In 1976, Vic broke in at the Nevada Hotel and quickly moved to the Mint. The Mint was a great dice house at the time; plenty of action and the dealers went for themselves. (check out the book)
“I quickly learned how to be both a crap dealer and moneymaker. If you couldn’t do both in those days, you didn’t survive! The lessons learned in those days carry over to my life today. “Moving to dice pits from there, he dealt Craps at the Marina and the old MGM, both great joints with plenty of dice play. Moving into management, Vic landed a casino executive position in 1980 with Bill Friedman at the Castaways and Silver Slipper.
It was always his desire to work at what he considered the greatest casino of its time, Caesars Palace. Vic got hired at Caesars in 1982 as a dealer/box man in the dice pit. Caesars in the early eighties was the place to be in the gaming world. High action, celebrities, the center of the gaming world. He worked at Caesars from 1983 to 1991, holding positions from dealer to pit manager to gaming instructor to casino marketing manager.
In 1988, in a management meeting at Caesars Palace, Vic made a suggestion that changed his life. Caesars accepted his proposal of gaming lessons on the casino floor. Vic developed and ran this department at Caesars for two years. This was one of the first instructional programs in Las Vegas and very successful. It continues today.
Vic got into teaching craps dealing at schools such as Strip dealer’s school, and the Nevada dealing school. He operated a dealing school in partnership with Danny Bohan. In 1988, Vic and Danny started a casino seminar company that produced gaming theme parties for conventions. Supplying dealers and gaming equipment, they produced fun, instructional casino events for visiting groups to Las Vegas. This company, Casino Creations, is currently the largest casino rental and entertainment company in Nevada.1990, Vic was hired by the Community College of Southern Nevada as the states first Professor of Casino Management. He was charged with teaching and designing casino dealing and managerial programs for the colleges degree program. He did this, wrote a number of textbooks and designed a casino gaming lab that is world class. Through his efforts the colleges enrollment grew exceptionally. Granted tenure at the college, he left Caesars to devote his career to education. Vic has been Resort department chairman and currently is a professor with the system.
With the gaming world exploding in the 1990’s, Vic was asked for advise and consulting services by many new gaming properties. Through his existing company, Casino Creations, Vic started offering consulting and training programs worldwide. Specializing in table games training, Vic has worked with over 100 casinos worldwide. His clients run the gamut to Indian casinos, State governments, International casinos and governments and educational institutes. While on a two-year leave of absence to work on various contracts, Vic was hired on a major consulting contract here in Las Vegas, Director of Casino Training and Recruitment for the Paris Hotel/Casino. He was at Paris from 1999-2000.Vic is a lucky man. He found something he likes doing and gets paid for it. He loves to teach and his students love him. Whether it is teaching dealers or supervisors in Nevada, Mississippi, Costa Rica, Virgin Islands or Indian Country, Vic tells his students the same statement. He always says,
“ Once you have had me as an instructor, I am yours forever.”
He really means that.
You are known as an international gaming consultant. You are a keynote speaker at the world gaming expo. Many of the issues you discuss (advise) is in relationship to casino dealers ….true?
As a consultant I often produce dealer training programs on customer service and guest relations. I sometimes, as in Puerto Rico recently, I produced a training session on procedural compliance.
You we’re hired on a major consulting contract here in Las Vegas as Director of Casino Training and Recruitment for the Paris Hotel/Casino. What did you do?
My duties were in recruitment initially. I was in charge of interviewing all dealer and supervisor applicants. We had a three tired process. The first interview was Human Resources. If the applicant passed this first interview, the next interview was with me. If passed, the applicant interviewed with senior management. I also wrote Policies and Procedures for the table games department at Paris. This document serves as internal controls for table games at both Paris and Bally’s. I also designed and implemented all the pre-opening training programs for the table game department. This included pit managers, table game floor supervisors and dealers. I coordinated all the orientation of table game employees.
I see a number of my students getting those Paris, Aladdin type jobs pretty quick in the beginning of their careers.
Do you feel times are better today for casino dealers?
Jobs on the Strip are much easier to get nowadays. This is great for new dealers. Lets face it, if you get your game together you could get a great job at a high end casino within 12-18 months of breaking in. When I broke in if you didn’t have over 3-5 years experience your chance of getting a great job were nil. Unless you knew somebody! These are great times for good crap dealers. Good jobs abound if you have a good attitude and can get around the layout.
Do you have any opinions on California casinos? Will it hurt us?
I work with a great many Indian tribes as a consultant and am working with a number of tribes in Cal. I think the casinos will do well and it is great for the tribes. I also think inevitably they will hurt gaming revenues in Las Vegas. Luckily Las Vegas is more than gaming and we can overcome this.
You said back in the 70’s& 80’s the dealers went for themselves. “You quickly learned how to be both a crap dealer and moneymaker. If you couldn’t do both in those days, you didn’t survive!” Honestly, was it really better back then table for table?
