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Meadows casino auditions table games dealers, seeks 'personality'

Some enterprising people will sing, dance, whistle or talk their way into jobs as dealers at The Meadows Racetrack and Casino.

The North Strabane casino expects to add hundreds of jobs as it prepares to add table games and has scrapped the old-formula job fair for a process in which people who "get noticed, get called back." Casino officials twice will audition applicants, who will have 30 seconds to impress judges from the Meadows staff and its parent, Las Vegas-based Cannery Casino Resorts.

The impressive ones will be selected to attend The Meadows' table games school.

"We want people to come and have fun," Meadows spokesman David LaTorre said. "Table games dealers are a rare breed, outgoing, intelligent and love their jobs. Often, personality comes first."

The Meadows expects to hire 600 to 700 employees associated with 65 table games — blackjack, poker, dice and roulette — the casino will add over the next six to nine months. About 2,000 people applied online, and 1,000 applied at last week's Pittsburgh Job Fair. Officials encouraged them to attend the talent searches.

Given the number of job seekers and available jobs, the odds of winning a job through an audition are about 4 to 1, said Anthony Davies, an associate economics professor at Duquesne University.

Candidates can do anything they want for their audition — perform magic tricks, sing a song or tell a story. Those hired as dealers won't just deal cards; they'll be expected to entertain guests, LaTorre said.

"We are looking for fun, energetic candidates," Meadows Vice President and General Manager Sean Sullivan said. "We don't want people to show us they can deal cards. We are looking for people who are interested in a new challenge and love to interact with people."

Dealer jobs are full time and include medical, dental, vision, life insurance, 401(k) plans and other benefits. The casino wouldn't disclose salaries. In West Virginia casinos, which added table games in 2007, dealers make $20 to $25 an hour in wages and tips, said John Cavacini, president of the West Virginia Racing Association.

Human resources experts applauded The Meadows' novel approach.

Auditions are "an incredibly clever way to attract" people, said Chris Posti, who heads a coaching, outplacement and consulting firm in Pittsburgh.

The Meadows has 3,700 slot machines, three restaurants, a food court, a new harness-racing grandstand, VIP boxes and an all-ages bowling center.

Additional Information:

Roll the dice

What: Meadows Racetrack and Casino auditions for table games job applicants

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 6 and 3 to 9 p.m. Feb. 9.

Where: Holiday Inn Washington-Meadows Lands, 340 Racetrack Road, North Strabane.

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