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Six Figure Jobs: Casino General Manager

I’m not a big gambler, I put a few bucks on games, play poker from time to time, and I put a few bucks on the table whenever we go out to Las Vegas. But, even I think being a casino general manager would probably be a pretty sweet gig even without the six figures. Now, it’s not all fun and games, just watch Robert De Niro in Casino [3] and, if you can get past the fact that it’s a story, you’ll know there’s of course a seedy underside to the gaming business. For those of you with more contemporary tastes, check out the NBC hit “Las Vegas” for a glamorized look at Vegas.

The job of a casino general manager includes all the gaming, hotel, restaurant and shop business (essentially everything under the roof) for the entire establishment. A mixture of strong people skills and a sharp business mind, to keep the bottom line moving in the up direction, are the prerequisites to a job in which you are forced to manage a lot of employee turnover. If you’re looking for a degree, look for one in hospitality, hotel management, or an accounting/finance one. Also think about moving up and getting an MBA too.

If you start from the ground up, minimum 10-15 years before you can sniff the GM job, which makes a whole lot of sense. You can’t be fast-tracked into the position because you’ll lack the front-line experience to know how to handle certain situations.

I can recall two reality television shows that follow the operations of actual casinos. The first is on A&E called Caesar’s 24/7 which takes a look at the operation behind Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and I caught a few episodes before it was cancelled (I think it was, it’s not on A&E TV website anymore) and these reality tv shows really did portray the hard working side of the business. The second reality show was The Casino, shown on Fox, which was about two millionaires who bought the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, located in downtown Las Vegas. That show too has been cancelled.

If you make it to GM, expect a $200,000 to $400,000 annual salary. Not bad if you can stand the incessant ringing of the slot machines… or Joe Pesci chasing you with a bat.

via CNN Money [4].