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UW-Stout Offers Blackjack, Roulette and Craps Classes

On April 28th, 2009, from spinning the roulette wheel to managing blackjack tables and handling chips and playing cards, an entertainment gaming laboratory at UW-Stout is created to teach prospective dealers about managing and operating casino games. The laboratory at UW-Stout's home economics building is part of the hospitality and tourist department. The university features a certificate program in gambling management and a minor in gambling entertainment management.

Sharon Giroux, the professor of hospitality and tourism and the gambling management adviser said that all of the gaming equipment in the room is authentic. Giroux said that their main goal is not teach students to gamble but on how to handle management level positions at casino facilities. The laboratory is decorated to imitate a real casino facility, with soft lighting and colors. It features 7 gaming tables, 2 of which came from the Treasure Island Resort and Casino in Welch, Minnesota.

Participants are taught the etiquette in managing gaming tables including proper card shuffling and how to correctly place cards in blackjack. Casino dealers should not turn their backs on gamers and must use appropriate techniques so that cameras can record chip payouts. Giroux said that students learn the appropriate techniques so when they are supervisors they will immediately know if something is amiss. UW-Stout classes include management, casino gaming operations, casino tourism and the economics of how casino facilities have helped individuals out of poverty and the psychological issues of gaming including gambling addiction.

The laboratory, which opened in 2007, is an answer to the growing need for casino employees in the entertainment market. Giroux said that most casino facilities are transforming into resorts with golf courses and other recreational facilities. Giroux said that 60% of the money spent in casino facilities is on entertainment, food and others.

Giroux added that with about five hundred seventy casino facilities across the country, there are numerous opportunities for graduates to find work. The commercial gaming industry provides more than 350,000 employment opportunities in the United States, with salaries and benefits totaling $11 billion. An estimated 400,000 additional jobs are supported by the gaming industry. Mr. Taylor Kwas, a twenty year-old junior business administration major from Menasha is minoring in gaming entertainment management. Kwas said that he had previously visited the Treasure Island Casino and it was a very memorable experience. Giroux requires casino gaming students to dress in white shorts and leave their things outside of the laboratory.

Students must also count their tills before beginning and counting their tills again after the game. Announcing game cards is also a part of the gaming etiquette that students need to learn. They also need to learn to keep track of their tips and the gaming payouts at their table.

Giroux said that they also teach the basics of the game of craps to their students. Participants learn about the rules of the payout and what each throw of the dice meant. UW-Stout is beginning a survey of casino employers to determine if there is support and a need for a 4-year degree in gambling entertainment management. Giroux said that the degree would mix with event, convention planning and golf management.


Sunday, May 24 , 2009
Emma Green