California Occupational Guides

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Detailed Guide for

Gaming Dealers in California

May also be called: 21 Dealers; Baccarat Dealers; Blackjack Dealers; Card Dealers; Casino Dealers; Games Dealers; Pai Gow Dealers; and Poker Dealers

What Would I Do?

Legalized gambling in the United States includes casino gaming, state lotteries, betting on horse or dog races, and charitable gaming. California casinos are owned and operated by many of the local Native American tribes. The majority of all Gaming Dealers are employed in casinos while some work in card rooms. Dealers operate table games such as blackjack and various types of poker. Standing or sitting behind the table, Dealers provide cards and other gaming material to players or run the equipment. They also monitor the patrons for infractions of casino rules. Gaming Dealers must be skilled in customer service, game protection, and executing their game. They determine winners, calculate and pay winning bets, and collect losing bets. The environment is often fast-paced, and many Gaming Dealers are competent in more than one game.

Tools and Technology

Gaming Dealers operate table games and the related tools including playing cards, cash or ticket boxes, gaming chips, card shuffling devices, gaming coupons, and promotional coupons. They may also use e-mail, spreadsheet, and player tracking system software.

Important Tasks and Related Skills

Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.

View the skill definitions
TaskSkill Used in this Task
Answer questions about game rules and casino policies.Instructing
Inspect cards and equipment to be used in games to ensure that they are in good condition.Problem Sensitivity
Exchange paper currency for playing chips or coin money.Mathematics
Apply rule variations to card games such as poker, in which players bet on the value of their hands.Monitoring
Conduct gambling games such as dice, roulette, cards, or keno, following all applicable rules and regulations.Information Ordering
Check to ensure that all players have placed bets before play begins.Perceptual Speed
Deal cards to house hands, and compare these with players' hands to determine winners, as in black jack.Deductive Reasoning
Pay winnings or collect losing bets as established by the rules and procedures of a specific game.Selective Attention
Refer patrons to gaming cashiers to collect winnings.Service Orientation
Work as part of a team of dealers in games such as baccarat or craps.Coordination
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

Most casinos are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and offer staggered shifts. Dealers often work part time, weekends, and holidays. They may stand or sit for long periods and reach over tables to collect and provide cards or other game-related items including bets and winnings. The atmosphere in casinos exposes workers to certain hazards such as cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke. Noise from slot machines, gaming tables, other employees, and patrons may be distracting to some.

Gaming Dealers may be represented by unions such as UNITE HERE.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Gaming Dealer may appeal to those who enjoy following set procedures and working with data and details rather than ideas. Prospective Dealers should also like to make decisions quickly. Work should not involve too much paperwork, but rather more practical and hands-on problems and solutions as well as interacting with customers.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

In addition to their wages, Gaming Dealers often earn tips to help supplement their income.

Wages

The median wage in 2015 for Gaming Dealers in California was $19,241 annually, or $9.26 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2015Low
(25th percentile)
Median
(50th percentile)
High
(75th percentile)
California$18,271$19,241$23,053
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2015 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Benefits

Benefit packages vary by employer and may include medical, dental, vision, and life insurance as well as vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

As a result of individuals attempting to make the dream of winning big at casinos a reality, there should continue to be job opportunities for Dealers. However, like many occupations, employment may be sensitive to fluctuations in the economy.

Projections of Employment

In California, the number of Gaming Dealers is expected to grow slower than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Gaming Dealers are expected to increase by 11.3 percent, or 1,700 jobs between 2012 and 2022.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
Gaming Dealers
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Estimated
Employment
Projected
Employment
Numeric
Change
Percent
Change
Additional Openings
Due to Net
Replacements
California
(2012-2022)
15,10016,8001,70011.32,600
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Projected Growth for All Areas

Annual Job Openings

In California, an average of 170 new job openings per year is expected for Gaming Dealers, plus an additional 260 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 430 job openings.

Estimated Average Annual Job Openings
Gaming Dealers
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-
Projected Year)
Jobs From GrowthJobs Due to
Net Replacements
Total Annual
Job Openings
California
(2012-2022)
170260430
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Data for All Areas

How Do I Qualify?

Education, Training, and Other Requirements

While each casino establishes its own education, training, and experience requirements, many Dealers have a high school diploma or equivalent. Usually, new Gaming Dealers are sent to gaming schools for four to eight weeks to learn casino games, such as blackjack or various types of poker. These schools teach the rules and procedures of the games, as well as related federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Completing gaming school before being hired may increase one's chances of employment, but it does not guarantee a job. Casinos usually audition prospective Dealers for open positions to assess their personal qualities as well as their proficiency in conducting the table games. In addition, preemployment drug tests, fingerprinting, and background checks as well as a valid gaming license are required to become a Dealer.

Experience

Experience may not be required for new Gaming Dealers, but it is often preferred by many casinos and card rooms.

Early Career Planning

High school students interested in becoming Gaming Dealers should take courses in English, mathematics, foreign language, and computers.

Continuing Education

Gaming school is not just for new employees; Dealers who have been employed for many years may attend gaming schools if they want to be trained in other casino games.

Licensing

All gaming service workers must obtain a license from a regulatory agency, such as a tribal gaming agency, local (counties and cities) jurisdictions, or the California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC). Card room Dealers must obtain a work permit from either local jurisdictions or the CGCC. Tribal casino Dealers are not required to have a work permit, but they should obtain a tribal gaming license. Tribal gaming licenses may be different for each casino; therefore, Dealers should get their license from the tribal gaming agency that regulates the casino at which they wish to work.

Where Would I Work?

The largest industries employing Gaming Dealers are as follows:

Industry TitlePercent of Total Employment for Occupation in California
Local Government 53.5%
Gambling Industries 35.7%
Source: EDD/LMID Staffing Patterns

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains the most effective job search method for Gaming Dealers. Applicants can also find employment opportunities through networking. Newspaper classified ads and the Internet provide additional sources for job listings. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Yellow Page Headings

You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Gaming Dealers.

  • Card Rooms
  • Casinos
  • Gambling

Find Possible Employers

To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:

  • Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
  • Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
  • Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
  • Contact the employer for possible employment.

Where Could This Job Lead?

Gaming Dealers may find promotional opportunities by learning and working at different table games or gambling establishments. With experience, formal training, and, in some cases, a degree, some Dealers may promote to supervisory positions such as dual rate supervisors, gaming supervisors, managers, and department heads. In addition, managers are required to obtain a different license by the California Bureau of Gambling Control.

Related Occupations

Below is a list of occupations related to Gaming Dealers with links to more information.

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Industry
Report
Occupational
Profile
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CashiersGuide
Parts SalespersonsProfile
Retail SalespersonsGuide
Waiters and WaitressesGuide

Other Sources

These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.

For the Career Professional

The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.

SystemCode
SOC - Standard Occupational Classification39-3011
O*NET - Occupational Information Network
   Gaming Dealers39-3011.00
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)CER