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Hollywood Casino Begins Employee Interviews
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The Hollywood Casino, set to open this fall, began interviewing job candidates Monday. WOSU reports as many as 800 people are expected to visit the career center on West Broad Street this week.
Come Thanksgiving, the Hollywood Casino is expected to be teeming with the dings and bells of slot machines and, of course, people, including 2,000 employees. And many of them will be dealing the cards and running gaming tables.
The casino opened its career center to online applicants who met the basic job requirements. Fifteen-thousand people already have applied for more than 600 dealer positions.
Shawn Williamson, from Obetz, is one of them. Williamson drove a school bus, but she was laid off.
â€œWhen I heard they were coming here I was hoping and praying that Iâ€™d have a chance to get in,” she said.
And Williamson likely had a leg up on some of the applicants. From Atlantic City, she used to deal blackjack. But like everyone else, Williamson will have to take the mandatory dealer classes. Sheâ€™ll study poker and craps.
â€œThe more games you have the more valuable employee you are. And you donâ€™t have to deal the same game all the time, repetition, repetition, switch it up. Helps keep you on your toes,” Williamson said.
Samuel McCauley, from the West Side, also is unemployed; in his case, for more than a year.
â€œIâ€™m still looking for a job. Every time I go somewhere Iâ€™m either overqualified, under-qualified, I want too much money,” he said.
McCauleyâ€™s never dealt cards before, but heâ€™s convinced he can do it.
â€œWe have to go to school, itâ€™s five days a week, four hours a day for anywhere from six to eight weeks. [Wow, thatâ€™s a pretty big commitment.] Yes, it is. [Do you think youâ€™re going to like it?] Oh, Iâ€™m going to love it. I like people. I always have a good time,” McCauley said.
Treesje Mock, from the South Side, has a full-time job right now. But the company Mock works for was recently bought out.
â€œSo, I donâ€™t know what the future holds. So this gives me the opportunity to have my foot in the door,” Mock said.
The dealer course that Mock, McCauley and Williamson will have to take costs $200, and the casino will reimburse them once theyâ€™ve successfully completed it.
Casino general manager Ameet Patel said the average completion rate for these classes is between 70 and 80 percent.
â€œI think the process is a big part of it. If you commit to looking for an online application; if you commit to coming here on your scheduled time, on time, if you commit to panel interviews; if you commit to a dealer school, chances are, your commitment level is very high,” Patel said.
Many of those who applied for Hollywood Casino jobs say they also applied for positions at the Scioto Downs Casino, which is expected to offer video lottery terminals.