For quick-thinking people who enjoy working in a busy environment, the gaming industry presents an enticing career path.
You could work as a croupier in the exciting environment of a casino, help people to place bets in a bookmakers or take to the stage as a caller in a bingo hall - there are a wealth of opportunities to choose from, all of which can lead to management or director positions in the long-term. If you are confident and good with numbers, your skills will come in very handy in the gaming industry.
The gaming industry covers off-course and on-course betting, bingo, casinos, gaming machines, pools, lotteries, premium bonds and online gambling. There are three main areas you could work in:
The betting industry is made up of both on-course and off-course bookmakers. It is dominated by five operators (Ladbrokes, William Hill, Coral, Betfred and Tote) that account for over 80% of all betting shops.
There are two big players in the bingo industry, Gala Bingo and Mecca Bingo, which make up over 43% of the industry between them.
The casino industry is dominated by three companies - the Gala Coral Group which has 28 casinos throughout the UK, Grosvenor Casinos, which has 32 casinos, and Stanley Casinos/Stanley Leisure/Genting International, which merged in 2007 and now have 46 casinos.
The remote gaming industry (gambling via the internet, phone, TV, radio or other technology) has grown considerably over recent years. It includes most of the large and familiar high street bookmakers, some large online betting operators, including Betfair and Bet365, and some smaller betting operators.
Career opportunities and skills needed
There is a wide variety of jobs in the gaming industry, ranging from the 'traditional' hospitality-based roles such as bar and kitchen staff through to more specialist occupations unique to the gambling industry, such as bingo callers or croupiers.
For a lot of the 'entry-level' positions, many employers say that willingness to work hard and a good attitude are the most important things they look for.
For public-facing roles, such as croupier or betting shop cashier, good people skills and an appreciation of the importance of customer service are essential. Committed workers who are willing to take on new responsibilities are most likely to progress.
Many hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism companies find it difficult to hang on to their staff as employees sometimes do not stay in their job for long. Individuals who show enthusiasm and commitment to their job are often rewarded by employers with rapid progression up the ladder.
Individuals wishing to move into more senior positions are likely to require previous managerial experience and be able to display a solid understanding of the industry.
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