After 12 weeks of training on table games including blackjack, craps, baccarat, roulette, Asia poker and pai gow poker, 200 dealers graduated Wednesday in advance of the Feb. 8 opening of the Rivers Casino & Resort.
The dealers ranged in age from their 20s to their 60s, equally divided between men and women. Each will work one of three around-the-clock shifts for minimum wage plus tips — a pay model similar to restaurant servers.
Irregular hours and modest pay did not deter hundreds who initially applied for a dealer position or the 30 percent or so who washed out during three months of classes because their hands were too clumsy for shuffling, they lacked basic math aptitude or their attendance was spotty.
As each person received a diploma and was offered a slice of graduation cake, there was cheering among new dealers like Kelly Jordan, of Cobleskill, a 51-year-old massage therapist who raised two daughters now in their 20s. She wanted to augment a part-time, in-home massage business that was less wear and tear on her body. Free training — as opposed to shelling out hundreds of dollars for private instruction — was also a big draw.
“I wanted a change, and a job opportunity like this doesn’t come along very often,” Jordan said. “This was a good fit for me. I’m outgoing and sociable, and I like the fast-paced entertainment aspect of the job.”
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Story: Grondahl, Paul. “200 Rivers Casino Dealers Graduate, Ready for Feb. 8 Opening.” Times Union. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2017. <http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/200-Rivers-Casino-dealers-graduate-ready-for-10851974.php>.
Photo Credit: Chris Milian, Professional Aerial Photographer, www.photosfromhigh.com