A casino training lab at Drexel University is being dedicated to Dennis Gomes, a late Atlantic City casino executive regarded as an industry visionary.
With the support of the Gomes family, the university will dedicate a new casino training facility to the former chief executive officer and co-owner of Resorts Casino Hotel. The lab that will be part of Drexel’s casino management program in its new Center for Hospitality and Sport Management and will be known as the Dennis Gomes Memorial Casino Training Lab.
Bally Technology recently donated slot machines to the university, making it the first university on the East Coast to provide on-site casino gaming equipment for education purposes, the university announced Friday. The machines, which don’t accept money, offer students a chance to witness mock customer interactions.
Robert Ambrose, a former Atlantic City casino executive who worked with Gomes, is an instructor at the Center for Hospitality and Sport Management. He was a longtime executive director of slot and marketing operations for Tropicana Atlantic City Casino and Resort.
“At no other time in gaming’s history has the casino floor faced such a degree of business challenges while undergoing so many operations changes,” Ambrose said. “As the landscape of gaming management continues changing, it is more important than ever to have educated and effective employees.”
Since 2009, Drexel has offered a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management with a concentration in gaming and casino operations. It also offers an undergraduate certificate in gaming and casino operations.
Gomes died in February 2012. He spent nearly 40 years as a gambling executive and regulator and was known for his outlandish marketing stunts. He once pitted gamblers against tic-tac-toe playing chickens at Tropicana for a $10,000 prize.
Early in his career as a Nevada gambling investigator, he exposed a scam at Las Vegas’ Stardust casino that inspired the 1995 film, “Casino” starring Robert De Niro.