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Rookie dealers at Hollywood Casino working like pros

'They've not only learned the technical part, but the customer service that dealers need to entertain their customers'

March 19, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — The 470 poker, blackjack and craps dealers at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races have become so adept at their table games that they are making it look easy, according to casino General Manager Al Britton.

 "It was incredible how quickly they've taken to it," Britton said Friday.

"They've not only learned the technical part, but the customer service that dealers need to entertain their customers. It's not an easy thing to learn for someone with no experience. They were dealing like experts after just two to three months."

 Since the games began on July 1, the skills of those rookie dealers have also paid off in other ways, Britton said.

Their average salaries have jumped from the $40,000 a year that was estimated before the games opened, to more than $55,000, "plus benefits," he said.

 The casino benefited from their skills as well. The casino grossed more than $58 million in revenue for the first six months, according to Britton.

But it wasn't all profit; out of that $58 million, the casino paid out more than $20 million in state and local taxes, he said.

And expenses like employee salaries, utilities, marketing, advertising and maintenance came off the top, he said.

 About 65 percent of the dealers come from Jefferson and Berkeley counties, Britton said. The casino's total employment tops 1,850, "the vast majority of whom are full time," he said.

 Jefferson County's share of the table games revenue for those first six months came to $5.6 million. Of that, $1.7 million went to the school district; $1.2 million was shared by the County Commissioners and the five municipalities; $1.5 million went to purses at the thoroughbred track and $1.2 million to the horse breeders' fund.

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