Career Profile: Craig Jacobs highlights key issues for the gaming industry

Career Profile: Craig Jacobs highlights key issues for the gaming industry

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 Totally Gaming
Craig is an IT security expert at MGM Resorts International

Introducing’s new regular columnist, Craig Jacobs, who will provide insight on a number of key issues for the gaming industry. Here, he speaks about his career so far and his hopes for the future.



Name: Craig Jacobs

Current role: Director Incident Response & Problem Management, MGM Resorts International     

Previous roles: Director Systems, Services & Digital Media, Affinity Gaming

Education: B.S. Telecommunications Systems Management & MBA, Murray State University


INSIGHT: When was your big break in your career?

Craig Jacobs: “Starting in the casino world. It was an unusual path to take, having gone to school in Kentucky, but it ended up being a great learning opportunity and I never looked back.” What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?

CJ: “Treat people the way they deserve to be treated. In the hospitality world, companies must bend over backwards to help the guest, but it is important to treat your team and guests the way they deserve to be treated.” What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?

CJ: “Company bankruptcy. Herbst Gaming Inc went through a tough time in the downturn and working through those challenges presented many situations that are difficult to prepare for without having gone through such a painful series of events.” Broadly speaking, how do you think the gaming industry has changed since you started working in it?

CJ: “Online and mobile gaming is the most dynamic change in the gaming industry since I joined. Although the change is only beginning, it is great to be a part of the evolution of the industry.” What do you think will be the key issues to emerge in the betting and gaming industry over the coming months?

CJ: “Data security and PCI compliance are the two forefront issues for every company in the retail, restaurant and entertainment business. For Nevada businesses, compliance with PCI DSS is a legal requirement so it is especially near and dear to the centre of the gaming world.

“Additionally, the recent security breaches of major US companies has caused major heartburn for executives in the industry.” What would be your key piece of advice for someone starting out in the betting and gaming industry?

CJ: “Having spent most of my time in the technology world, I have been privileged to watch the way many operators run their business unit. It has been critical to spend time learning about each function of the business to have a true appreciation for how many nuances exist in our great and diverse industry.” What are your future career aspirations?

CJ: “To develop into the head of operations for a major entertainment and hospitality company.”

Craig is the Director of Incident Response and Problem Management for MGM Resorts International where he drives priority incident escalation, communication restoration, analysis and review. He is also author of Breaching America, which explores what it takes to better protect America's organisations from security breaches.  

The views expressed on this site are Mr. Jacobs' and do not necessarily reflect the views of MGM Resorts.

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