The Pros and Cons of being a Las Vegas Craps Dealer

The Good


Where else would a company hire a 57-year-old man and provide some degree of benefits…health/medicaland life?

Choice of management style

If dealers carefully select their casino in which to work they have a choice togo for the money or go “low key” where there is no pressure and a lot of job security.

Free meals

Most properties provide at least one meal a day, complimentary. Many have open employeedining rooms where there is no limit on the number of meals that you can partakeof. Most dealer break rooms also provide designer drinking water, soft drinks, coffeeand tea service and many also provide natural fruit drinks. There is usually a TVset in the dealer break rooms for entertainment.

Lots of breaks

Dealer rotation on the gaming tables usually constitutes 6 hours of work in an 8hour day. Table game dealers usually work their game for one hour and then takea break for 20 minutes. Sometimes they even work 40 minutes and break for 20 minutes.

Going home early

Dealers who start on the table games first will often get their break the last 20minutes before the end of their shift. In such cases they are allowed to leave theproperty 20 minutes early without losing salary time.

Flexible days off

Dealers who show up to work but who do not want to work their shift can often signup on an “Early Out” sheet in the pit and if the casino is not busy they are oftenallowed to leave early or do no shift at all. This basically constitutes a day offwithout salary compensation. Naturally, if the casino is busy, they will be expectedto work their shift as scheduled.

On the job training

Most casinos encourage dealers to deal multiple games and will either train themon the job or compensate them for taking classes at a dealer school. Some casinoseven have their own casino dealer schools.

Sick leave, leave for family deaths, and related leaves of absence

Provided good reason, most casinos will provide uncompensated time off for qualifiedpersonal reasons.

Holiday bonuses and overtime pay

Varies from casino to casino, but some are generous. Most casinos pay minimum wageor close to it and the dealers make most of their money from tips. Heavy holidayschedules provide an opportunity to make some real money, though you do have towork for it. During the Christmas to New Year’s rush it is possible that you couldbe booked to work as much as 20 days straight.

Tokes (tips) from customers

Wagers made for the dealers and “Hand-Ins”, money given directly to the dealers,constitute anywhere from 50% to as much as 80% of the dealer’s take-home compensation,depending on the quality of casino and clientele.


The ability to mix with players and fellow dealers who have a wide range of racialand sociologic diversity is a plus. We live in an ever-growing international communityand this is certainly true and prevails in the casino world.

The Bad

Inconvenient schedules

Most shifts require that dealers work weekends and Holidays.


Dealers are often forced to work overtime or for extensive consecutive days, especiallyduring Holidays.

Must always prove yourself

You must pass audition for your game(s) in most instances to move from one casinoto another, even within the same company.

Delayed benefits

Dealers are usually required to pass a probationary period before being placed onfull time status and usually do not get any benefits until having passed this probationaryperiod.

Benefits not secure

Sometimes you can lose your benefits when moving from one casino to another, evenwithin the same company.

Low vacation pay

Vacation pay is based on minimum wage and sometimes not compensated by the Toke(tip) committee.

Minimal disability compensation

Disability compensation in most instances is minimal due to minimum wage salaryand is not usually compensated by the Toke (tip) committee.

Easy to get fired

Dealers can be fired for smoking, eating or parking in unassigned areas, for tardiness,or for being out of uniform or out of dress code requirements.

Fired on a whim

In “employment-at-will” states you can be terminated without cause.


You can be “written up” for errors made while dealing your game or for speakingback at any member of management. In most instances a couple of “write ups” withina specific amount of time can constitute reason for dismissal. Dealers are oftenat the mercy of being “written up” by managers who are not assigned to the dealer’sshift schedule.

Difficult supervisors

Dealers are often at the mercy of boxmen, floorpeople and supervisors who have noformal education, no prior corporate experience or training, poor people skillsand who just plain fail to exercise good judgment.

Must defer even to difficult customers

Dealers can be fired for discourtesies shown to customers, even when it is clearthat the customer(s) are clearly in the wrong.

Low job security, depending on the property

When a casino property is sold or destroyed, dealers are often displaced.

The Ugly

Minimum wage salary

Base pay in most instances is MINIMUM WAGE or close to it. Let’s face it. If hotel-casinoshad their way they would not pay their employees ANYTHING AT ALL.

Income isn’t guaranteed

Dealers are at the mercy of the customers’ generosity in order to make their living.

All income taxable

Salary and tokes are both considered taxable income by the IRS. Dealer tips mustbe recorded and documented by the pit Toke Committee and are reflected in detailon the dealer pay receipt.

Second-class citzenship

Many casinos consider table games as a “necessary evil” as the bulk of revenuesare generated from the slot machine and video poker action.


Dealers, in general, have no voice in protecting their mutual interests as thereis no organizing body with any power or say-so. Union organizing efforts (Las Vegas)in the early 2000’s failed to structure any protection because of casino management’sfight against it and the general inability of the dealers to organize.