Gaming Industry a Jobseeker’s Market as US Casinos Embark On ‘Great Hiring Wave’

  • Industry’s comeback from the pandemic requires casino staff to fill the void left by job cuts
  • Hard Rock’s Lupo estimates 2,000 full and part-time casino jobs currently available in Atlantic City
  • Casinos, racetracks in Nevada, California, North Carolina, and West Virginia have staff shortages
  • AGA VP said industry was experiencing an expansion of gaming with increased customer demand
  • Ocean Casino exec said staff making “$14 an hour a year ago might now be making $16 or $17”

 

Man holding board with "JOB" spelled out in the form of slot reels
A dilemma for the gaming industry is a jobseeker’s dream as US casinos embark on a major hiring spree. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Chronic staff shortages

Casinos across the US are engaging in a “great hiring wave” as the gambling industry seeks more staff in the face of its comeback from the pandemic that cut jobs and lost customers, reports the Associated Press.

over “100 casino and other employers will offer 13,000 jobs” at a Las Vegas jobs fair on Friday

According to the AP, over “100 casino and other employers will offer 13,000 jobs” at a Las Vegas jobs fair on Friday that will be attended by approximately only 6,000 people.

President of Atlantic City’s Hard Rock casino Joe Lupo believes, meanwhile, that there are 2,000 full and part-time casino jobs currently available in the gambling capital of the east coast.

Over in Cabazon, California, the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa has been hosting job fairs since December, and has at least two more scheduled for this month, according to the City News Service. It’s a similar story in North Carolina, where the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians said in March it required around 900 additional employees for its Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, and its Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Hotel & Casino.

In West Virginia last month, racetrack casinos informed state regulators that a staff shortage was stopping them from operating at maximum strength for the third consecutive year.

Casinos in competition

While casinos are among multiple US industries desperate to appoint new employees, they find themselves embroiled in a hiring war. Not only are they vying with each other for new casino staff, they’re also competing for employees with experience in the hospitality and tourism industries, among others.

Casey Clark, senior vice president of the American Gaming Association (AGA), said that gaming was experiencing the same labor problems being felt across the wider economy.

“Competition for talent is a huge impediment for growth, and we’re also experiencing an expansion of gaming with customer demand increasing,” he said. “Those things are problematic when they happen together.”

over 40,000 jobs remain unfilled following the reopening of Nevada’s casinos

In Clark County, home of Las Vegas, the AP cited an economic development official as saying in February that over 40,000 jobs remain unfilled following the reopening of Nevada’s casinos after being temporarily shuttered in 2020. An example of the employment shortage saw Caesars wanting to hire 500 people at a single job fair in February.

The AP cited Lupo — who is also president of the Casino Association of New Jersey — as saying: “the workforce supply just has not been available” and that it was hard for all casinos to find enough staff. “I certainly know after meeting with everyone last week that every property is hiring,” Lupo said.

A vice president at MGM Resorts, Wanda Gispert, gave another example of the huge staffing void casinos are desperate to fill. “Work is available whether you are a first-time job seeker, changing fields, newly relocated to the area or retired and wish to return to work.”

A jobseeker’s market

The shortage of labor spells an opportune time for casino workers. According to AP, casinos are offering to train staff without the skill set — such as card dealing — that was once a prerequisite just to get an interview. Casinos are also upping wages and benefits.

Bill Callahan, general manager of Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, said that in some departments, “people that made $14 an hour a year ago might now be making $16 or $17.”

For those seeking fresh careers, it seems casinos are the new low-hanging fruit.