PA Blackjack Students Ready for Work

Earlier this year, the U.S. state of Pennsylvania legalized blackjack and poker at all of their slots casinos. The move was intended to generate revenue, create jobs, and create more freedom for those who enjoy playing table games at casinos. Atlantic City casino owners, of course, weren’t too pleased, but that’s another story.

When the law passed, it became clear that the current casinos as well as casinos that have yet to open would now need dealers. One soon-to-open casino, the Mount Airy Casino Resort, decided to team up with a nearby school to train and place local talent.

Northampton Community College created classes that teach the skills necessary to be a blackjack dealer at a casino and Mount Airy provided the instructors. The classes filled up right away, with 92 students registered for the three sections. Next Thursday, that first class of blackjack students at the college will graduate with the necessary skills to be blackjack dealers.

After a few dropouts, there are 87 students remaining. George Toth, President of Mount Airy, says he expects to hire most of those students immediately upon graduation. Those who are skilled enough to do so will begin working as a dealer as soon as the casino opens for business. For those who are not quite as advanced as he would like, additional training will be provided until he feels they are up to speed.

The blackjack course at the community college is a 120-hour, six-week course that teaches them how to count cards, handle chips, spot cheaters, cut and deal the cards and more. At the end of the course, the students will have to pass written and performance tests. They must then be licensed by the state, which shouldn’t be a problem for anyone with a clean background who is able to pass the tests provided by the class.

Mount Airy Casino Resort will be ready to launch their blackjack tables at the beginning of June, but they are still waiting for the okay from state regulators to open. It is not known yet when that will happen.

Due to the popularity of the classes, Northampton CC will hold the blackjack courses again the next term, starting in June. Mount Airy is also hosting a job fair this Sunday, where they will be hiring a variety of positions, including bartenders, housekeeping, clerks, security and more.

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