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The Big Gamble: Who Gets What Kinds of Casino Jobs?

SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB) — Thousands of new jobs under one roof. Blue collar jobs and white collar jobs.

It all sounds great, but we rarely hear casino developers talk specifics about those jobs.

ABC40 explores that topic and finds that the answers aren’t all positive.

Mohegan Sun in Connecticut is a massive destination casino. It employs about 10,000 people, but about 300 of them were recently dealt a bad hand.

“The layoffs last month in Connecticut were appropriate to size our employment force there with the book of business volume we are experiencing now, which is different than we experienced back in 2007 and certainly even a year ago,” Mohegan Vice President of Corporate Development Paul Brody said.

Casinos say they have to get creative to remain profitable in a questionable economy.

“Whether it’s food, whether it’s retail, big box retail vendors, this is always a changing landscape and we, like those industries will adjust to it,” Brody said.

The Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh failed to generate as much revenue as anticipated when they opened four years ago, and like Mohegan, had to change game plans.

“It’s about fact-based decision making,” The Rivers General Manager Craig Clark said. “We do that with our marketing programs, and put the right programs in place on the right days and really take advantage of the number of people that are coming to the north shore for entertainment.”

That allows the casino to employ about 1,900 people. There’s those who make technology tick and those who make dinner sizzle.

“We have jobs in all categories,” Clark said. “We have a lot of jobs, human resources, accounting, facilities, as well as our dealers and slot attendants here on the gaming floor.”

Cincinnati’s Horseshoe Casino is training 1,400 employees for their grand opening this spring, but who gets the jobs?

“Specifically the labor community, the African American community, the African American Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce have all been very very supportive because they have actually seen promises kept,” Cincinnati Vice-Mayor Roxanne Qualls said.

Qualls says the casino has targeted those who struggle with finding work.

“They have a great motto, which is we hire for attitude and we train for aptitude because they are very much a service industry,” she said.

Qualls says they’ll also make a decent wage. The average salary of a casino employee will be $40,000 per year.

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