It really was better for the dealer in the old days going table for table. You have to remember it was a different world back then. Not as many tables with a great amount of tables. You could make some real money if you knew how to work and hustle. The dealers were veterans and professional. I worked with some real gems! You quickly learned how to not only deal the game but to deal with people.
The idea then (maybe it should be the idea now also!) was to put the player on cruise control with you the dealer at the wheel. It wasn’t totally about aggression or what some people perceive as strong hustling but about making the player know you were there. You learned to use your mind. In the old days it wasn’t just a job, it was an adventure, everyday! Especially at high end joints I worked at!
Although table for table worked then and it was better this concept would not work well in our table games of today. The business is too big. Too many games, too many joints and not enough players. Many dealers would starve. Maybe this concept will make a comeback someday but only if the amount of games shrink. The business currently is too big to control this method of tips.
Do you remember about the time that casinos started pooling tokes?
VIC: The casinos started really pooling tips, especially in Craps, in the 1980’s. In 1975, when I broke in, most of the dice jobs were go for your own. By 1990, this was just about over. I remember when they changed over at Caesars to the day. March 26,1987.
Do you agree with that decision?
I agreed with that decision then, as I do now. The business is too big and too corporate to not pool tips. Table games have changed over the years. We are not the top of the food chain in the gaming business anymore and do not carry the weight we did in years past.
What can you say to those that may disagree? Many dealers claim that the only way you can get a casino employee to have a good attitude is to go back table for table as though they compare their jobs to that of a cocktail or food server that also makes a living upon tokes.
For those who wish for table for table…it will make a comeback only when table game departments shrink in size enough to control this…
It seems that every time I pick up the local paper and there is some sort of article about casino dealers, they seek your advice. With this current union drive getting news what are you going to say when the newspapers seek you out? You know they will!
I have answered this question and will answer it the same way. The union issue is a lose-lose situation for all. While I am strongly in favor of dealers getting raises similar to union workers I fear that any casino that has to buckle under to unions will simply cut down on the number of games offered…bottom line, more slots, less tables. Everyone will lose on this one, casinos and dealers. Look at Detroit or even better Puerto Rico, dealer unions there simply means less games. 20 years ago table games employees were at the top of the casino food chain. We are in different times and a casino can do better with retail or food & beverage AND SLOTS.
As you know, I have a tokes section within the website where dealers from each state submit all kinds of information about their casino. Many dealers and table game supervisors from outside of Vegas seem to think that our jobs here are laced with gold, pack their bags and become disillusioned upon arrival. Having published all this information it seems to me it’s all pretty much the same no matter where you live with very few exceptions. Agree?
Yes, somewhat. It’s more the mystique of dealing in Vegas that attracts dealers from around the country.
Would you advise your children to get into the gaming business as a dealer in today’s Las Vegas?
I will answer this by fact. I have two older children. My 28 year old is a craps dealer at Caesars. My 23 year old is a bartender at the Aladdin. I have two younger children at home. I tell all my children the same thing about the business. If you choose to go this route, Las Vegas is the place to be.
You owned a dealing school at one time…true?
I taught at Strip and Nevada schools. I was a partner in Danny Bohan’s Dealing Schools 1983-86 and 1988-1991. My partner Danny was a great man and I miss him, so do a lot of others in Las Vegas.
What gave you the idea of starting Casino Creations?
My partner Danny was doing casino parties for years when we met. I partnered with Danny and ran with it after he retired. I operated in partnership with him from 1987 till 1992. I operated this part of the business myself till 1996. Since then my wife Garnet has stepped up and runs this allowing me to concentrate on my consulting and training business.
You seem to have a very busy life sir. Any plans on slowing down?
Sometimes slowing down sounds good but I doubt it. I have a cabin in Utah that I love going to! Still too young to retire but wouldn’t mind Utah and more golf! I still like what I do and although sometimes the traveling gets old. I am glad to be busy. I returned to teaching this semester at the college so at least I stay in town while the semesters are in session. I have seen some beautiful parts of the world over the last ten years and wish to continue. I really love what I do Scott.
Dicedealer.com sells your text books on casino dealing much cheaper than one would purchase it through any other source. So tell me, what’s new in the works?
I am almost finished with a new text book and am ready to publish this. Table Games Management is the title and it will be a good text book. Myself and Tony Cabot have formed a publishing company to publish a Casino Management Series of text books. The first four which include my book will be available to you this Spring.
Can’t wait Vic. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this. Many dealers from around the world will read this and know who you are and what your all about. I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors. You are to be commended for all have accomplished.
Thanks Scott, and let me add that your doing a hell of a job with this web site. We recommend your site to all the students at the college and within the casino management program. The feedback is very good. Within my travels I will certainly propose that this industry take a look at what your doing here if they haven’t seen it already. I also know for a fact that many of the dealing schools around the country use your site as a training aid.
Let me add one more thing Scott; We always need Crap dealers so anyone in Vegas who wants part-time work e-mail me at [email protected]
Not a problem, again thanks for your time.
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