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Tips for entering casino industry, in any role?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by notfromconcentrate, Jun 6, 2017.

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  1. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    Apologies if this is in the wrong area. I feel like "non-Vegas chat" is generic enough for something like this that is not necessarily Vegas/gambling-trip related.

    Brief preamble: I'm in a bit of a quarter-life crisis. I'm 24 years old, have a university degree (in fashion, of all things), and profession/career-wise, nothing other than my current job working in the restaurant industry has really "clicked" for me. I've been a licensed real estate agent, I've worked in merchandising at the head office of a major retailer, and I've done a number of various other jobs that have either been "meh", or have just straight up sucked. Gambling and casinos in general have very much "clicked" for me, and I'm considering entering this field in some capacity for a number of reasons.

    More specifically, those reasons are...
    - I love the fast-paced nature of casino gaming. The comparatively slow pace of office work and other such jobs has been mind-numbing for me. This is exactly what brought me back into the restaurant world. It has that intensity. I need it, I love it, I crave it.
    - I love the around-the-clock nature of casino gaming. If there's one circumstance at which I was at my unhappiest, it would be when I was working 9-5. To me, there is something truly depressing and soul-crushing about getting up at 7:00 am or earlier, five days per week, with virtually no end in sight. This, too, has drawn me back to the restaurant industry. I absolutely love working from about 4 pm to midnight. If my schedule working in a casino could be adapted to work on such a schedule, that sounds like a dream.
    - I love the procedure-based nature of casino gaming. I'm high-functioning on the Autistic Spectrum, and that inclines me to follow procedures to a T. What annoys me to no end in other workplaces is people who insist on doing things "their way". For instance, when filling out purchase orders, I'd see people leave some things blank because "it's too much work to find that information and they usually don't notice". Or when I'm dealing with a customer dispute at the restaurant, and a coworker wants to give a customer free alcohol to compensate for it (which is illegal where I'm from), I refuse to serve it because... well... it's illegal! In casinos, there's no "your way". Cards are dealt out, winning bets are paid, and cash/chips are exchanged all according to a fixed set of rules. And above all that, there's cameras watching your every move, so you have an incentive to do it the correct way. This comes naturally to me.

    So, even if I'm going into this as a lowly dealer of war/big six, this is an industry I'd like to at least try and enter. Admittedly, I'd be interested in other roles too (I could actually see myself being good at being a host, given my combined experience in both sales and hospitality, but I don't want to get too far ahead of myself). But I believe it is prudent to take this one step at a time.

    The three things that work against me are...
    - Despite my extensive knowledge of casino gaming/gambling theory, I'm a complete outsider as far as tangible credentials are concerned. I'd be entering this field entirely cold.
    - I live in Canada, where there is virtually no gambling market. As a Canadian citizen, working elsewhere would prove to be somewhat difficult (except, perhaps in venues such as cruise ships, to which I am completely open)
    - I don't drive, and I have no interest in driving (I've held a license before, and even when I did drive, it gave me terrible anxiety). This, therefore, takes more remote workplaces out of consideration for me.

    I anticipate that this thread could possibly descend into any number of tangents of life advice/discussion of millennials/curiosity about my personal quirks. However, to the extent that is reasonable, I would like to keep this focused on the topic of entering the casino industry as an outsider. More specifically...

    - How does one do it?
    - What career prospects are there for someone in my position?
    - How would I go about getting qualified for roles in this industry?
    - How might I go about searching for work, specifically keeping my restrictions in mind?

    Many thanks in advance. Looking forward to what you guys might have to say!
     
  2. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Not sure what's the best section for this either. Maybe Non-Vegas Casinos, Casino Industry, or here is fine too. :)

    Also not sure how to answer your questions. It doesn't appear there are a lot of Vegas style casinos in Toronto. Casino Niagara/Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, has bus info on their website: https://www.casinoniagara.com/getting-here/by-bus Not sure how easy that makes it for you to get there though as I'm unfamiliar with the area. Here is their job page if you are interested: https://niagaracasinosjobs.com/
     
  3. meyers67

    meyers67 VIP Whale

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    Anything is possible. I know someone who went from dealing blackjack to becoming a host. And then, believe it or not, she went to being a cocktail waitress because the money was better.

