Gaming Course Deals Smiles To Casino Execs

When you think of casinos, dealers, cards, and perhaps the wish for lady luck comes to mind.

But these elements are only a small portion of what keeps the dice rolling in the casino industry.

"It's every facet that you can imagine from casino operations to food to hotel to marketing, finance. It's every element, every discipline that you have in running a business, particularly a tourism business is involved in casino operations," said Isle of Capri marketing director Rich Westfall.

And it's these elements which will be introduced to USM students this fall in the form of casino resort management courses.

In addition to their basic business curriculum, students will learn the ins and outs of managing one of the largest forms of entertainment in the nation.

Isle of Capri human resource director Bell Kessler recently took a similar course at a another university.

"The class gave me a better feeling and appreciation for particularly the areas of marketing. We had a project that we had to go out to do, and I was really surprised at the marketing strategy and techniques of a lot of the casinos," said Isle of Capri human resource director Bell Kessler.

Casino executives says the new courses benefit more than just the students taking them.

"It keeps young people here on the coast. Coming out of high school they have an option to go and get the education if they're interested in continuing to live here on the coast and working in tourism, whether it's with a hotel or with a restaurant or with a casino operation," said Westfall.

Various coast casinos offer a tuition reimbursement program after one year of employment.

Similar casino management courses are already being offered at the Edgewater Mall campus of Tulane University.