East Lansing, MI (March 23, 1998) – Three new courses in casino management
have been approved as electives
in The Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. “Introduction to the Casino Industry” debuts this fall; two upper-level courses, “Casino Operations and Management” and “Casino Controls and Finance,” will be added at a future date. The courses are part of the hospitality business curriculum.
John Tarras, who has taught similar courses at Michigan State on a trial
basis for the last two years, will teach
the electives. A lawyer and a certified public accountant, he is an associate professor in The School of
Hospitality Business and one of the authors of an industry financial text, The Hotel Investments Handbook.
Projecting demand for the courses, Tarras notes several students have already been placed in internships and
permanent positions with several Lake Tahoe casinos and that a tribal casino in Michigan has expressed interest
in having a program delivered onsite to managers. He expects the planned expansion of casino gaming into
downtown Detroit, some 90 miles southeast of the Michigan State campus, will create hundreds of new
The explosive growth of the $60 billion-dollar gaming industry is creating
a demand for business courses in
casino management, says Tarras. He predicts gaming revenues will stay strong as an aging population with time
and money to spend increasingly turns to casino gaming, preferring it to more active forms of entertainment.
The course being introduced this fall provides an overview of the casino
industry and examines total winning
percentage rates of various house games, casino marketing, operations, gaming control issues, international
gaming, and consolidations.
“As in any service industry, marketing represents 90 percent of the
activity involved,” says Tarras. He says
gaming packages that include transportation are popular with retirees, noting that over 50 percent of the tour bus
industry is now associated with the casino gaming industry.
Tarras devotes two days in the introductory course to social concerns. “The casino industry openly acknowledges that a small percentage of the population has a problem with addictive gambling,” he says. “Its identification and intervention efforts include reducing lines of credit and instituting 24-hour hotlines. We want students to be aware of these issues and industry wants its managers to be attuned to them.”
The two upper-division course will cover practices and problems associated
with casino management including
staffing, security, gaming regulation, valuation and taxation issues, cash, accounting and slot machine controls
and financial reporting requirements. Tarras believes the new electives will appeal to accounting and finance
majors with an interest in controller positions in the casino industry.
A handful of hospitality business schools, including the University
of Nevada-Reno, the University of
Nevada-Las Vegas, and the University of Houston, presently offer courses in casino management. The new
courses will encourage casino executives to turn to Michigan State for management talent, says Ronald Cichy, professor and director of The School of Hospitality Business. “It’s all about enhancing professional standards and giving hospitality students a solid background in this unique industry,” he says.
Since 1927, more than 8,000 men and women have prepared for leadership
positions in the hospitality industry at
The School of Hospitality Business. The School’s graduates manage hotels, restaurants, resorts, clubs, contract foodservices, airlines, casinos and other venues that focus on food, lodging and hospitality in all 50 states and in many countries throughout the world.