’s faces. After all, plenty of casino employees make minimum wage.
No, we think the appeal of a career in gambling is appealing on a much more basic level. Some people love being where the action is. There’s never a dull moment in most careers in gaming.
On this page you’ll find a list of twenty-five careers directly (and in some cases indirectly) related to the gambling industry. For each career, we discuss the basics of the job, the average annual salary, and the overall prospects for people trained in that career. We’ve broken them up into the following six categories.
All of the average salary and career outlook information posted for each career below is taken from the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS updates its figures annually, basing them on large-scale surveys of real-world salaries and hiring data.
The United States is home to just under 1,000 properties described as casinos, racinos, card rooms, and electronic bingo parlors. Each of these gambling venues requires tons of employees to keep the place up and running. Though most people think of a traditional table game dealer when they think about a career in the casino, the truth is that a working gambling hall needs about a 3:1 ratio of employees to customers. Here’s a list of some of the most important careers related to the casino industry in America.
Dealers work on casino floors, operating table games. T hey generally stand or sit at the tables, dispensing cards, chips, or other props to players, or operating gaming equipment. For some games, dealers must calculate winning hands, usually by comparing them to the dealer’s own. Dealers are also tasked with distributing winnings, collecting players’ money, and handling lots of cash and high-value chips.
Most casinos hire people who have completed dealer school. Some will send prospective employees to dealer school on their dime. Others educate through local vocational schools. Most of these schools require just six weeks to produce competent dealers. Understand that most casinos hold auditions for new dealer jobs, so factors like style and appearance play a part as well.
$10/hour, plus tips. Some casinos pay more, some pay less. But that hourly wage isn’t where the real money is. Like waiters and other service industry workers, dealers rely on tips for the majority of their expenses. The amount of tips a dealer earns depends on the policies of the casino where they work and the caliber of the clientele that play there. A dealer at a fancy Vegas Strip property can easily earn hundreds of dollars an hour in tips, though the average dealer tip-take in the city is more like $20-$30 an hour.
Not so good. The ten-year growth rate for this career is around 1%, well below the average for all American jobs. This mostly has to do with the contraction of the US gambling market. Look at what’s going on in Atlantic City for an example – the once-proud East Coast gambling Mecca has seen about half its casinos close for good in the last couple of years.
Gaming surveillance officers patrol the casino floor electronically, and occasionally in-person. They also play a preventive role in many cases as a visual presence on the floor. Gaming surveillance officers are more than just security guards, in that they tend to work mainly in casino observation rooms, and use AV equipment rather than old-fashioned police work. Surveillance officers often work long and difficult hours, thanks to the 24-hour operation of gaming venues.
High-school diploma or equivalent. On-the-job training provided.
$12/hr. Even though a member of the surveillance team has a very important job, protecting the casino’s assets, this is considered an entry-level position. Generally-speaking, all that’s required is a high school diploma. There is room for growth, as a member of the security team, and (eventually) management.
Excellent. A ten-year projection sees about average growth in terms of new jobs. Security guards are always employable, especially those with experience. Growth expectations are limited a little by the projected turn away from live gaming and towards online activity, which requires a different type of security.
Pit bosses are the managers of the casino floor. Each area of the casino floor, known as a pit, is like a separate business, with its own cash flow and security procedures. The pit boss is the manager of that “business,” responsible for all gaming operations in the area where they’re assigned. Pit bosses supervise all other floor employees, and report directly to casino management. A pit boss is generally an experienced gambling industry worker, usually an ex-dealer, ex-security guard, or some job like that. Part manager, part gambling enthusiast, and part PR man, the pit boss is the closest thing to a god that exists on the casino floor.
A combination of on-the-job experience and additional training, particularly in casino management.
$60,000-$70,000. It’s tough to give an average, since pay varies widely between different classes of casino. No pit boss expects to stay in the position very long; it’s considered a stepping-stone between the floor and a position in upper management.
So-so. A decade ago, gaming supervisor positions were seen as steady work in all markets. With the collapse of gaming markets all over the country, the ten-year projection in terms of steady work for pit bosses is about average with the rest of the economy.
