Stockton Creates New NJ Casino Certificate Program With Esports Integration

Written By Hannah Vanbiber on November 10, 2023
Image of Stockton University, which announced a New Jersey casino certificate program and an undergraduate program for esports and competitive video gaming.

Stockton University School of Business is expanding its education opportunities to include a New Jersey casino certificate program for the budding casino gaming industry and sports betting market.

Stockton announced this week that it has partnered with Atlantic City casino industry experts to launch a casino certificate program covering all aspects of the gaming and hospitality industry.

The Integrated Casino Resort Operations Certificate will be run through the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT).

New program preps students to enter casino industry

LIGHT designed the program in collaboration with HR professionals and gaming industry experts, including all nine Atlantic City casino hotels. The goal is to train students on the in-demand, industry-specific skills that gaming execs are looking for when they make hires.

“The certificate will provide a firm foundation in business literacy for managers and a broader understanding of the many facets of integrated casino resort operations and how they work together,” Jane Bokunewicz, LIGHT’s faculty director, said in a statement.

“Participants will be empowered to take the next step in their careers, whether advancing within their organization or pivoting to casino resort operations from a related field.”

The certificate program will start in January 2024 and run on eight consecutive three-hour, in-person workshops with 12 local experts teaching the course. Tuition will be $899.

Esports integration in NJ casino certificate program

Stockton University also released a statement about an esports partnership with Camden County College (CCC). This partnership provides an undergraduate-level degree in esports and competitive video gaming.

Together, they became the first public institution in New Jersey to offer such a degree. CCC has offered an associates’ program in Applied Science in Esports Production where students get experience in broadcasting esports events and general business studies.

Stockton and CCC will allow students to transfer course credits between the two institutions in order to support the esports curricula.

According to Sarah Iepson, dean of CCC’s Liberal Arts and Professional Studies:

“This is not a program that just produces kids who play video games. This is a program that produces critical thinkers and students who have really powerful skills of analysis and thought, as well as these great skills in the word of business and marketing.”

Sportsbooks are increasingly offering lines and markets for esports tournaments, depending on the regulations in each state of operation.

Atlantic City casinos increasingly seeking qualified workers

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, casinos have struggled to increase their workforce to pre-pandemic numbers despite the growth of the industry thanks to mobile sports betting and online gaming.

“It’s not lost on us that it’s a tight labor market, especially in Las Vegas and in the hospitality industry, especially coming out of a post-pandemic world where we lost a lot of skilled, talented hospitality workers to other industries,” Kimberly Virtuoso, senior vice president of people at Fontainebleau in Las Vegas, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal earlier this year.

“But the hype and the tremendous amount of constant candidate interest is significant.”

Atlantic City’s nine casinos employ 23,241 people as of September 2024. That’s an increase of 283 in the last twelve months but considerably lower than 2018’s numbers. In 2019, the combined workforce of all nine resorts was over 30,000.

Photo by Julio Cortez / AP Photo
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Hannah Vanbiber

Hannah Vanbiber is a contributing writer for PlayNJ after starting her journalism career in Chattanooga, Tennessee. From covering local sports, entertainment and business in East Tennessee, Hannah now covers legal gambling for New Jersey and New York as well as covering women's sports and sports betting in the New York metropolitan area.

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