Gaming dealers are responsible for the operation of games played at tables such as craps, blackjack, and roulette. They stand or sit behind the table, providing any necessary game devices to patrons such as dice or cards. Gaming dealers are expected to be the front line in the effort to make sure patrons have an enjoyable experience at the gaming facility. Their communication and customer service skills are usually of the highest caliber. They must also have the appropriate level of skill in running the casino table games. Most are skilled in at least two games. They decide who won, pay winners, and collect from losers. Often they are required to monitor patrons for any signs of fraud or cheating.
Legalized gambling is a multi-billion-dollar business in the United States and includes casinos, State lotteries, wagering on dog and horse racing, and charitable gaming. Most gaming dealers are employed in casinos, and their specific duties vary from establishment to establishment. Some positions require specialized skills while others require skills that are common to almost all types of businesses.
Gaming dealers should have an outgoing personality. They must have the ability to maintain their composure even when dealing with angry or demanding patrons. Because so many of these workers handle money, and sometimes large sums of it, personal integrity and honesty are also very important qualities.
In 2002, gaming dealers earned a median annual salary of $14,090. Earnings varied greatly depending on level of experience, training, location, and size of the gaming establishment in which they worked.
Training and Education
The typical minimum educational requirement for gaming dealer positions is a high school diploma or GED. Gaming dealers are usually required to be certified by attending 2- to 4-year programs in gaming or a hospitality-related field. Dealers with the most experience usually are allowed to deal at “high-stakes” tables. All workers are required to obtain a license issued by a State casino control board or commission. In order to qualify for this license, applicants must submit photo identification, proof of State residency, and a fee. The licensing procedure in all States includes a background check. Every casino has different educational requirements, and almost all provide some type of on-the-job or in-house training. Those interested in long-term careers in the industry are encouraged to earn an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in a major such as hospitality management, hospitality administration, or hotel administration. Some vocational, community, and technical colleges offer training for this occupation.
In 2002, gaming dealers held about 78,000 jobs. Most were employed by commercial casinos, and the largest concentration of workers was found in Nevada and New Jersey.
Between 2002 and 2012, employment of gaming dealers is expected to increase faster than the average. In fact, among all casino occupations, employment of gaming dealers are expected to grow the fastest. This is a result of an increased demand for casino table games in existing establishments. Even in times of economic recession, casino profits continue to rise, and many States that do not currently allow gambling are reconsidering that stance. Opportunities will be best for those with a degree or certification in gaming or a hospitality-related field, as well as those with previous experience and good communication skills.
To learn more about hospitality, retail, and travel related careers, please visit our section on Hospitality Schools for more information.