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SHELBYVILLE — Earlier this year, RTV6 told you about a change in state law, opening up opportunities for hundreds of Hoosiers who might want to try their hand at a new kind of career — a career that could earn you at least $20 an hour working in a casino, with paid on-the-job training.
With the deadline less than three months away, casinos in Madison and Shelby Counties are ramping up their efforts to hire and teach people how to run table games.
At Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville, classes are now underway to create an entirely new department, thanks to the new state law allowing live table dealers at gambling properties built on land in Indiana, as opposed to those operating on rivers.
Colin Skidmore is the director of table games & sports book at Indiana Grand, in charge of building the new table dealer team.
"We're going to have over 300 positions available, and we've already started staffing," Skidmore said. "And we're not there yet. We still have open positions."
Roulette. Craps. Blackjack. Three-card poker. Those are just a number of the games these trainees are learning.
They are getting up to speed on the rules, the odds, and the payout.
Columbus resident Ashleigh Shaw is one of the dozens taking these nighttime classes.
For her, this job opportunity was a chance for her to try something new since she felt stuck at her desk job.
This table dealer position will let her outgoing personality shine.
"I just needed something to keep my mind busy and bring some money in," Shaw said. "And this is a whole different direction."
Shaw wanted a change of pace.
"I like to interact with people," she said.
Indiana Grand's management says they are looking to hire warm and welcoming people.
"We're looking for entertainers first," Skidmore said. "We're looking for people with big personalities that are loving to talk to people. That is first and foremost what we want."
Shaw says she knew nothing about gaming when she applied.
"I started at the bottom, the very bottom," Shaw said. "I never even played it before I got here."
"I didn't think I'd be quick and smart enough and the pressure," Shaw said. "But, like anything, you just learn it, and it becomes second nature."
The dealer academy courses run six to 12 weeks, with classes, running four hours a day, held five days a week.
For applicants, a basic knowledge of math helps.
The classes will fill in the rest, and trainees will receive paychecks during their training.
Once trainees become professional dealers, they can make at least $20 an hour.
"The income is amazing," Shaw said. "I couldn't believe the starting wage for something like this. And you're getting paid to come here to class, whereas if you went anywhere else, you would have to pay them."
Both Indiana Grand Casino in Shelbyville and Harrah's Hoosier Park in Anderson are still looking for table dealers.
Indiana Grand is holding a job fair on Oct. 21, 2019.