Harder to deal than to teach

After we published this story about the hypocrisy of Senate Chief Of Staff Matt Schuler getting an appoinment as the executive director of the Casino Control Commission, we got an email from a reader that we found so hard to believe we had to do some checking.

Our reader pointed out that it requires more training to become a prospective Ohio casino dealer than a Teacher for America teacher.

Right from the Teach for American website

All corps members must attend a five-week training institute in full before they begin teaching. Corps members must attend the institute to which their region is assigned.

A lot of teachers are rightly insulted that a 200 hour training course can now be substitued for years of higher education, professional development and training. It turns out casino's think you need more than 5 weeks just to deal Blackjack and Poker!

The Dispatch

The school hired seasoned dealers to teach blackjack, poker and craps. And it set up a school at the casino to teach the trainees, supported by funding from the state.

"We trained over 400 people to start up the operation, and now we're down to training about 40 people every six weeks," Hubbard said.

6 weeks! We thought we would check that claim out. The Blue Ridge Community and Technical College is a state-supported institution within the West Virginia Community and Technical College system and provides accredited training for prospective casino employees. Here's their curriculum

Introduction to Casino Games: This course covers the general responsibilities of the dealer and is a pre-requisite for other table games training courses. Emphasis is placed on correct chip handling techniques, identifying the value of each color chip, learning to read the total value of a bet, and pit procedures. 40 hours (4 hours per day, 5 days per week, 2 weeks) Cost: $200.00

Blackjack: This course covers the fundamentals of dealing Blackjack. Emphasis is placed on card totaling, chip handling and cutting, card shuffling and card placement. Attention is given to game and accounting procedures, accuracy, and speed. 80 hours (4 hours per day, 5 days per week, 4 weeks) Cost: $400.00

Roulette: This course covers the fundamentals of dealing Roulette. Emphasis is placed on chip handling, table layout, accurate and quick mental multiplication, and accuracy in clearing the table. 80 hours (4 hours per day, 5 days per week, 4 weeks) Cost: $400.00

Poker: This course covers the fundamentals of dealing Poker. Instruction is provided in the fundamentals of rake/antes/blind bets, game rules and regulations, dealer’s responsibilities and game security. 80 hours (4 hours per day, 5 days per week, 4 weeks) Cost: $400.00

Craps: This course covers the fundamentals of dealing craps. Emphasis is placed on the knowledge of the procedures on a variety of bets, accurate and quick mental multiplication and chip handling. Special attention is given to game procedures, accounting procedures, accuracy and speed. 160 hours (4 hours per day, 5 days per week, 8 weeks) Cost: $700.00

Midi Baccarat: This course is designed to train students in all aspects of dealing Midi Baccarat. Students will learn about the equipment used, the rules and object of the game, check handling and odds. Extensive hands on training is used to assist students in mastering all aspects of this exciting game. 80 hours (4 hours per day, 5 days per week, 4 weeks) Cost: $400.00

To take all these casino card game training courses would consume 13 weeks, 6 times longer than TFA thinks it takes to train a classroom ready teacher. If the course were offered for 8 hours a day it would still take 6.5 weeks to complete, and week and a half longer than the TFA training

There's something deeply wrong when we think it takes longer to traing card dealers than teachers.