Though this career may seem better categorizes as a hospitality position, the host’s entire job is to get whales to spend even more money than they planned on gambling. That’s why we’ve listed the job here. Work as a casino host is among the more glamorous of industry jobs. The best casino hosts have clientele lists studded with A-list names, and do the work of a hotel concierge, best friend, and salesperson for all a casino’s big clients. These are beautiful, smiling, professional people who make it their job to satisfy every customer need. From greeting VIPs at the door to pampering regular with special offers, to comp’ing rooms and arranging for tee times and restaurant reservations, the host does it all.
There is no such thing as Casino Host School. Hosts generally have experience in lower-level casino jobs. They also tend to be very attractive. This is just a truth of the industry.
Varies, but generally high. A casino host’s income consists of a salary that’s bolstered by frequent bonuses for performance and tips from clients. Some casinos are now using executives (particularly Vice Presidents) to host their top-tier clients, and their salary packages go into the seven figures.
Strong. One good casino host can put a property in the black in a weekend. As long as gaming is strong in places like Las Vegas, California, and the Gulf Coast, casino hosts will always have work. Just don’t expect to stay at a job very long. The US Department of Labor says the average host lasts less than a year at each job.
If you play slots, the slot supervisor is the employee you want to meet. This is a low-level management position that puts a person in charge of the entirety of a casino’s slot collection. All slot attendants and other employees report to the supervisor, who’s also tasked with overseeing the maintenance of all slot and video poker machines. Slot supervisors often perform hand-pays, so they get a lot of face-time with happy customers.
High-school diploma or equivalent. Multiple years’ experience in maintenance, repair, or another low-level casino department is generally a part of the job’s requirements.
$45,000. Tips aren’t a big part of the job, since most slot player hand-pays just don’t result in a tip. This is an entry-level management position that some people see as terminal, a good opportunity for former maintenance staff members to make their way into management or onto the casino floor.
Average. The outlook for slot supervisors is so closely tied to the overall performance of the gambling market, it’s hard to be too excited about job prospects for slot machine management. Still, if you live in a big gaming region, you’d have plenty of job opportunities, as most people stay in this position less than three years.
When you take away the slot machines, the payouts, the watery cocktails, and the showgirls, what are you left with? Entertainment. Gambling is all about entertainment. A casino is a service industry, a restaurant, a bar, an entertainment venue, and a bank all rolled into one. Not only does this industry need people that work the gambling side of the business, like dealers and pit bosses, but it needs good old hospitality workers. Otherwise, the towels would be filthy, the place would stink of cigars, and it’d be impossible to get a cocktail.
Find out what hospitality careers in the gambling industry are like below.
A casino-hotel or resort concierge is tasked with all the usual things a concierge must do – greet guests, make reservations, give directions, deal with property issues – but also has a hand in gaming operations. That means a gaming concierge has at least two bosses that he reports to regularly. This is another reason why you should be really nice to your gaming concierge.
High-school diploma or equivalent. Many years’ experience in hospitality. Additional training in the gambling business. Many hotels require gaming concierges be trained as dealers. Training courses for concierge service exist, though they’re not necessary.
$50,000, varying between properties. The fancier the hotel, the higher the salary. Pay also grows with experience. A position as a gaming concierge is often seen as a springboard into gaming management, hosting, and VIP service.
Better-than-average. The gambling business has always made most of its money from its top customers. Concierges are crucial to serving this lucrative population, and good ones are always in demand.
Don’t call them “cocktail waitresses,” or you’re liable to get a dirty look and a long wait for your next drink. These days, floor servers do much more than drag the occasional free drink to your table. They talk to customers. They make friends. They monitor drunkenness. They give advice. They may even bring you food right to your machine. In some casinos, they act as adjunct security guards. In short – these are powerful employees who can make or break your time in the casino.
None, though in major gambling markets, these positions can be highly-sought after and competitive. Usually, experience gets you in the door before good looks.
Min. wage, plus tips. Servers in the casino depend on tips, just like servers in restaurants. Servers earn tips directly proportional to how busy they are and the level of play at the casino where they work. Choose your job wisely.
