With the casino industry finally awakening from 2020’s unexpected slumber, dealers from coast to coast are eager to get back behind the box. Casinos in Las Vegas and beyond are hiring for every conceivable position, creating a mad scramble among dealers looking to secure the top gigs. You need to be ready to present your best game in this competitive market.
My dealing days are done, but I still stay in touch with a dozen or so of my pals from the pit. And when we talk shop, the conversations inevitably turn to the difficult task of deciding just which casino to call home.
After picking a few brains—and reflecting back on my own experiences looking for the most competitive dealer openings in town—I have a good sense of what today’s prospective new hires are looking for. Read on to learn about five essential resources casino dealers utilize when comparing a wide range of job openings.
1 – Dealer Employment Forums Like the “Lounge” on TapaTalk.com
A decent portion of the dealer profession works on the road, traveling from city to city and casino to casino in constant search of greener pastures.
This transient lifestyle has its benefits and its drawbacks, but for the folks who wander America’s casino scene full-time, it’s all about landing in the best possible situation.
But how do dealers know when and where a better opportunity just opened up?
Well, we hop on dedicated casino employment message boards like the “Dealer’s Lounge” on TapaTalk.com. A hub for specialized discussion forums, TapaTalk provides a streamlined source of continually updated back-and-forth exchanges.
Dealers curious about a specific topic of interest have recently posted the following queries to the “Bulletin Board” prompt page:
“Harrah’s Cherokee, what are tokes like and how are they structured?”
“Anyone have any info about working in New Mexico @ Northern Edge?”
And like clockwork, when posts like this are put up on the forum, fellow dealers are happy to provide a rundown on all the pertinent need-to-know information.
Using sites like TapaTalk, strangers living a thousand miles away can help each other hone in on their dream dealer job.
2 – Local Area Employer Rating Sites like Zippia
For the dealers who call one city home, the comprehensive career analysis database Zippia.com is a tremendous tool to have handy.
Using the Zippia “Demographics” page for Casino Dealers, you can learn a great number of significant statistics, interesting facts, and figures about the profession. For example, did you know that the number of dealers currently working a steady job in this country stands at slightly more than 75,000?
Thanks to Zippia, I can brush up on the average annual salary before tips ($30,700), the average starting salary before tips ($14,500), and the top 10% average salary ($66,000)
More importantly than these little tidbits though, Zippia’s ability to provide accurate, locally-focused employment data helps dealers narrow their search down.
Let’s say you’re relocating to Atlantic City soon and want to land on your feet with one of the area’s top jobs. By pulling up the Zippia page covering Casino Dealers in Atlantic City, you’ll instantly get the lay of the land.
For instance, in just a few minutes perusing the page, I’ve learned that it’s the old-school local’s haunt Golden Nugget—and not the glittering Borgata favored by tourists —which offers the highest average salary ($35,420). If you’re a poker dealer by trade, try auditioning at the Tropicana ($38,000 to $73,000/year) before settling for Harrah’s ($32,000 to $63,000/year).
And interestingly enough, the advent of online casinos in AC has actually helped human dealers find work rather than hinder our progress. Thanks to the increasingly popular Live Dealer studios, which beam live-streamed footage of real dealers working real tables to an online gambler’s screen, companies like Evolution Gaming are always hiring at competitive rates.
With a site like Zippia at your disposal, weeding out the worst prospects and zeroing in on the best dealer positions in any locale is a breeze.
3 – Anonymous Employee Review Sites Like Glassdoor
Once a dealer for hire identifies a shortlist of casino candidates, cold hard numbers like salary simply aren’t enough to make a final decision.
Without consulting an anonymous employee review resource like Glassdoor.com, you’ll never know how a workplace really, well, works.
- Does the pit boss hover over your shoulder to check your work, even when you’ve proven yourself to be capable and competent?
- Can employees enjoy their duly allotted break time without being pressured to cover for others?
- Will the higher-ups even notice new hires who go above and beyond right out of the gate?
Glassdoor employee reviews, meanwhile, cut through the BS and get straight to the point. If a workplace has areas of concern that can leave new hires lacking support, you can bet the posts on Glassdoor will bring you up to speed before you sign on the dotted line.
4 – Veteran Dealer School Instructors Who Provide Placement Services
The best dealer instruction schools out there today do much more than just teach raw recruits the ropes.
Once you’ve passed all the tests and graduated, top dealer schools go to great lengths in providing job placement services. In most cases, experienced instructors have long since cultivated close relationships with hiring managers in charge of the most coveted casino openings in the area.
And when the instructor identifies a rookie ready to make the jump to the big leagues, it only takes a text of recommendation to set up a shoo-in interview.
Experienced dealers don’t exactly need job placement any longer, but we can surely benefit from keeping in touch with local instructors. By parlaying their long lineup of contacts on the management side, it won’t take long to get the inside scoop on the most desirable dealer openings around.
5 – Good Old-Fashioned Word of Mouth Among Friends
Finally, when the internet and instructors aren’t cutting it, calling up a couple close friends and asking for the skinny never hurts.
Knowing people in the industry, and relying on their firsthand knowledge to help guide your way, is just how it’s always been done. Technological tools are definitely useful, don’t get me wrong there. But I’ll always roll with a trusted confidant’s advice whenever it’s forthcoming.
Dealing cards in a casino is an utterly unique career field to say the least, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. Beginning with the dizzying array of lessons learned at dealer’s school, and continuing on to the grueling gauntlet which greets “green” rookies, this gig challenges you every step of the way.
The challenges extend to the job hunt as well, simply because casino dealers have to weigh so many different variables. The long-term potential for promotion, the regular crowd’s propensity to toke generously, benefits packages, air filtration systems… you name it, and dealers comparing casinos have their work cut out for them.
Fortunately, equipped with the five resources you just learned about here, savvy dealers make the most of their job search by betting on themselves.