One thing you have to admit about casino employment is that it has proven remarkably resistant to external forces. Care to take a guess which industry was at the forefront of the recovery following the path of devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi? The offshore riverboats that play home to the region’s booming casino industry were prime targets for high winds and surging tides, but full employment returned to the region’s gaming industry long before any other industry. Part of that amazingly successful comeback was due to the undying popularity of gaming, to be sure, but don’t make the mistake of underestimating the influence of advertising in stimulating that popularity.
All roads leading to the casinos of Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey and everywhere else are lined with billboards? Mile after mile after mile, these titanic mainstays of American advertising rise high into the sky to advertise upcoming live performances by music acts, stand-up comics and high-octane circus trapeze shows, the presence of the loosest slots in town and the abundance of culinary delights made available at the buffets. And those billboards represent just one small portion of the overall advertising budget for each of those casinos. Meaning that when it comes to casino employment, those with a background in advertising and marketing are as welcome as the big rollers in the private poker rooms.
Those with the proper educational and employment background can find long-term careers in the gaming industry not on the floors where an entire lifestyle can change on a single roll of the dice, but in the corridors of the advertising suites where the stakes are even higher. Working in the advertising wing of casino operations means doing your part to take an ad campaign from pen and paper to those open-air billboards, glossy magazine inserts, TV commercials and far beyond.
Marketing for casinos is a team effort that encompasses a number of different employment opportunities relying upon all manner of skills and talents. Advertising coordinator. Advertising account executive. Assistant media buyer. Promotions manager. Events coordinator. Virtual design specialist. Graphic artist. Copywriter. Slot marketing coordinator. Digital media specialist.
From this partial list of casino marketing jobs, it is clear to see that job responsibilities in advertising the gaming industry stretches across a broad spectrum of educational levels, work experience backgrounds, talents and abilities. As a member of the marketing team, those talents and abilities may be called upon not just for the purpose of creating traditional advertisements, but putting together special slot parties or sponsoring international sporting events or being part of the marketing machine behind an entertainment tour sponsored by the corporation that owns and operates the casinos.
Actual duties in the advertising arm will depend to a great extent on the specific needs of the casino in question. Casinos in smaller markets that cannot exist without a steady supply of buses bringing senior citizens in from out of town are going to require significantly different marketing strategies than those that draw a much younger and hipper demographic. That means you will increase your odds of landing a top position within the industry if your advertising background is backed up with a real meat and potatoes understanding of how to personalize raw statistical data into tactical information that can be used for targeting specific advertising goals.
Especially in those casinos far away from the entertainment hubs of Vegas and Atlantic City, employment opportunities in the advertising field will require a heightened focus on how to make your own casino stand out from the crowd of others by using local papers and TV stations, billboards and direct mail.
While a college degree in some field related to marketing--public relations, advertising, digital design, copywriting--would naturally be preferred, you may discover it is not as essential as you fear. Any kind of experience you can exhibit that shows you grasp a basic understanding of the business of advertising and the specific nature of casino marketing could be enough to get a foot in the door. And from there, you can expect to climb your way up the casino chip stack of success.
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