Excellent. The world will always need servers, and casinos will always be eager to hire good ones. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports expected growth about double the average American career.
Security guards are tasked with protecting the casino’s property from theft, vandalism, and any other illegal activity. The job of a casino-hotel’s security guard varies from property to property. Usually requires long hours.
High-school diploma or equivalent. Additional training is available, but not required. Some security guards have law enforcement experience, a degree in criminal justice, or some related experience, which helps them secure employment.
$10/hr. This is an entry-level position. Experience tends to lead to higher pay, though experienced security guards that work in the gaming business also tend to move upward rapidly.
Average. Security guards are less necessary as the gambling industry turns toward high-tech surveillance methods. Drones are even replacing floor guards in many international properties, a trend that’s expected to continue here in America in the coming years.
Bartenders prepare and serve drinks and light snacks. At many Vegas properties, bartenders are asked to put on a show. Since bartenders work for tips, they have to walk a fine line between making customers happy and avoiding the potential for over-service. It’s common for bartenders to “manage” floor servers at casinos.
Bartenders must be certified by the state where they work in order to serve alcohol. This is true in every state in America that allows casino-style gambling. Bartenders who work in fancy casinos or resorts tend to require additional training to provide a wider variety of services, knowledge of new cocktails and techniques, and even special flair service techniques to capture the attention of VIP customers. Basically, any additional training you get will make you more employable in a casino bar.
$9/hr., plus tips. As we mentioned with other service positions already, bartenders can make very little money slinging beers at low-end card rooms, or they can bring home the big bucks, especially if they work in big cities with casinos, like Las Vegas or Atlantic City.
Good. Service positions will always be available. A skilled bartender is even more valuable to a casino than a good chef.
The “head chef” is in charge of all kitchen activities, from creating menus to managing staff. This position usually requires management-style activities like ordering inventory, designing menus, and overseeing production. Of course, the chef de cuisine does cook a meal every now and then, too.
Though a few “self-taught” chefs have worked at the tip of the restaurant career ladder in the past, most casino-resort head chefs learn their skills through a combo of work experience and training at a community college or culinary arts school.
$90,000+. When you’re the head chef at a major casino-resort property or flagship restaurant, your salary is equal to your responsibilities and experience. Celebrity head chefs have million-dollar contracts, but even the new guys in the trade are taking home a decent check. Of course, chef de cuisine tend to spend 18 hours a day at the restaurant. We’re talking about trading hours for dollars, at this level.
Average. Few true head chef positions open up each year in big casino markets in America. However, the outlook for the positions that already exist is excellent, as these properties generally grow bigger and more profitable each year, demanding more from food and hospitality services.
We probably don’t need to convince you of this fact: online gambling is the future. Okay, so the American version of Web-based gambling is going through some growing pains. Don’t concentrate on that. Concentrate on the fact that laptop and desktop computer sales are in the cellar, while sales of mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) are driving the industry like never before. As long as mobile is “the next big thing,” online gambling will be THE growing segment of the gaming industry. Want to get in on the ground floor of the online and mobile gambling industries? Check out one of the jobs described below:
Coders create, modify, test, and implement the code that allows every computer application to exist. In some cases, coders analyze and implement ideas based on the needs of the end-user, which makes them something of a soft scientist as well. Now that online gambling is primarily an app-based (streaming) service, with mobile complications thrown in for good measure, coders are more necessary than ever. Think of an app or piece of software you love, and you can be sure there were coders attached to it.
High-school diploma or equivalent, plus knowledge of coding. You can learn coding and software design on your own, of course, but degrees in computer science, information technology, or related fields will also help when it comes time to land a job.
$83,000. This is an average, so remember – as many coders are making below that number as are making more. High-profile software designers can easily earn seven-figure salaries, while entry-level jobs in the $30k range are common.
Not great, if you live in the United States. The BLS expects a decline in American coding jobs of around 8 percent between now and the year 2024. This is entirely due to outsourcing. Understand that most coding can be done remotely, so competition from countries with lower wages usually beats out homegrown coding talent. This is as true in the online gambling business as anywhere else in the world.
