Pennsylvania Casinos Prepares to Launch Casino Table Games
With the action by the state House on January 10th, 2010, local players could be playing casino table games like craps in Western Pennsylvania gaming facilities by the end of summer.
Officials at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington, County and Presque Isle Downs and Casino in Erie said that the launch-period for casino table games could be anywhere from four to nine months, depending on the regulatory requirements.
David Patent, the acting general manager for Rivers Casino, said that they are waiting for Pennsylvania officials to give the go signal so they can begin preparing for the launch of the casino table games. The introduction of the games will not only produce more revenue for Pennsylvania but could produce as many as 1,500 more casino-related employment opportunities in Western Pennsylvania.
Patent said that Rivers Casino is planning to hire another 300-350 new employees, including casino dealers, supervisors, and managers to staff about eighty casino table games and provide support.
The Meadows Racetrack spokesman David La Torre said that they are planning to hire about seven hundred additional employees, from casino dealers to additional servers and security staff to accommodate about sixty-five casino table games.
Bob Griffin, the president and Chief Executive Officer of MTR Gaming Group Incorporated, which owns Presque Isle Downs, said that they are planning to hire 400 to 500 additional employees to staff about forty-six to fifty casino table games and provide support.
Griffin said that the number of new employees would have been bigger had the state's one-time $16.5 million licensing cost for casino table games had been smaller. La Torre said that it could take six to nine months to get the casino table games rolling because of the number of individuals who have to be hired and trained.
River officials estimated that they need four to six months to roll-out the casino table games. The new casino jobs could provide good salaries, particularly for casino dealers, supervisors and pit bosses. Griffin, whose group also owns the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort in West Virginia, said that salaries for casino dealers could be as much as $40,000 annually.
While casino dealers are not paid much more than the minimum wage rate, they make the bulk of their earnings from tips. Rivers Casino plans to add about eighty casino table games in all.
The casino will also have its own poker area with as many as twenty poker tables and also is planning to create a "party pit", which will offer a more casual gaming experience and lower minimum wagers. At the Meadows Racetrack, officials are preparing to add about forty casino table games including craps and blackjack.
Like the Rivers Casino, the Meadows Racetrack will have a separate poker area. Meanwhile, Presque Isle Downs is not planning to feature poker. Griffin said that the facility would have to build a new area to offer poker. Given the state's $16.5 million licensing cost, MTR did not think that it was worth the additional expense.
All three casino facilities see the introduction of casino table games as an overall benefit, helping gaming facilities to become more competitive and attract more players.
Patent said that gamblers who play casino table games usually bring with them people who play slot machines as well so they think that the introduction of the games will improve slots revenue as well.