Today’s gaming industry is a multi-billion-dollar (nearly $100 billion) industry that continues to flourish despite economic downturns over the course of the last couple of years.  Managing such a large, complex industry can be a challenge.  Gaming industry customers are always looking for more out of the experience.  More gaming wins, more hotel rooms, more food options, more shows, more shops, more, more, more.  To remain competitive, gaming properties continue to shower those with healthy gaming budgets with more and different comp extras.  The net result is a culture of gamers that expect the moon and large gaming companies continually increasing revenues. 

At a time when front line workers have seemingly disappeared from the planet and gen X’ers just want to know “how this affects me”, staffing for such demand has never been more difficult, and no departments are feeling the crunch more so than that of Casino Security.

The retention rate of Security staff is at an all-time low and attempting to replace those lost has generated a chess match so intense that only those with the most ardent stamina will survive.

It is no secret that the Security industry, in general, is not the most highly compensated field of expertise.  It is only until one reaches the highest level of law enforcement or private security that the salaries gain any respect.  Casino Security is no different.  Starting salaries of a casino security officer range anywhere from $10/hour on the low end to $20/hour in the larger markets.  It is no wonder staffing these positions has become increasingly difficult and turnover exceeds 100%.  That being said, walk into any casino, anywhere in the U.S., at any time of the day or night, and you will find a handful of underpaid, under trained and often, under appreciated Casino Security officers working a shift.  Why?  What drives them to do what they do?

To answer that question, let’s take a look at the different types of people that fill the role.  In my experience, you basically 3 types of employees to manage.  The first type is the educationally restricted employee.  This person may or may not have graduated high school and has little or no college experience.  Opportunities are limited for them, so a full-time job with benefits is indeed a plus.  With the proper work ethic and quality training, these types of people can indeed be solid Casino Security officers, but their upward mobility in an organization may by limited by their educational background.

The second type of employee is the jumper.  This employee may come from a range of educational backgrounds but does not see the value in developing any long-term commitments to a job that hovers around minimum wage.  Instead, this employee will jump from one job to the next for a nickel more per hour.  In time of crisis like we are experiencing today, one may be forced to hire Security Officers with this type of background knowing they can fill a role, even if it's only temporary.

Finally, the last type of employee is your core.  These are people with families.  These are people with a solid work ethic.  These are people who honor commitments and understand the value of a consistent paycheck.  They typically care about their job and co-workers and will make for great Security Officers.  These employees are valued by their employees not only because they are great workers, but also because they are good people.  When you get the opportunity to hire this type of person, latch on tight and show appreciation.  They don’t come along often enough, and when they do, you certainly don’t want them to get away.