Think of these employees as information security experts. They are analysts whose main job is to monitor gambling sites and networks for potential security threats and breaches. Sites also use these employees to implementing their security standards, install and maintain various security systems, and maintain a base of knowledge about the network and its software and operation.
A degree in Internet or network security is a must. Any additional courses or training in telecommunications could lead to a better title or higher salary. Security specialists earn a decent living, but look forward to the opportunity to move up into management.
Outstanding. The BLS sees huge potential for growth in this field and related jobs, mainly because this is a new and rapidly-growing industry. Some estimates have growth at around 30% in the next ten years, meaning online gambling businesses are scrambling to hire trained and experienced employees to get in on the ground floor.
Customer service representatives answer telephone calls, emails, and live chat messages from casino, sportsbook, and poker room customers. They may also handle financial transactions, work in sales or marketing, or perform any number of other menial jobs that require little more than a phone line, computer, and a decent speaking voice.
High-school diploma or equivalent. Salary is sometimes commensurate with training and experience.
$31,200. This is an absolute entry-level position, since management is usually handled internally, and hiring from a pool of service reps is uncommon. Opportunities for moving up in the ranks are rare. Many Americans use these positions as part-time jobs, or stepping stones to other positions in the gaming business.
Not great. As more and more gambling businesses turn to foreign-based call centers, Americans are losing access to these steady-paycheck jobs that were (for a time) the foundation of the tech-age middle class. The BLS expects a drop in overall jobs in this sector of around 10% over the next decade.
These designers control every visual aspect of the production of a gambling website or app. Gaming online is still primarily a visual experience, so graphic designers are an important part of the design process. These designers may be responsible for more than just the graphical user interface – some sites have proprietary games and other features that graphic designers have a hand in.
A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field is almost always required. Experience equivalent to several years’ work is a plus, especially in a competitive environment like the American design workforce.
$46,000. Salaries are being driven downward by the influence of workers from foreign countries with low wages.
Poor. Let’s face it – designers working in India, China, or Vietnam produce work of the same caliber as designers in America, and they work for pennies on the dollar. The BLS expects a massive drop in work opportunities for American graphic designers, greater than 12% over the next decade.
Live dealers working for gambling website perform the traditional duties of casino dealers, except that they’re working remotely via webcam. This is a special segment of the online gambling business that’s become quite popular in some parts of the world, America included. Live dealers have to know and run the game just as they would in a live casino, and they must maintain some semblance of a relationship with the players, except all that is made more difficult by the fact that the game is being played remotely, with no human being at the “table” playing with you.
Training from dealer school is necessary, which usually requires a high-school diploma or equivalent. Each site with a live dealer option has its own training program, which live dealers will need to undergo before they start working.
$35,000. Understand that live dealers can’t depend on tips like casino dealers can, though tipping is a possibility at some sites.
Not great, for Americans. Though live dealers are in great demand at sites that serve the European market, it’s unlikely that any Americans will be able to work in the live dealer industry, at least in the next year or two. That’s because it’s currently illegal for a site to produce or host games from American soil. The BLS has no statistics for this position. We think its outlook is entirely dependent on how the legal landscape changes over the next five or ten years.
From new-fangled electronic regulation to old-fashioned detective work, the gaming industry needs people to fill positions at regulatory agencies. Not only does the traditional gambling industry need regulators, as online gambling spreads (and as legal kinks are worked out), careers in gaming regulation are becoming more available and more steady. This is a valuable segment of the industry that helps us stay on the good side of the law. If you’ve always been interested in law enforcement and police work, this may be the best set of gaming-related careers for you.
Find out what role you can play in the regulation of gambling below.
These employees are the main task force of regulatory agencies, reviewing records of gaming license holders to determine whether taxable gaming revenues have been reported and paid. These investigators also help determine overall compliance with area regulations and gambling laws. Investigators are also responsible for maintaining compliance by conducting occasional reviews.
Audit agents are usually graduate-level accountants pursuing their Certified Public Accountant status. They are also up-to-date on business administration and the gambling industry. In America, most of these agents are almost always on assignment in the field at large casinos.
