It’s good to have someone on the inside. At the very least, it can make for some interesting stories.
Casinos are a place unlike any other. Dreams come to life, and die, on a near-hourly basis and the employees of “the house” have a front row seat to it all. When they open up about their experiences, it’s always worth a listen.
Unsurprisingly, the behind-the-scenes perspective is fascinating. Casinos aren’t necessarily shrouded in secrecy, but most gamblers know there’s things they don’t know about the operation.
In this article, I’ll lay out 10 things casino workers have said about their unique jobs.
1 – Casinos Are Dirty
They might look clean and shiny, but most casino floors are covered in germs, grime, and…much worse than that.
One of the worst situations, although not uncommon, is the mess left on some of the slot machine chairs. I’ll let your mind assume what I mean by that.
Players who are having success don’t want to get up and relieve themselves in the restroom, and the casino’s furniture is often the victim in these scenarios. One casino worker for the Mohegan Sun even said that the casino had to assemble an environmental services team to handle the chairs and make sure they got deep cleaned.
2 – Dealing Cards Can Be Dangerous
When people are playing around with life-changing money, emotions are understandably running high. That can make dealing a much more perilous job than it should be.
While this might not be typical, it certainly isn’t unheard of in the industry.
3 – You Never Know What to Expect
On the list of things that humans commonly fear, my guess is that snakes would make the top 10 (maybe top five…top three?). One casino dealer got up close and personal with a serpent when he least expected.
While working as a dealer at a Las Vegas Casino, he observed a man at the blackjack table slowly removing his jacket. While others at the table might have been thinking, “Oh, here we go again,” there was another surprise in store.
Out from under his jacket slithered a three foot snake, complete with a flickering forked tongue.
Needless to say the man and his “pet” were removed from the premises immediately by casino security. However, he did provide several people with a great story to tell during the next friendly poker night.
4 – The Consequences of Losing Can Be Serious
For the majority of gamblers, a bad day on the casino floor can be cured by a few drinks and a good meal. That is, if you bet responsibly.
The unfortunate reality is that some people suffer from a compulsion that makes gambling a life or death proposition. It’s sad, but not uncommon for dealers to witness some pretty harrowing reactions to significant losses.
One anonymous casino worker in Vegas witnessed an off-duty police officer promptly take his life…at the table…after losing his life’s savings in a high-limit poker game. This reaction is an all-too-common thing that is a reminder of the internal battles some people are fighting.
5 – Casinos Aren’t in the Caring Business
I wouldn’t go as far as to say casino owners or managers aren’t good, caring people, but during their time at work they aren’t looking to help anyone out. Regardless of how much money you’ve lost, the general attitude is that as long as you bet your money willingly, it’s on you to deal with consequences.
If you guessed, “Not our problem,” you are right. The casino worker ended up finding the number for the Korean embassy and put the losing gambler in contact with that office, but that was all he could do given the circumstances.
6 – The Range of People is Fascinating
Going to the casino for an afternoon guarantees an unparalleled people-watching experience. If there’s one thing that people from all walks of life can agree on, it’s that gambling is fun no matter what your financial or social status.
A particular Vegas dealer explained how his nightly clientele always ensured there was never a dull moment. He describes his experiences as dealing with a Saudi prince during one hour, Jay-Z the next, and then dealing to a semi-homeless guy later on in the evening.
It’s hard to picture any other place in the world where these three types of people could all be enjoying the same thing. For that reason, casinos will always hold a special place in the hearts of thrill-seekers and those who simply want to observe the human experience.
7 – High-Rollers Get It All
To regular folks, it might feel like the rich can do anything they want without facing real consequences. Nowhere is this more accurate than at the casino.
While this behavior might get most people kicked out, it simply goes unpunished when the casino has a vested interest in keeping someone happy. Rather than being escorted out, they’re offered free rooms, meals, and just about any other casino comp necessary to keep them gambling.
8 – Yes, the Workers are Judging You
One dealer who spent several years working at a top London casino explained that there is plenty to be learned from watching people lose. Most notably, their change in demeanor.
He explained that it was often the people who were the nicest when they sat down who would turn into the most moody, withdrawn, and quite frankly, dark people when they began to lose.
His takeaway? It’s important to be the same person regardless of your own personal success. Changing your personality based on your circumstances shows a selfishness that is best avoided.
9 – Not All the Winners are Gamblers
Women, booze, and gambling go together like fireworks, booze, and apple pie on July 4th – meaning it’s a fun, but often has serious pitfalls. For many male gamblers, this can mean being taken advantage of.
One casino worker, again in Vegas, noted that it was fairly common for “working girls” to seek out players who had a successful day on the floor. After identifying these individuals, they would get them very drunk at the bar to celebrate their success. Next, they would escort them back to their rooms where they would…often pass out.
When the men would pass out, the women would make off with thousands of dollars that their man had won that day. I guess when you really think about it, is it still stealing if the money wasn’t really earned?
10 – At the End of the Day, They’re Babysitters
Dealers have a lot to keep in mind while they’re on the job. They must be able to spot cheaters, keep players’ emotions under control, and still execute the job they’re getting paid to do.
While some of the things on this list might have been surprising, the things dealers hate is probably the least surprising of all.
Casinos are treasures of humanity. Nothing brings out someone’s true colors like losing (or winning) thousands of dollars from playing a game.
At the end of the day, it’s fair to say casino workers don’t get nearly enough credit, or compensation, to justify the duties they’re asked to perform on a nightly basis.
The next time you go to gamble, say thanks to your casino’s staff – or better yet, throw a few extra dollars their way.