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Wednesday, July 6, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesPATIENCE PAYING OFF FOR CASINO TRAINEES

PATIENCE PAYING OFF FOR CASINO TRAINEES

After two years of waiting, the initial group of people who registered for the Department of Tourism’s Casino Training Program are finally seeing their patience pay off.
In 1997, 125 people paid $25 each to register to work as dealers in casinos, which didn’t exist on the island at the time, said Pamela Richards, assistant tourism commissioner. Over that period, however, Treasure Bay Inc. was awarded a casino license and only seven people have dropped their names from the list.
"I expected a 10 percent drop-out rate," Richards said. "We’re not even close to that."
With the original group of registrants and a back-up pool of 13 people, Richards said she had no problems replacing the dropouts to fill the 130 positions needed at Treasure Bay’s 10,000-square foot casino, which is expected to open this December at the renovated Divi Carina Bay Resort on St.Croix’s southeast shore.
But for those people who now want a cut of the job action, Richards said it is too late — at least for the Divi Treasure Bay Casino.
"Everyday, people come in and ask if they can sign up," Richards said. "The registration is closed and at this kind of drop out rate, I don’t expect room for them."
While the opening of the Casino Training School was postponed from Aug. 2 to the first week of September, the good news is that roulette and blackjack tables and slot machines have arrived for the training school, Richards said.
Vic Taucer, a gaming professor for the Resorts/Gaming department at the Community College of Southern Nevada, has been contracted to conduct the training, she said.
"I understand that he’s one of the best trainers in this field," Richards said.
Meanwhile, some 60 people who had already registered for the casino program turned out for a non-mandatory, four-week hospitality training seminar sponsored by the Department of Labor and Tourism. Because the seminar is during the day and conflicts with work for many people, Richards said the number is down to 25.
Still, the key training will start in September, when the Casino Training School opens in the Frederiksted Mall. There, students will undergo at least eight weeks of training. Richards said students will start learning how to deal blackjack and roulette and then those who show promise will be selected to train for other positions.
Once training has been completed for the Divi Treasure Bay Casino, Richards said the task of training others for work in future casinos will be left to a private school. Operators of such a school haven’t been chosen, though. The V.I. Casino Control Act mandates that at least 80 percent of casino workers be residents of the territory.
In July, a casino application was submitted by St. Croix businessman Mario de Chabert to the Casino Control Commission for consideration. If it is approved, more casino employees will be needed.
"We’ve been approached by a couple of people who want to do training," Richards said. "We have a group that also wants to do culinary arts and hospitality training. It may be that the casinos will do it."

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