$65,000. Since most audit investigators are on their way up the career ladder, room for growth is built in to the job’s perks. Many of these investigators go on to accounting or management positions.
Average. The outlook for this position, like most positions in this category, is tied directly to the overall outlook of the US gambling market, which has been up and down over the past decade, and will probably be the same way over the next ten years.
Unlike the other jobs in this category, PR specialists working with gambling regulators generally work for gaming providers rather than government regulators and auditors. Basically, PR specialists who focus on gaming regulations in casinos are experts in the fields of gambling law, accounting, taxation, regulation, and public relations.
Most PR specialists working at the Group 1 casino level are lawyers with plenty of experience in PR, customer relations, and the gaming industry. It is a terminal position, as reflected by the salary and benefits packages offered to these employees.
$101,000, with bonuses of many times that base number available for performance.
Average. Though regulations are increasing, which means more PR specialists are needed, the gambling industry itself is slowly contracting.
These government agents are charged with collecting and distributing the various taxes, fees, penalties, and fines associated with the gaming business. These agents are considered enforcers of the taxation aspect of all gaming licenses in America, as usually approved by various state gaming boards. In states where compliance reviews are necessary, tax and licensing agents are responsible for carrying out and reporting on these reviews. In many states, these agents also monitor and enforce tribal gaming laws.
State tax and licensing agents generally hold a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, finance, accounting, or a related field. Good agents need to know the basics of accounting, as well as basic police techniques, interviewing, and casino management principles. Travel is a big part of the life of a Tax and Licensing agent.
$52,000. This is considered an entry-level position for recently-graduated business majors looking for experience in finance, with lots of room for growth, and generally-short tenures at each position.
Average. This job, as are all the jobs in this category, is so tied to the success of the US gaming industry that it’s tough to say how many positions will exist ten years from now.
Gaming enforcement agents conduct criminal and regulatory investigations about all gaming, licensed and unlicensed. They settle disputes between gamblers and gaming providers. They’re also usually charged with operating the system for investigating the criminal history of people applying to work in a casino. They may run intelligence operations on gaming-related crimes, interrogate suspects, maintain a log of suspicious casino patrons, and perform other traditional police tasks in a casino setting. In many states, enforcement agents also monitor and regulate charitable and social gambling.
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent LEA experience is generally required in every US state. Gaming enforcement agents tend to be trained law enforcement officers with special certification and degrees in areas like criminal justice.
$33,000. This is an entry-level position in law enforcement, from which most workers hope to advance within a few years.
Good. All traditional law enforcement positions like this one have a strong future, based on BLS statistics. Within ten years, the US government expects job growth of around 10% in this sector.
Technology auditors are responsible for testing and recommending gambling devices and games for approval by state and federal commissions. These agents perform traditional as well as statistical, mathematical, and computer simulation analysis of new games and game styles. They are a huge part of the approval process for wagering system of all types, and are often hired as consultants by new game designers.
A bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or Computer Engineering is a must. An emphasis in high-level math, especially probability, and software design is a big plus, as well. Tech auditors should also have the ability to program in a higher-level language such as C or C++.
$80,000. Far from an entry-level position, competition for these jobs is tough. The salary and benefits package is one reason why. The opportunity for immediate advancement into upper management is another.
Below-average. Competition from poor overseas markets is driving the value of this position down to the point that many companies are combining it with other enforcement agency positions.
The gambling industry in America is not known as a massive job-creator. Sure, casinos and gaming providers hire a number of people, but it’s not one of the industries that we look at when we think of large-scale employers. But, here’s the thing. When you think about careers in gambling, you shouldn’t count only those careers that work directly with the industry. Yes, careers in gambling include dealers, designers, and security guards, but they also include a ton of jobs in peripheral aspects of the industry. It’s not just a bunch of jobs for people who want to work directly with online sportsbooks and poker sites – it’s the ancillary jobs that really add up and make the industry a major player.
