"Deal"ing with reality

Just a lil slice of life from a casino dealer's perspective.

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Location: Edgerton, Missouri, United States

I grew up in a small town, and live in small town now. Like to think I have more than a small town mind, but I doubt it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Machinations of Evil

There has been a trend in casino table games for a number of years. It is the bane of dealers everywhere, even to those that don't realize how evil the device in question really is. It spawns laziness. It fosters misdirected hatred. It costs money that could otherwise be paid to hard working casino employees. It is the automatic shuffle machine that I refer to.

A set of these nasty devices were recently installed in the small casino I work for. There are a number of reasons I dislike shuffling machines. The main reason is they eliminate the largest opportunity for the dealer to catch their breath and socialize with the players. The time it takes to manually shuffle six decks of cards is also the best chance a player has of visiting the restroom before all the drinks they've had cause medical problems. By installing automatic shufflers the casino trades these moments for a few extra hands. Gaming is an entertainment industry, and shuffle machines limit the time dealers have to make sure their players are enjoying themselves.

In a large casino with high rollers, this might be a good thing. In smaller casinos, it's a pay raise that's not gonna happen.

Here is a breakdown of the approximate monthly expenses of automatic shufflers as I see them.

$800 for leases ($200 per machine, 4 machines)
$360 in extra cards ($0.50/deck, 6 extra decks/table, 4 tables)
$100 for other supplies (upholstery and carpet cleanser for when players miss the short break)
$225 a month in labor (3 dealers @ $5.00/hr, taking them an extra half hour a night to sort the extra cards)

That comes to $1485 a month in money that could be paid to us employees that are actually making the money for the casino. Let's see a machine make a player laugh after losing their entire checking account. How many machines know which players to greet with a joke, and which to greet with just a smile?

I'm sure management has their reasons. I just hope they are enough to justify the decrease in bonuses they are going to recieve due to the extra money spent on these nasty, cruel, and downright evil machines.

Did I mention I don't like automatic shufflers much?

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