Casino managers head back to the classroom |

Casino managers head back to the classroom

NNBW Staff

Nevada casino operators had long thought their industry recession proof, but this downturn has driven casino management to hone their skills at the Gaming Management Series offered at University of Nevada, Reno.

“It’s difficult to keep up with demand,” says Cheryl Olson, assistant director of gaming management and executive programs in Extended Studies. She points to exceptional growth in contract training. “Casino properties nationwide are contacting the school, asking that instructors travel to train on site,” she says.

“Due to staff reductions, they can’t leave their jobs to travel.”

While casino managers and directors from across the nation and Canada formerly had filled classes at the Reno campus, more students now come from Nevada properties.

“Nevada always had the mentality that gaming is a recession proof industry,” says Olson. “Now that that’s not true, managers are seeking new strategies to attract new customers and retain existing customers.

They’re seeking smart decisions to save money.”

Although universities in Las Vegas and San Diego also teach gaming management, UNR offers the most extensive program in the nation, she adds. “We’re always creating new courses to suit a changing industry.” The biggest change is focus on online gaming.

The next five-day course, “Promotional Strategies for the Gaming Industry,” runs March 23-27 at a price of $2,500. The program began here in 1989 and is taught by instructors with business degrees.