    If you're looking for a career beyond that, it may be tough.
     
  4. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

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    How do you do it?

    - Go somewhere where casinos are hiring. Often, your best bet is going to be where they are expanding/opening new casinos
    - Consider what your background qualifies you for. In your case, your fashion degree and limited office experience suggest you are looking for an entry level job in something like dealing cards, working as a slot technician, or other basic jobs. You may be challenged to get a back office job unless you can show strong technology skills or some other desired skill, such as accounting or marketing experience.
    - Evaluate your customer service skills
    - Evaluate your ability to work in the US as a Canadian citizen (sorry, can't help with this one)
    - Evaluate your legal background (many of these are licensed positions in the US and you need to be able to qualify for a gaming license. Also, they will drug test you in many places.)
    - Evaluate your ability to obtain transit to your job. Keep in mind that casinos are 24 hour businesses in many places and you may have to work nights when mass transit is not working. This is going to be more of an impediment than you may think in many US gaming locales when you consider where the casinos are located.

    I can't help with Canadian specific answers to any of this, my advice comes from colleagues who have worked as management in the gaming industry for a couple of decades.
     
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  5. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

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    Also you mentioned cruise ships...those are generally terrible jobs - long hours for low pay with limited labor law protections. There's a reason the average cruise ship worker is from a 3rd world country.
     
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  6. Marilynfan

    Marilynfan High-Roller

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    The driving will be an issue to most of these locations but here is another option besides Niagara. I always see job ads for slot attendants in my local paper.
    http://about.olg.ca/olg-careers/
     
  7. rob889

    rob889 High-Roller

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    I would say go for the casino job on a cruise ship...if no for the experience alone. I completely agree with the hours being long but I think that mostly applies to the room stewards & restaurant staff. Cruiseship casinos are closed a lot of the time (when in port, overnight, etc.) so the schedule is probably more what you're looking for. Also, it's one of the few jobs where you will in fact see the occasional American/Canadian working, although I've also noticed there is a much higher concentration of Eastern European women dealers. Not to mention your room and board will be taken care of and you'll get to travel a lot if that is something that interests you. If anything it could be the first stepping stone to see if you like the business.
     
  8. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

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    Room and board = bunk in the bottom of a ship

    Casinos on cruises aren't closed as often as you're making it out, and they can make the dealers do other jobs when they aren't dealing.

    In general, for Americans/Canadians...you do not want to work onboard these ships in menial jobs. You are strongly underrating the risks you are taking by asking someone to work in an environment where there are effectively zero labor laws.
     
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  9. vegasbound

    vegasbound VIP Whale

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    Start scouring employment opportunities on various gaming websites. Start somewhere, anywhere. Get yourself in the door and prove yourself, doors will open. Swing and grave are less desirable for most people so you have an advantage there. Personality outweighs skill.
     
  10. rob889

    rob889 High-Roller

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    It really depends on the cruise. For example, a 5 day cruise that is in port for 3 days, let's say 5 or so hours each, will be closed for that day until they set sail, then it will close around 2 or 3am depending on how busy they are. The casino dealers aren't in the same tier as the wait staff and housekeeping. Housekeeping is on call 24/7 if someone needs something, and wait staff is working the other food areas, cleaning up and whatnot throughout the day. I'm sure there are things dealers do behind the scenes but at the same time I've seen them get off the ship numerous times in port. I've been on 25+ cruises and have become friends with some casino employees that we'd see again and again (from dealers to the cash cage). Some even have family in port and they'll get off the ship and visit them and go shopping while the ship is in between cruises. Yes, the rooms are not glamorous but they're rooms and are paid for, same with food. I'm not saying to do it as a lifelong career but for a 6 month contract or two I can't see how it wouldn't be a fun experience.

    Here's a couple links for the OP from a quick google search

    https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/what-it-s-like-to-work-on-a-cruise-ship-insane-hours-partying-and-more

    https://www.casino.org/blog/the-life-of-a-cruise-casino-dealer/
     
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