Gaming Industry Classes Unlikely for UNL — For Now

Grant Rogers would like to see two more classes offered at
University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Introduction to the Gaming
Industry 100 and Strategies for the Future Slot Operations 227.

These classes already are offered at the University of Nevada,
Reno. The college has an extended studies program that offers
gaming management courses.

Rogers, a junior graphic design major, said a lot of college
students gamble and the classes would help them understand gambling
better.

On Nov. 2, Nebraska voters will decide whether to bring gambling
to the state. But UNL will not adjust its curriculum if gambling is
legalized, said Rita Kean, dean of Undergraduate Studies.

“The topic has never been raised to have courses dealing
with casinos or gambling,” Kean said.

John Anderson, professor and chairperson of economics, said it
could be appropriate to study gambling and give needed analysis to
the gaming industry.

But studying gambling in the Midwest doesn’t make as much
sense, Anderson said.

“It might be easy to poke fun of the provocative course
title, but people should really look into the roles of the course
or the curriculum at large,” he said.

Whether the student is a business management or gaming
management major, Anderson said each program should provide similar
information.

Pat Loontjer, director of Gambling with the Good Life, said she
would hate to see a gaming program in the state’s
universities because it wouldn’t provide beneficial
resources.

“Gambling is just as addictive as drugs,” Loontjer
said. “If there are gambling classes than there should be a
Drug Pushing 101 class. It is just as bad.”

If the bill passed, she said there likely would be a casino
built near the horse track at the State Fair Park.

Loontjer said she could imagine countless students walking to
the casino from their residence halls and becoming gambling
addicts.

“It needs to stay out of Nebraska because we are known for
our strong work ethic, not stealing money from our neighbors
through gambling,” she said.

Andrew Nelson, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, said he
couldn’t see much use for the program because Nebraska lacks
a demanding job market.

Being a gaming manager could be profitable, he said, but it
wouldn’t be as beneficial in this state – at least for
now.

Rogers said these courses would help students broaden their
knowledge. And if the Nebraska law changes to allow gambling, the
state already would have trained students ready for hire.

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