Las Vegas Careers
There are over 200,000 casino related jobs in Las Vegas. The workforce extends far beyond the employees seen on the gaming floor. In each complex, there are not only casinos, but the hotels with their shops and spas, catering outlets, bars and other services.
Additionally, there are constant tours to be run for non-resident visitors. It’s impossible to summarize the huge diversity of experience found working in the major complexes in Las Vegas, which amount to individual resorts in their own right. Consequently, some hotel-casino operations hire as many as 3,000 to 6,000 people.
In the casino itself, dealing is the most visible profession. The largest number rotate between table card games, and the roulette and ‘Big Six’ wheels. Then there are the specialist games dealers (baccarat, craps and poker), as well as the keno writers and sports writers. Above all these workers are the box men, floor men, pit bosses, shift bosses and various book managers.
The casino players are serviced by cocktail waitresses, keno runners and cigarette girls, who also cover the slot machine areas, showrooms and restaurants. Additionally, there are bar staff, security personnel, change booth people, slot floor men, pit clerks, porters and casino cage cashiers in all areas of the casino. Less visible are the slot staff who empty the machines, wrap, count and redistribute the coins. Others count the money from the table games. Meanwhile, tour managers and guides show visitors around the complex.
Behind the scenes, incoming and outgoing funds are dealt with by accountants, auditors and clerks. Couriers and runners are on duty throughout the night and day, as are TV surveillance people. Maintenance is undertaken by skilled workers at night.
Then there are the administration offices. Besides the Casino Manager and Games Director and their immediate staff, there are the credit management, human resources, and marketing, PR and advertising teams.
Moving on to the hotels, which can have as many as 5,000 rooms, there are General and Reservation Management teams, and the front of house personnel, including front desk manager and clerks, concierge, baggage handlers, etc. And, of course, there are all the catering and housekeeping staff associated with hotel services.
The complexes in Las Vegas provide entertainment, too. Shows take place in venues that need their own stage and sound technicians, camera people, technicians, box office and administration staff.
Finding Work in Las Vegas
Traditionally, when the casino operations were simpler, finding work in Las Vegas was a matter of starting as a dealer in a downtown casino and then working your way up if you were good enough. Alternatively, a team would develop around a particular manager, who took his own staff with him as he changed jobs.
Today, however, staff for the huge casino hotels are recruited in their thousands, and access to work is rather different. A number of dedicated internet sites provide a valuable online recruitment resource for the Las Vegas employers. This can be a good way to find work if you are moving in from another area and have existing experience.
If you are inexperienced, however, you’ll need to have a local address. In this case your best option is to call the casino’s hot lines or, better still, to visit their Human Resources departments. Once you’ve gained a position, it is far easier to check the listings to find a new position. Be sure to check beforehand which jobs are unionized.
It is better not to be too fixed in your aspirations to start with. Even if you want casino work, it may be worth taking hotel work in the short term. You may then access in-house training that will enable you to switch jobs, finding your way into the more lucrative casino side.
Salary and Prospects for Las Vegas Careers
After the management positions, dealers make the highest income in casinos, in the following order: baccarat dealers (not to include mini-tables), blackjack dealers and craps dealers. To give an idea of actual income, most dealers get the minimum wage and rely on tokes (tips) for their income. Blackjack dealers may make an average of $40 to $180 a day in tokes/tips, depending on the size of the casino, while baccarat dealers can make up to $250. Dealers tend to pool their tokes and then divide them equally.
After dealers, cocktail waitresses, food waiters and waitresses make the best income. They keep the tokes/tips they earn, but ‘pay’ others who help them, such as the bartenders and bus boys. Other employees’ wages are highly variable. A security guard’s pay ranges from $75 to $120, depending on experience and employer. Other benefits, such as medical coverage, can be free.
Regarding prospects, there is no reason to think that the number of jobs will fall off. If you have solid experience, you can aim for the better jobs. If you don’t, you can easily gain experience, providing you are ready to start off in a less than ideal job.
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