The $960 million MGM Springfield is sprinting towards its planned September opening by putting out the call for table game dealers. It expects to hire about 450 dealers begin this summer—and a total of 3,000 for its casino operations alone.
In conjunction with the Massachusetts Casino Career Training Institute MGM is providing details on the career opportunities available, including where and how to enroll in classes in poker, blackjack, roulette and other table games. The Institute is the result of a partnership between the casino and Springfield Technical Community College and Holyoke Community College. MGM promises automatic interviews with any students who complete two table-game courses.
When it opens this fall, the casino will have 125,000 square feet of gaming floor space and a 250-room hotel, with a six-screen cinema, bowling alley, skating rink and outdoor marketplace all on the property.
The casino developer is also working to provide positions for the large numbers of residents of Puerto Rico who fled to the state after Hurricane Maria devastated the island last September. About 1,000 evacuees are now living in the Bay State.
MGM spokesman Saverio Mancini told the Republican, “MGM is dedicated to supporting the communities we serve. We stand ready to help the people of Springfield whose families and friends were impacted by the unfortunate situation in Puerto Rico.”
Last week Jill Griffin, MGM’s director of workforce, supplier, and diversity development updated the Massachusetts Gaming Commission about the company’s efforts to help the island refugees get jobs. The island has 15 casinos, so former residents are likely to be familiar with the gaming industry.
Mancini said, “Puerto Rico has a robust gaming and hospitality industry and we are interested in assisting and connecting with people newly settled in the area who may have casino or resort work experience.” He added, “These are ideal candidates for a career with MGM Springfield.” MGM conducted an event last week that was designed to introduce the evacuees to MGM and its job opportunities.
MGM is committed to hiring 35 percent of its employees from Springfield and to pursue various diversity goals in hiring and contracting.
The commission voted last week to work with MGM Springfield and Wynn to create voluntary opt-in programs that would allow but not force casino customers to self-limit themselves to a maximum budget and to be notified when they are near those limits.
This allows the programs to be in place by the time the MGM Springfield opens later this fall and the Wynn Boston Harbor opens in 2019.
The panel voted to work with companies to voluntarily implement the programs rather than adopting regulations that would force them to do it.
Mass Live quoted Chairman Stephen Crosby: “We are very, very committed to innovative and aggressive promotion of responsible gaming and attention to problem gambling. It’s really a high priority and, I think, innovative.”
He said the casino companies asked for this approach, saying that they wanted to be treated as “good corporate citizens, not like the casinos of Bugsy Siegel.” Siegel was the 1940’s gangster credited with launching Las Vegas as a gaming mecca.
MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis commented, “MGM Springfield is ready and willing to collaborate with the MGC on instituting a play management system that will not only serve the gaming customers of Massachusetts but that will also serve as a template for operators in other jurisdictions.”
Plainridge Park Casino, the only casino currently operating in the Bay State, already operates the play management system PlayMyWay which was launched in June 2016. The system is linked with Penn National Gaming’s customer reward system. Under this system patrons get reminders as they pass the 50 percent and 75 percent marks on their self-limiting budgets. Customers can ignore these warnings and their limits if they choose.
Crosby praised the collaboration with the two casino companies as being more “nimble and flexible,” compared to a clumsy regulatory framework.