Most gaming service workers are employed in casinos, where $10 can turn into $10,000 and right back again before you can even say "Hit me!" Positions vary from supervision, surveillance and investigation to workers who get up close and personal with patrons and run the games themselves. Duties include tending to slot machines, handling money, writing and running tickets, and dealing cards.
Here is a list of the specific positions available in this industry, along with their responsibilities:
- Gaming supervisors: These guys and gals oversee everything that goes on at gaming stations to ensure all shifts are covered and everything runs smoothly. To beginning patrons, many games can be very confusing--supervisors explain rules and help them understand how to play the game. They also plan activities and events to create a fun atmosphere for hotel and casino guests.
- Slot attendants: When somebody wins big, these are the workers who hand out the payoff. After that, slot machines need to be reset and refilled with cash. If a machine malfunctions, slot key persons need to either fix the problem or decide to take it off the floor for further repairs.
- Gaming dealers: Craps, blackjack and roulette are a few games that require a dealer to pass out cards, provide dice and enforce playing rules. They also keep an eye on sneaky patrons who may try to cheat their way to a bigger payoff. Therefore, dealers must be tactful and polite while also ensuring everyone plays a fair game.
What are the working conditions?
The atmosphere in casinos is fun and lively, but the work can be physically demanding--workers often have to stand on their feet for long hours, or lift heavy objects. The "glamorous" environment exposes workers to cigarette, cigar and pipe smoke. Casinos can also get pretty noisy with sounds from the machines, tables and patrons who are either yelling to celebrate a big win or sobbing loudly over the loss of their youngest child's college fund. Some workers wear protective head gear around machinery used to count money to shield their poor little ears from the noise. Most casinos are open 24/7, so prepare for odd shift hours and a new sleeping schedule.
What skills do I need and how do I get promoted?
There are usually no education requirements for entry-level gaming jobs, but it's wise to finish up high school or get your GED before you apply, and age requirements vary by state. However, employees in this field are required to hold a license issued by a regulatory agency, such as a state casino control board or commission. Applicants for a license must provide photo identification, offer proof of residency in the state in which they anticipate working, pass a background check and pay a fee. Yep, you've got to pay money to make money.
Luckily, people skills come free--casino workers interact with the public day in and day out, so customer service skills are a must. If you're going to be handling the green--cash, that is--you should have some experience with calculators and computers. On-the-job training is provided, and almost all gaming dealers are certified through a two- or four-year program in gaming or hospitality related field. And if you want to get promoted, don't worry about how much experience you have working in casinos and focus on letting your employer know you're interested in learning new jobs.
Show me the money!
Wages vary depending on location and job description. For specific information, check out our wage calculator to help you determine pay for this job in your neck of the woods