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Thinking About a Career in the Casino Biz ?

These are some things to think about. Both positive and negative.

What I am about to say comes from over 30 years of experience in the industry.

Most people go to a dealers school. Learn the games they are interested in and apply and audition at the casino that is interested in them.

In Las Vegas its usually a smaller casino off the strip. You will make less money and deal to lower bets than on the strip. Most casinos on the strip require some experience before they will hire you. Far less today than in years past.

Now for the plus and minus scenario.  The positives about working in the casino biz are: Its an environment that is filled with a variety of people from every walk of life.

And it constantly changes!  Other positives are that you are working in an air conditioned clean work place and most decent casinos feed you while at work too.

About the money. It can be good. It can range from $20,000 to $80,000 a year depending on your location. If you are a dealer most of this will come from tips not salary. Do not assume the tips will come. Learn how to make them! If you choose to become a floor supervisor you will only make a salary. No tips in today’s market.

A supervisor usually makes less than a dealer. Pit managers, which would be the next step. Followed by assistant shift managers and shift managers which all make very good salaries plus bonuses.

In most casinos dealers share their tips with each other. An example of this would be:

If there are 200 dealers that work in a 24 hour period? All 200 get an equal share. i.e. $20,000 in tips made divided by 200 dealers equals $100 per dealer. Some casinos allow dealers to keep their own tips. All poker dealers do this. You must still report the tips and pay taxes on them. A 401k program is offered to employees after their trial period is completed.

Now for the negatives: Your schedule will be the worst when you start.(Bottom of the tot-um pole) There are 3 main shifts in the casino. 12 noon till 8pm (Day shift), 8pm till 4am (Swing shift) 4 am till 12 noon (Graveyard shift). Your days off will not be Saturday and Sunday like a normal job. Every dealer gets the same hourly pay which is minimum wage if you are lucky. There is no shift differential pay. Also consider this: Its Christmas eve and you have to work. Its Thanksgiving day and you have to work. Its New Years eve and you have to work. Its Super bowl Sunday and you have to work!

In today’s market you will start and stay as a part time employee. It can take years if ever until you become full time. Your schedule can range from 2 to 4 shifts a week. And your days off will be split and you will not be allowed to work 32 hours a week. Why? Because they do not want to pay you health benefits. Only full time employees get benefits paid by the company. It can take years to be a full time employee if ever! Some major casinos tell you that you will NEVER be full time! I know several dealers that work at 2 casinos at the same time (part time) to make their bills. I do not know why casinos are permitted to hire only part time? This also applies to the floor supervisors seeking employment.

What about a pension? The answer is NO. There are no pensions offered in the casino business.

Seniority. If you have it? Its Great. If you don’t you will hate this word!

Seniority is the instrument that casinos use for everything. Your schedule is the best if you have seniority. You will get the table game you want to deal if you have seniority. If anybody? You will get health benefits if you have seniority. Promotions to full time from part time are based on seniority. Vacation time is accumulated at a faster rate if you are full time over part time employees. In a lot of casinos part time dealers do not get vacation time. But part of their tips each day goes to the full time dealers that do have vacation time when they take it. This is flat out unfair! It doesn’t matter if you are better at dealing than the next person. Talent and skills are not considered.

Welcome to the corporate world! With all this in mind its your decision. It’s a different kind of life. What do you want to do with yours?

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