During past legislative sessions, lawmakers have voted down bills that would allow Mississippi colleges and universities to offer gaming management courses. Casino executives say that's a mistake because they're forced to go out of state to hire managers.
Casino executives say the push to offer gaming management courses at our universities never included training dealers, but rather training managers. New Palace Casino General Manager Keith Crosby says, "What we're really talkin' about is accounting and good old fashioned business management. This is a people business, we're in the service industry and I think it's short sighted for people to see only gaming as what we're doing here."
Crosby praises Tulane University's broader vision; a vision he says some lawmakers lack."It is ironic that we're unable to offer educational classes that suit an industry that's here. Imagine the same thing applying to Ingalls or Chevron or something like that, it'd be ludicrous. Again I think some of it is an issue of us educating the legislature in this state to exactly what we're talking about," Crosby says.
Casino operators say Mississippi should be leading and not following an out of state school. They hope Tulane's presence here will encourage the legislature to change its thinking. "I know if I was a legislator, it would surely encourage me to do that because you do have an outside university that's able and legally able I guess is the word to teach something that is prohibited by law for your in-state universities to teach so it just seems a little inequitible there," says Gulf Coast Gaming Association Director, Beverly Martin.