Think of it this way – for every job you can think of that works directly with an online gambling site, you should picture dozens more jobs floating around them. These “behind the scenes” jobs are difficult to count and quantify. But we promise you one thing – you’re reading a page right now that would not exist without the gambling industry. Gambling keeps a handful of otherwise-difficult-to-employ writers on salary, full-time. And we’re just one little website.
Below you’ll find a list of some interesting careers related to the gambling industry in a secondary capacity.
Write copy for websites, blogs, review sites, and other online venues. When you need a review of a new poker room, a guide to installing game software, or notes on the legality of various games in your market, you depend on content writers (like us) to get you that information. The larger the Web-based gaming business grows, the more good writers are needed to produce the necessary copy. Obviously, gambling isn’t the only thing content writers can focus on. However, it’s become one of the most lucrative markets for freelance writers, easy to break into, profitable for both clients and writers.
Varies from job to job. Freelance writers (not worried about the application and interview process of a traditional job) don’t need any special training, so long as they can produce quality content. Many writers have a high school education as well as a bachelor’s degree in English or a related field.
$36,400. This rate varies from person to person. As with any freelance industry, you get out of it what you put in. Some content writers work part-time and are satisfied with a lower wage. Others use clout, experience, and industry connections to charge per-word rates double or triple what their peers charge.
Splendid. The BLS predicts that all jobs related to content writing (from technical to Web-based) will grow at a rate twice that of the average job over the next ten years. This is a direct consequence of the move from land-based casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms, to websites dedicated to gambling.
Share their expertise with other gamblers by producing websites, blog posts, eBooks, newsletters, and other materials. Sometimes all a well-known poker player or gaming expert needs to do is lend his name to a project in exchange for money.
A lifetime of experience in gambling, probably bolstered with a secondary education in mathematics, statistics, probability, or a related field.
Varies. Some folks make their living selling one strategy article at a time; others maintain massive websites and networks of affiliation that produce million-dollar salaries.
There’s no table of statistics at the US Department of Labor for this category. We imagine that the prospects for gaming experts depend entirely on the US gambling landscape, which right now is shaky at best.
What they do: Design websites and Web applications. Create user interfaces. Make your Internet experience more (or less) pleasant. In the gambling business, where marketing is often everything, Web designers are an important part of a site or casino’s larger business model.
The typical education needed to become a web developer is an associate’s degree in web design or related field. Web developers need knowledge of both programming and graphic design.
$64,000, but varies greatly depending on work experience and the job in question. Web developers tend to work freelance, so pay fluctuates wildly from one developer to the next.
Solid. Over the next ten years, the BLS statistics expect an increase of more than 25% in jobs for American Web developers.
In the gambling industry, teachers are needed to educate dealers, auditors, maintenance workers, and just about everyone else who needs any kind of training for their job. All dealers, for example, are required to take a course that lasts about a month to six weeks.
A bachelor’s degree in education plus teacher certification is generally required. Additional training makes teachers more employable and can help them earn more money.
$42,000, though that number can be as much as twice that high, even for entry-level positions, in major markets.
Excellent. The BLS has been strong on teachers of all types for decades, and over the next ten years, it’s expected that jobs for teachers will increase at about double the rate of other careers. The number of educators necessary to maintain the gambling industry workforce is growing all the time.
Operate individual and group therapy sessions for addicts and their loved ones. As far as the gambling industry is concerned, we’re talking mostly about gambling addiction. Addiction counselors may work in inpatient hospitals and facilities, or as outpatient counselors. These days, state regulators are hiring addiction counselors to work at federally-mandated hotlines for gambling addicts, and to serve in administrative capacities at all the above-named institutions.
A bachelor’s degree in a social science is generally required, though training programs in many states can produce a fully-qualified addiction counselor without a traditional college education. Certification requirements vary by state.
$39,000 at entry-level positions. Counselors with experience can earn a bit more. Counselors in private practice stand to earn much more than that average rate. Most counselors are looking to move up into administration or management.
Unfortunately, it’s strong. Gambling addiction is a serious problem, and it requires therapy that’s just as stringent and personalized as any other addiction. As opportunities for gambling increase, so does the need for qualified addiction counselors.