Casino operators in Nevada are bracing for a wave of retirements.
Nevada’s unemployment rate hit 5.3 percent in August, the highest since January 2010, according to the state Labor Department.
Many of the state’s casinos have been struggling to find new CPs and will soon be forced to lay off staff and close altogether.
The state’s largest casinos are scrambling to find a replacement for Michael K. Raff, who is retiring at the end of the year.
Raskin, the former chief financial officer of Wynn Resorts, which is a subsidiary of the world’s largest casino operator, is expected to be tapped to run the new casino in Las Vegas.
The move has alarmed some in the industry, and the prospect of a CPA leaving his post will fuel concern about the industry’s ability to absorb the exodus of top talent.
But while the retirement crisis has led to layoffs and a sharp decline in the number of CPs, the industry is still poised to see a surge in new hires and revenue, said Bob Zavala, president of the Nevada Gaming Association.
“It’s going to be a good year, no doubt,” Zavla said.
“We’re going to see all of the great talent coming in.
It’s just going to take some time to find our CPs.”
Casino operators say they are looking for experienced CPs with extensive experience in the gaming industry.
They have already been hiring more than a dozen new CPPs in the past year, most of whom will be in the top two tiers of CPA certifications — CPA-certified senior management and CPA certified finance.
But some casino operators have been worried about a hiring slowdown as they try to maintain their top talent and secure a foothold in the burgeoning gaming industry, which has grown to $2.6 trillion in revenue and is projected to double by 2020.
“I’m not seeing a lot of CPP openings,” said Dan Koeppner, CEO of Caesars Entertainment in Las Cruces, which recently hired a new executive vice president of public relations, marketing and marketing.
“There are a lot more openings out there, but I think you’re seeing it a little slower.”
Las Vegas casinos are expected to bring in more than $1 billion in revenue in the coming year.
The number of new casino jobs is expected be around 700, and they will include about 20 percent of those who are not already part of the casino business, according the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Most of the jobs are in the gambling areas.
Some of the top talent in the Las Crucedes area will likely be lured to the casinos by the possibility of a $2,500 severance package, Koeppelner said.
For years, the Nevada CPA has held a virtual monopoly on the CPA certification.
In 2009, the CPP was established by the state, and it now has about 6,000 members, including about 20,000 in Nevada, according its website.
But that monopoly has been shaken up in recent years.
The new CPGs, some of whom are former casinos, are required to pass rigorous training in order to qualify.
The Las Vegas area is one of the most expensive gambling states in the country, and in recent months, some casinos have hired outside consultants to help them improve their casinos.
The consultants will also be required to spend up to two weeks at the Nevada gaming convention in Las, the Las Vegas Review-Journalie reported.
“They’re going through a lot and they’re not going to get the same training they would in a place like the Bahamas,” Koepps said.
In Las Vegas, the casino will soon open the most expansive casino in the world.
The $2 billion project is expected later this year, and will include more than 200 luxury hotels, including five casinos and four high-end resorts.
The project also includes a new gaming center, two new restaurants and a theme park.
The casinos have already started accepting applications for the new jobs.
And there is a big push underway in the Nevada casino industry to find more CPs.
“You’re going get an explosion of CEPs,” said Jeff Miernik, the CEO of the Las Vegas Gaming Association, a trade group that represents the industry.
“The number of them are going to increase.”