As part of the world’s vast travel and leisure industry, casinos are major employers, from dealers and pit bosses to cocktail servers, cage cashiers, and security personnel. It might seem a bit odd that one of the more labor intensive aspects of casinos is the slots floor. After all, machines seem to do all of the work. But those one-armed bandits require a considerable amount of care, as do their customers. That’s why there are always lots of jobs in the slots department of a busy casino.
The Technical Side
One of the most highly paid entry-level jobs on the entire casino floor is the slot technician. This employee is responsible for maintaining the slot machines and video games, cleaning machines and replacing parts as required, and with thousands of slots on a typical floor, it seems like one is always in need of service.
A slot technician needs to have special training from a school that offers a certificate in gaming machine maintenance. The program of study will have included courses in mechanics, electronics, and microprocessor operation. Being a slot tech can demand some physical strength too, as machines must be removed from the slot floor by hand trolley.
Slot technician reports to managers known as slot technician supervisors. They coordinate the work of all the employees who repair machines, work schedules, assigning tasks, and making sure the slots function according to specifications. Supervisors are usually capable of fixing machines, too, and they need two to four years of technical experience to make it to this level. The average hourly wage for a slot technician in the U.S. is around $20, while the supervisors typically a few dollars more.
On the Floor
Slot attendants are the personnel who most frequently come into contact with players. They respond to customers needs, report jackpots, authorize payouts, print jackpot tickets, verify customer IDs, and complete any necessary tax or payout forms. The entry-level wage for slot attendants is just over $11.50 an hour.
Another entry-level job is that of slots club attendant, which pays approx. $12 an hour on average. The position requires people skills for enrolling new slot club members, providing customer service, and giving members information about benefits, contests, and promotions.
Above the attendants are a number of managerial level positions. Slot club shift supervisors can make $18 an hour, slot shift manager assistants can get $24, and slot shift managers can earn $27. Organizing them all is the operations manager of the slots department, who directs day-to-day operations, reviews reports on the casino’s electronic gaming devices, and sees that federal cash reporting requirement are complied with. This top-level position requires five years or more years of slot floor experience. Those who reach this level are rewarded with $36.48 per hour o average.
Getting a Slots Job
Although slots-related jobs are plentiful, the market for them is also highly competitive. Insiders say that “what you know” gets an application read, “who you know” gets an interview scheduled, and “what you are willing to do” wins the job. Each new casino needs thousands of employees, but many hundreds of thousands often apply, with 1 job for every half dozen applicants.
Casinos are notorious for being places of patronage. They prefer to promote from within their own ranks. Family and friends of current employees have an advantage in consideration for new openings, too, so competition for entry-level jobs can be fierce. That’s why it should come as no surprise that slots personnel are often highly educated and talented far beyond the requirements of their positions. Those willing to start at the bottom have the best shot at making it to the top.