Blackjack for Community College

If you love blackjack there just might be a program at community colleges that would be right up your alley.

Remember earlier this year when Pennsylvania approved their casinos to have table games like blackjack? With all those new tables and casino patrons wanting to sit down to play some blackjack, those casinos are in need of something: blackjack dealers.

Northampton Community College purchased the blackjack dealer training course from a community college in southern New Jersey. This way Northampton could offer the course to those who were interested in becoming blackjack dealers.

Imagine going to school and only studying blackjack.

The training is necessary if those who are interested in becoming dealers really want to be blackjack dealers. By the end of the course dealers in training have studied the game of blackjack, all the rules that apply to it, card and chip handling and CPR. Yes, CPR too.

But becoming a blackjack isn’t as simple as taking a course. Students will be tested with written and performance tests. Their potential employer, which is the Mount Airy casino, will also be judging them on their overall performance as students. Mount Airy wants to see what their work ethics, dedication and motivation are like. Judging their overall performance in the class also allows the casino to see how well they interact with people.

Mount Airy is looking to hire these blackjack students right away, at least those that pass their written and performance tests. But for those students who they feel don’t quite measure up, they won’t be hired right away and will be encouraged to practice more in hopes that they can hire those students at a later date.

And finally before they can be hired all blackjack students need to pass license requirements in order to be declared blackjack dealers.

It sounds like a lot but if you have that much love of the game it’s well worth the effort. When Pennsylvania was debating on whether to make blackjack tables legal or not, one of the pro points was that it would create jobs. Of the eighty seven who took the blackjack course, it is believed that they will all pass and that Mount Airy is interested in hiring them…or at least those who need no further training. It’s good to see the actual jobs being created and to see the community benefiting from legalizing blackjack tables.

Hey, Florida, those of you who are opposed to the Seminole blackjack tables, take note—that community in Pennsylvania is benefiting from blackjack through job creation. The same could happen for Florida.

States Need Revenue

Since the recession, states around the U.S. are having trouble with their budgets. Trouble as in there isn’t enough money. And we’re not talking falling short a little bit, but a lot. As in millions—or billions in some places—short.

With states being at such a loss in terms of money they’re forced to cut programs and jobs, including programs and teachers in our children’s schools. And since cutting jobs hurts the economy even more and cutting education programs hurts our children, states are beginning to look at other ways of bringing in money.

Legalizing or expanding gambling offerings, such as blackjack tables, is being looked at or acted upon in at least eighteen states this year. And it’s only March.

While I’m not going to complain about a wider selection of casino games and it being easier to play blackjack, just how desperate are states for more income?

Check out what Rep. Kraig Paulson, the Republican leader in the Iowa House said: “Absolutely, we’re addicted to gambling dollars.” And this man is an opponent to expanding gambling in his state. But he also understands that his state needs revenue as well.

So what all are states up to?

-Iowa has begun a new state lottery.
-Pennsylvania has legalized table games, like blackjack.
-New York is adding 4,500 video lottery machines.
-The Governor of Connecticut wants his state to offer Keno in restaurants.
-More lottery machines have been installed in Florida. Florida is also trying to reach a deal with the Seminole tribe in regards to blackjack tables at their casinos.
-Kansas has increased its promotion of Dodge City.
-Missouri is switching and upgrading its slots game offerings to include fancier, more entertaining slots.
-And Maryland is adding 10,000 slot machines.

For citizens that are opposed to opening up gambling offerings, take a moment to consider another option: raising taxes. Suddenly, while you still aren’t in favor of things like blackjack tables, expanding a state’s gambling offerings don’t seem so bad. Because nobody wants to pay more in taxes.

Turning to gambling isn’t a sign that states are loosening up their morals. Legalizing and expanding their gambling offerings is a sign that states are looking for ways to increase their revenue while not hitting their citizens any harder. Yes, gambling will take more of their money, but it will be money willingly offered by citizens, whereas no one likes to pay taxes.

So when you’re not happy to hear about more blackjack tables or some other form of gambling coming to your state, think of the alternative—you could be paying more in taxes.

Good News for Pennsylvania Blackjack Players

Blackjack players in Pennsylvania have cause to celebrate.

After months and months of debate, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted last night to approve table games. The racinos and slots-only casinos already in the state will be allowed to expand their offerings with the sorts of table games that can be found in Vegas—including blackjack.

Tuesday night saw the Pennsylvania Senate approving the bill. And Pennsylvania State Governor Ed Rendell has already said he would sign.

The good news coming from this bill isn’t limited to giving Pennsylvania blackjack fans a place to play; it is also good news for the state itself.

The revenue from this bill—expected to about $250 million—will fill in the gap in the state’s budget for this fiscal year. It will also prevent around 1,000 state employees from losing their jobs. And there will be jobs, an estimated 10,000, to come since the casinos and racinos will have to have employees to man their new table games—calling blackjack dealers!

Larger casinos in Pennsylvania will have to pay a licensing fee of $16.5 million. The smaller resort casinos will only have to pay $7.5 million. But the casinos will also have to pay a percentage in state taxes as well. For the first two years, it is a 14% tax which will drop when those first two years are up to 12%. But there is also a 2% local tax which will remain in effect.

It is predicted that in the next 18 months $320 million in revenue will be generated—and that is much needed in that state.

It could take up to another six months before blackjack and other table games are installed while licensing and regulations are sorted out, new employees trained and the tables actually installed.

With this sort of increase in state revenue and in job creation, it’s a wonder other states with casinos don’t take another look at gambling as a source of money for their states. And why the federal government should consider licensing and regulating online gambling for revenue too.

But within six months, blackjack players in or neat Pennsylvania will have a place to play without having to travel to Atlantic City or Vegas.