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Each state with casinos has its own gaming laws and regulations regarding employee licensing. Some states classify licenses based on tiers, while others separate gaming licenses by types, with one of those types called “support employees.” To get a support employee gaming license, you’ll usually need to pass a gaming license background check, but you should first apply to work with the casino, as sometimes they will pay the fees and help you get established with the state.
Support Employee Gaming License Requirements
Anyone who works in a casino will be required to have a casino license, but licensing requirements are typically divided by type. In Colorado, for instance, licenses fall under one of the following licensing classifications: support, key/tribal key, retailer or table game. All non-managerial employees must have a support license, including dealers, cashiers, change persons, accounting workers, prop players, count and drop teams, slot techs, and security personnel.
To work as a casino support employee, you’ll need to submit an application to the state and pay a fee. This fee varies by state and usually won’t be refunded, even if your application is rejected. In Colorado, that fee is $110, while in Massachusetts, it’s $300. States also require that you renew the license on a periodic basis – typically once a year.
Gaming License Background Check
The fee you pay for your application includes the cost to run a background check on you. In Massachusetts, this background check includes agreeing to be fingerprinted to run a criminal background check. You’ll have to show up at a location designated by either your employer or the gaming commission to have your photo and fingerprints taken.
You usually won’t qualify for a casino license if you have certain criminal activity in your history. In Massachusetts, only unsealed convictions will be considered. Any conviction of a crime involving embezzlement, theft, fraud or perjury within the past 10 years is an automatic disqualifier. Older convictions, as well as convictions that don’t fall within those areas, will be considered based on rehabilitation and/or patterns of behavior.
Applying to Work in Casinos
Casino positions that fall under gaming laws and regulations for licensing requirements are set up to run candidates through the license application process. For that reason, you probably won’t need a license to apply for a job. In fact, Massachusetts requires that the application for a license be submitted and the fee paid by the gaming establishment, with the employer having the option of deducting the fee from the employee’s paycheck once hired.
To apply to work for a gaming establishment and get that casino license, though, you’ll need to meet the employer’s requirements for application. You’ll probably be required to be at least 18 years of age, but many casinos set that minimum age at 21. You also will need to have at least a high school education.
Drug Testing and Casino Work
In addition to a gaming license background check, it’s also important to note that you may be required to submit to a drug test. Not only can an employer require candidates to be drug tested prior to hiring, but they can implement either scheduled or random testing, as long as they can document that their testing process isn’t discriminatory. There’s also incident-based testing, in which an employee who has been involved in an accident or other occurrence is tested to ensure drugs weren’t involved.
It's important to note that although casinos will always follow gaming laws and regulations, they may lessen restrictions when dealing with a tough job market. In recent years, Las Vegas casinos have stepped back on testing for marijuana, specifically, as the substance has been legalized in the city. Casinos have said that it was becoming increasingly tougher to fill jobs by excluding those who had marijuana in their system.
- Most states have similar procedures. Level 2 and 3 gaming licenses, casino employee, casino service employee and non-key employee licenses are similar to support licenses. The fees vary from state to state.
Stephanie Faris is a novelist and business writer whose work has appeared on numerous small business blogs, including Zappos, GoDaddy, 99Designs, and the Intuit Small Business Blog. She worked for the State of Tennessee for 19 years, the latter six of which were spent as a supervisor. She has written about business for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2011.