Kent State to offer casino-management class in spring

Hilary Crisan

Kent State’s Department of Hospitality Management will offer a casino-management class this spring.

Casino Management and Trade Show Operations is a three-credit, upper-division course that explores different management functions and issues of running a casino.

“Unless you have either grown up around it or are working in it, most of us don’t really understand the gaming industry and the multiple issues around that,” assistant hospitality professor Rob Heiman said. “There’s a lot to it.”

The course covers more than just managing a casino, it includes discussions on issues and technology as well.

“The industry is here, and we offer a course for students that gives a little more insight and understanding about this industry,” Heiman said. “We cover subjects such as issues regarding gaming in Ohio, tourism, social issues of gaming, statistical analysis on various games, internet gaming, the economic impacts of gaming, security issues and technology.”

Heiman created the course after an Ohio constitutional amendment passed in 2009 allowing casinos to be opened in Ohio.

“When there was a vote for Issue 3 on the ballot, we brought a panel on campus of students from the state of Ohio and looked at all the issues about gaming to try to educate others,” Heiman said. “As a hospitality program that’s one of the best in the state, we wanted to prepare for that part of the hospitality industry.”

The course includes a four-day, $900 trip to Las Vegas, where students can go behind the scenes of several locations, such as Caesar’s Palace and the Bellagio, and make connections.

“The industry partners out there, the director, manager and operators, welcome us constantly,” Heiman said. “No one in the public gets that first-hand behind the scenes look.”

Students who have taken the course, such as JoAnna Bucci, senior hospitality management and marketing major, said she appreciated the course’s effort to make connections.

“You learn a lot about casinos, and you realize that it’s not just a casino operation. It also deals with hotels and event planning and security. There’s so much more that goes into this industry,” Bucci said. “(In Las Vegas), you get to tour in different hotels and meet different people in the profession that can connect you to other people. It’s a great experience.”

Students must be 21 to register for the course.

Contact Hilary Crisan at [email protected].