Gaming cage workers, including gaming change workers, hold approximately 40,000 jobs throughout the United States. Nevada, California, Washington, and Mississippi are the states with the highest proportion of gaming cage workers, although that is beginning to shift due to recent legalization of gambling in a number of states.
Familiarity with money handling and a high school diploma are preferred by most employers of game cage workers. A background investigation must be completed in order for a game cage worker to become licensed, as is required by state commissions or casino control boards. Some states require that licensees live within the state, and age requirements can vary from state to state. Before being hired, job applicants may be given a math exam. Other essential skills include being organized and detail oriented, avoiding errors, and catching those made by others. Because gaming cage workers may be exposed to confidential customer information, discretion is an important quality. Customer service ability and proficiency with necessary computer programs are also things potential employers seek.
There is mounting competition among those applying for casino jobs at gaming cages. This is projected to result in a 10% decline in the next decade. In part, this can be blamed upon the rising of automation and machines in casino money transactions. Ticket-in, ticket-out game play technology means many patrons do not need to visit the gaming cage at all.
Gaming cage workers, who are employed by casinos or other gaming enterprises, work out of the central depository where money, chips, and required paperwork is held. Gaming cage workers include gaming change persons and booth cashiers, who deal with paperwork as well as conduct financial transactions. Gaming cage workers, or cage cashiers, take money from bettors in exchange for tokens, chips, or tickets. Gaming change workers and booth cashiers also process cash advances from credit cards, wire transfers, and check cashing. In some cases, credit checks and credit reference verification is conducted in order to establish house credit. Both of these procedures are precisely regulated. Whether workers are using a computer, an adding machine or a cash register, all money transaction must be balanced when their shifts end.
There are a number of regulations that must be followed exactly, as gaming enterprises are carefully monitored. Exceptionally large transactions must be reported to the IRS, as they could indicate money laundering or an attempt to avoid taxes.
Working in a gaming cage can be physically tiring. Workers must stand for extended periods. The repeated motion of taking money and offering chips, tickets, or tokens can produce joint discomfort. In addition to the constant ringing and noise from slot machine games, exposure to cigarette smoke can be extreme enough to cause problems for workers, especially those with asthma or a tendency toward bronchitis, sinusitis, or allergies. There is an exceptionally high turnover due to both the physical and mathematical demands of the job.
Gaming establishments open around the clock generally employ gaming cage workers in three shifts. Before accepting this work, it is important to understand that evening and weekend work will most likely be required. On-the-job training with a supervisor is typical. Some gaming establishments may require classroom training in particular gaming regulations and procedures.
Casino and other gaming establishment advancement opportunities depend largely on experience. Gaming cage workers who have demonstrated exceptional ability, enjoy learning new skills, and are willing to assume greater responsibility are most often targeted to step up to cage supervisor, floor supervisor, or dealer.
Dependent upon degree of experience, amount of training and the location, earnings range from a low of approximately $10 per hour to a high of approximately $20 per hour. Fifty percent of gaming cage workers earn between about $11 and $16 per hour. Gaming change persons usually earn about $1 less per hour.