The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 4, 2013

New River at Lewisburg to offer gaming course


For The Register-Herald

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For anyone looking for a fun and lucrative part-time job, the gaming industry might be just the ticket.

Todd Fishon, vice president for casino operations at The Greenbrier, notes that the Casino Club is always on the lookout for trained dealers who are interested in seasonal or weekend work.

“The greatest need is on Friday and Saturday nights,” he notes. “It can easily be a second job for someone. They can work 12 hours and make an additional $350 per week,” he said.

He adds that some part-time workers earn as much as $50,000 to $54,000 per year if they work during peak times such as The Greenbrier Classic golf tournament. It is not unusual for dealers to make $3,000 during the two weeks of events surrounding the tournament, he said.

Fishon notes that part-time or seasonal work is ideal for retirees, mothers with school-age children who need to be home during the day or people wishing to supplement income from a full-time job. It also is a great way to get a foot in the door for someone who might be considering gaming as a permanent career.

To be hired by a gaming facility in West Virginia, dealers must be licensed by the state. The first step in obtaining this certification is to successfully complete an approved training program such as the one offered by New River Community and Technical College at its Jefferson Office Park location in downtown Lewisburg.

The first course in the career ladder is blackjack because it is one of the most common games found in casinos worldwide. According to New River Workforce Education Program Coordinator Terri Baker, the average salary for a blackjack dealer in West Virginia is $30,000 to $70,000 per year, and because of the game’s universal appeal, blackjack dealers are always in demand.

Other dealer classes available to those hired by the Casino Club at The Greenbrier include roulette, craps and three-card poker, all regularly found in gaming facilities across the country.

Prospective students should be very personable, outgoing and professional in both demeanor and appearance. All of the games require a certain level of manual dexterity and an excellent display of proficiency in math. Other useful attributes include showmanship and good customer service skills.

The cost of the class is $675. A licensing fee of $100 is required upon successful completion of the course. Employment is not guaranteed upon completion of this training, but Fishon notes that most people who do obtain jobs in the industry make back their investment in the training very quickly.

Registrations are now being accepted for the next session of blackjack training, which is tentatively scheduled to begin March 18. Classes will meet four hours a day, five days a week, for six weeks for a total of 120 hours of instruction.

All interested students must register for a required math assessment and interview.

For more information or to register, contact New River’s Department of Workforce Education at 304-647-6570.