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Background Checks - Casino Employment

If you want to work in the gaming industry, you should know that an extensive examination of your professional background and perhaps even a review of your personal character will be done by all casino companies interested in hiring you.

Background checks or investigative reports may cover a variety of things, including an applicant's driving record, employment history, medical records, and credit history for the last eight or ten years. Such investigations are a reality of this business, and if you have what's deemed a "negative work history" or a criminal record, chances are you won't be allowed to work on the casino floor. (However, you may still qualify for other support jobs, such as hotel or restaurant work.)

When applicants apply for casino-related jobs, the employer will most likely ask them to sign a waiver or some sort of notification that says in part that an investigative report may be made concerning the "character, reputation, personal characteristics, and mode of living of the applicant." Or you might see background and reference check release forms that say, "As a condition of my employment, I hereby authorize you to seek from school officials, government agencies, the military, law enforcement agencies, credit reporting agencies, and previous employers all information in their knowledge or possession pertaining to my employment history or my qualification and ability to work." Don't let this legal wording intimidate you. It is standard procedure for all major casinos in the United States.

Other such forms will request that you allow the employer the right to investigate any other information believed to be relevant, including, but not limited to "employment history, educational background, credit history, and arrest and conviction records." Some employers even go so far as to request you provide a family history, such as where your father, mother, spouse, and siblings work. Again, this type of request, while a little out of the ordinary compared to application procedures in other industries, is the accepted, proper conduct for casino employers.

Why the extra scrutiny directed towards casino workers? It has primarily grown out of past problems some casinos have had with organized crime activities, especially in Las Vegas. Today's employers have worked hard to establish a new legitimacy in the gaming industry and to guard themselves against any cases of improprieties. And in order to comply with new gaming commission regulations, most casinos must at least state their intent to thoroughly check each and every potential employee. Casinos workers also handle a tremendous amount of cash in their line of work. Employers must know beforehand that their employees can be trusted not to steal from them.

To what extent casino managers use all the information available to them in doing these checks is unknown.

Some casinos will really only check applicants for a criminal record and call previous employers to verify work histories. Other casinos are extremely thorough, seemingly picking the applicant apart, looking for any signs of potential trouble. They may go so far as to ask previous employers not only how you performed your duties, your salary history, attendance record, and reason for leaving that particular job, but also for an account of your character, attitude, behavior, and demeanor on the job. Most applicants, however, have good work histories or, at the very least, average ones that will still qualify them for casino employment.

Employers may continue to review you by calling all of your references as listed on your application and asking similar probing, highly personal questions. As such, it is imperative that you list only references who know you well and can speak highly of your character.

If you know of anything that might be a potential trouble spot, note it on your application. Hiring managers will appreciate your honesty. And chances are if it's something like a criminal record, they will find out anyway, so it's better to be up front about it. Mistakes from the past, such as a DWI (driving while intoxicated) conviction five years prior may not necessarily disqualify you as a casino floor employee.

However, other serious convictions or criminal behaviors will. Once you have received a satisfactory review, which for most people is no problem to achieve, you'll be invited back for a more formal interview, or perhaps even be hired on the spot.