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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Fear not grads

    Raquel Hendrie, a student at the ABC Bartending and Casino College in Tempe, is studying the art of card dealing in preparation for a job in the gambling world.
    Raquel Hendrie, a student at the ABC Bartending and Casino College in Tempe, is studying the art of card dealing in preparation for a job in the gambling world.

    An undergrad career of papers, tests, labs and presentations ends with that all-powerful certificate: a degree.

    Unfortunately, degrees aren’t always accompanied by jobs.

    And unfortunately the economy is also in the tank.

    The real world isn’t welcoming recent college graduates with open arms right now, and a decent job is as hard to find as a parking spot on campus on a weekday morning.

    “”My job is to get them a job,”” said Cosmo Raymond, owner of the ABC Bartending and Casino College in Tempe.

    Dealing cards might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about graduate school, but gaming instructor Rodney Palmer said it’s an attractive option.

    “”With the economy the way it is, for under $1,000 and maybe a month’s worth of time, you can get hired and make $60,000 to $100,000 a year,”” Palmer said.

    Palmer’s school teaches how to run casino games like poker and blackjack, and upon completing the course students become licensed card dealers, joining a network of job opportunities.

    “”We’re like the Sopranos,”” Raymond said. “”Once you’re in, you’re in for good.””

    Palmer said at least a third of his students are from Tucson.

    Director Randy Tuazon knows the business – and the reasons why students make up so much of Raymond’s classes.

    “”Casinos want young people,”” said Tuazon, who was a card dealer for Flamingo Casino in Las Vegas in the ’80s.

    Without card gaming experience, walking into a casino setting can be intimidating. Cards and chips fly across tables, and it’s hard to follow the chaos.

    “”I didn’t know anything about how to cut chips,”” said casino college student and former real-estate agent Norman Becker.

    “”You don’t need experience,”” Tuazon added.

    The school is a simple room designed for training. One card table faces a mirror so students can watch themselves deal. A video recording station allows instructors to make DVDs of students practicing, much like the techniques used for golf lessons.

    “”There’s more to it than meets the eye,”” Raymond said, but “”after you do it for a while, you got it.””

    Card-dealing is a change of pace in an unstable job market, something that influenced Becker to enroll in the school.

    “”Some people just get tired of the same old thing every day,”” he said.

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