Workers need a license issued by a regulatory agency, such
as a State casino control board or commission; licensure requires
proof of residency in the State in which gaming workers are
employed and a background investigation.
Gaming cage workers, more commonly called cage cashiers,
work in casinos and other gaming establishments. The “cage”
where these workers can be found is the central depository
for money, gaming chips, and paperwork necessary to support
Cage workers carry out a wide range of financial transactions
and handle any paperwork that may be required. They perform
credit checks and verify credit references for people who
want to open a house credit account. They cash checks according
to rules established by the casino. Cage workers sell gambling
chips, tokens, or tickets to patrons or to other workers for
resale to patrons and exchange chips and tokens for cash.
They may use cash registers, adding machines, or computers
to calculate and record transactions. At the end of their
shift, cage cashiers must balance the books.
Because gaming establishments are closely scrutinized, cage
workers must follow a number of rules and regulations related
to their handling of money. For example, they monitor large
cash transactions for money laundering and tax purposes, and
report these transactions to the Internal Revenue Service.
Also, in determining when to extend credit or cash a check,
cage workers must follow detailed procedures.
The atmosphere in casinos is often considered glamorous.
However, casino work can also be physically demanding. This
occupation requires workers to stand for long periods with
constant reaching and grabbing. Sometimes cage workers may
be expected to lift and carry relatively heavy items. The
casino atmosphere exposes workers to certain hazards, such
as cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke. Noise from slot machines,
gaming tables, and talking workers and patrons may be distracting
to some, although workers wear protective headgear in areas
where loud machinery is used to count money.
Most casinos are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and
offer three staggered shifts. Casinos typically require cage
workers to work on nights, weekends, and holidays.
|Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement
There usually are no minimum educational requirements, although
most employers prefer at least a high school diploma or the
equivalent. Experience in handling money or previous casino
employment also is preferred. Prospective gaming cage workers
are sometimes required to pass a basic math test. Good customer
service skills and computer proficiency are also necessary
for this occupation. Each casino establishes its own requirements
for education, training, and experience.
Once hired, gaming cage workers usually receive on-the-job
training. Under the guidance of a supervisor or other senior
worker, new employees learn company procedures. Some formal
classroom training also may be necessary, such as training
in specific gaming regulations and procedures. Gaming cage
workers must be careful, orderly, and detail-oriented in order
to avoid making errors and to recognize errors made by others.
These workers also should be discreet and trustworthy, because
they frequently come in contact with confidential material.
All gaming workers are required to have a license issued
by a regulatory agency, such as a State casino control board
or commission. Applicants for a license must provide photo
identification, offer proof of residency in the State in which
they anticipate working, and pay a fee. Age requirements vary
by State. The licensing application process also includes
a background investigation.
Gaming cage workers held about 20,000 jobs in 2004. All of
these individuals work in establishments that offer gaming,
and employment is concentrated in Nevada and Atlantic City,
New Jersey. However, a growing number of States and Indian
reservations have legalized gambling, and gaming establishments
can now be found in many parts of the country.
Employment of gaming cage workers is expected to increase
about as fast as average for all occupations through 2014.
The outlook for gaming cage workers depends on the demand
for gaming, which is expected to remain strong. No longer
confined to Nevada and New Jersey, gaming is becoming legalized
in more States that consider gaming an effective way to increase
revenues. A substantial portion of this growth will come from
the construction of new Indian casinos and “racinos,” which
are race tracks that offer casino games.
Gaming cage workers, however, will have fewer job opportunities
than others in gaming establishments, as casinos find ways
to reduce the amount of cash handled by employees. For example,
self-serve cash-out and change machines are common along with
automated teller machines. In addition, slot machines are
now able to make payouts in tickets, instead of coins, which
can be read by other slot machines and the amount on the ticket
transferred to the new machine. These technologies reduce
the amount of cash needed to play and speed up the exchange
process, which means less workers are needed to handle the
cage than in the past. However, a fair number of openings
will result from high turnover in this occupation, due to
the high level of scrutiny workers receive and the need to
be accurate. Persons with good mathematics abilities, previous
casino experience, some background in accounting or bookkeeping,
and good customer service skills should have the best opportunities.
Wage earnings for gaming cage workers vary according to level
of experience, training, location, and size of the gaming
establishment. Median hourly earnings of gaming cage workers
were $10.74 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between
$9.24 and $12.85 an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less
than $7.91, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $14.99
Many other occupations provide hospitality and customer service.
Some examples of related occupations are credit authorizers,
checkers, and clerks; gaming service occupations; sales worker
supervisors; cashiers; retail salespersons; and tellers.
|Sources of Additional Information
Information on employment opportunities for gaming cage workers
is available from local offices of the State employment service.
Information on careers in gaming also is available from:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational
Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition