However 2020 saw the industry go through it’s biggest challenge to date. Over the centuries various laws and legislations have banned gambling in different regions across the world. Sometimes these bans are temporary and other times permanent. In some countries it is totally illegal to bet and in others like the UK it is fairly free to bet on many sporting events and on gaming machines.
2020 saw a very different threat to the gambling industry though with the global pandemic from coronavirus. All businesses that were deemed to be non-essential had to temporarily close. This meant many people losing their jobs and their main sources of income. To date many casinos and bookmakers have reopened but are operating at much reduced levels with strict safety restrictions in place. Numerous bookmakers and bingo halls have closed for good.
With all this in mind is the gambling industry a good place to start a career in?
During and after Covid-19
Rank Group which is one of the largest casino and gambling operators in the UK furloughed 90% of its staff during the lockdown and Buzz Bingo closed 26 halls putting hundreds of jobs on the line. However, the gambling industry is huge and although the high streets might look quite different after Covid the industry as a whole will still be there.
The online gambling industry has had a very strong year with so many people locked down searching for new forms of entertainment or other ways to play casino games like slots or bet on sports.
Bingo halls and bookmakers may not be the best places currently to look for employment so would a casino be a better option?
All businesses have been affected by Covid and if you're looking for a career or to get into a business at entry level then casinos may still be a good idea. Casinos are traditionally very strong businesses and although it will take time they will almost certainly bounce back. Many traditional casinos also have online presences so they will have received extra revenue from the surge in online gaming.
What qualities would a casino be looking for?
It is important to remember that a casino is a customer facing industry. You need to be able to provide great customer service and help the customer to experience an enjoyable time while in the casino. Depending on your rle different qualities may be required.
If you are a dealer then you will need to have a thorough knowledge of the game you are managing. It will help to know more than one game to make yourself more valuable to the house. You will have to be professional, consistent and have thick skin for when a losing customer gets angry and accuses you or the house of cheating.
If you are a server then you will need to be outgoing, have a great smile and act professionally while taking and delivering drinks orders.
Experience is useful in many positions in the casino but there are some areas where you may be able to enter and learn on the job. Security guards are needed and this is one role where you may be allowed to learn on the job. Although some experience in the military, police or security would certainly help.
You may not need much more than general school exams or a high school certificate. If you are aiming for a management position then you may need a Bachelor's Degree. Bartenders, servers and cashiers will not need any special qualifications. Outgoing personality and being presentable will help more for some positions than having a Masters Degree.
What positions are available in a casino?
The possible areas you could work in are very varied and you may want to think of your own personal strengths before deciding on an area to aim for. Casinos will have bartenders, servers, security guards, floor and gaming managers, cashiers, croupiers and cooks.
The workplace can be fast paced and can involve standing on your feet for long hours so you will need energy and the ability to stay alert and enthusiastic. You must have the ability to remain positive even when tired and toward the end of your shift.
How are the salaries in a casino?
An entry level dealer with less than a years experience would expect to make about £17,000. Unfortunately in the UK tipping the dealers is not as big as in the States. A dealer there can expect between $15 and $50 an hour in tips alone.
If you are looking at a bigger salary and a long term career in the UK casino business then you will want to look at the management positions. Being a general manager, shift manager or security manager will bring in a higher salary and can be positions to work your way up to. The big spot is Director of Operations but you may need to work a few more years before aiming for that one.
Although the state of traditional gambling in the UK is not great at the time of writing there is hope that employment will bounce back to normal. If working in a bookmakers or casino is not quite right for you but you have an interest in gaming then you could look for ways into the online gambling industry or if entertainment and hospitality is your thing then there are many companies that organise private casino nights and events.
The online gambling industry is going to keep growing larger and will need people to work in marketing, advertising, coding and developing. Although you won’t have the excitement of working in a real casino you could end up having real input into designs for new games like eye of horus and other online slot machines.