The Real Deal on Becoming a Croupier

It’s never been a better time to start a career as a croupier. In a recession based economy, the casino industry continues to grow and presents plenty of opportunities for casino dealer jobs. Located right in the heart of London, The London Academy of Gaming prepares their trainees for croupier jobs, guaranteeing them a position at major casinos in the United Kingdom and worldwide.

casino croupier

A trainee receives word she has secured employment as a croupier at a casino.

We had a chance to catch up with Liam Carlin, the Academy’s Business Development and Marketing Manager. Liam gave us an inside look at the Academy, and how they provide their trainees with the opportunity to establish a career as a croupier.

VegasMaster: Can you tell us a little bit about the Academy and its courses?

Liam Carlin: We train both inexperienced and former croupiers. A trainee at the London Academy of Gaming learns all the essential dealing skills and casino legislation. The London Academy of Gaming runs both day and evening courses (usually split 10 and 10) primarily in American Roulette, Blackjack, Texas Hold’em, and 3 Card Poker.

In addition, we host a £600 refresher course program for former croupiers looking to return to the industry. We also assist trainees in applying to the Gambling Commission for their Personal Functional License (PFL), required of all croupiers working in the United Kingdom.

After completing the program, a trainee will earn a salary of between £16,000-£20,000. The Academy guarantees employment to all of its graduates, primarily from the Grosvenor Casino Group, G Casinos, and The Genting Group in London and south of England. We are also the preferred providers for the Plaza Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean as well as the Riga online casino. Croupiers with at least two years of experience, and the ability to deal at least three different games, may also qualify for positions in countries outside of the United Kingdom and on cruise ships.

Find out more about Land Based Casinos in the United Kingdom.

Can you tell us about the recruitment process for the Academy?

We use only social networks Facebook etc., and all our ex trainees post for us about how they did and recommend the course to their friends. Most of the Casino Managers in London refer any applicants to us because we train to their needs.

The process starts with either a call or an email. From there we ask for the applicants CV (with photo). Then we do a Skype screen if they are outside the UK. From there, we do a police check on their background plus a check on their work history. If that goes well (and it usually does) we invite them to London for a final "informal" visit to see around the Academy. Once each of us is happy, they sign up for the course.

 What sort of qualifications should someone have?

There are no formal qualifications required. However there are a few "Necessary's". A potential trainee needs to be well groomed, good English, and possess good mental maths ability.

Do you accept international students? (From the USA, Europe, etc.)

Yes we do. Currently most of our students come from all over Europe. i.e. Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Lithuania and more recently, Bulgaria and Romania.

Some of the trainees at the London Academy of Gaming.

Strangely enough, we get very few English students. We do get enquirers but the cost seems to put them off. We first thought that this may be due to the recent recession. However, we now believe it’s more to do with the mindset of our under 25s (average age of a trainee). I say this because they often ask if there is a grant or expect it to be free!

Set that attitude against a young girl in her 20s, who travels alone, half way across Europe from Lithuania or Romania to try to join the course. They often arrive into the Academy, straight from the airport, sign up, pay their fee and in a lot of cases go straight out and find evening or daytime employment in one of the many Cafes, Restaurants or Bars in order to subsidise their stay in London, until they are trained and we have secured employment for them.

They tell us that they don't understand the British because where they come from nothing is free, and it’s in their DNA to pay for a course. They say that £1980 is very little to pay to be trained in a brand new skill AND get a job in a fantastic industry.

As to applicants from the U.S.A. or Canada? Well, we would love to hear from young adults across the pond who would love to come to London to live but worry about securing employment. As you can see, we just might be the solution for them.

What are the teachers' backgrounds at the London Academy of Gaming?

First of all, Karen Taylor, the Academy Principal and Head of Recruitment, has over 25 years of experience working in London Casinos. She completed croupier training at Stakis “Croupier Training School” in Glasgow and later worked at Stakis Regency Casino Glasgow, eventually becoming a Pit Boss.

 Read more about the Pit Boss, otherwise known as Gaming Supervisors, and other jobs at the Casino.

croupier training

The Academy Principal, Karen Taylor (far right with scarf) trains students at the Academy.

 The Director of Training, Steve Alexander, has over 35 years’ experience working in the top London casinos with a specialty in American Roulette, Blackjack, Casino Stud Poker, Punto Banco, and Dice.

 In addition, the Academy’s Lead Trainer, Anne Loughlin has over 30 years of experience in the gaming industry at the Sportsman Casino in London, Palm Beach and Ritz Casinos, and the prestigious Carlton Casino in Cannes. Anne specializes in American Roulette, Blackjack, 3 Card Poker, Punto Banco, and Texas Hold’em.

Finally, Any other recent exciting news or events?

None really except one of my own. Our principal, Karen Taylor is a very hands-on leader who does everything, from the calls, the emails, the admin, the interviews and the croupier training. (Something I have always tried to free her up from)

 Then a few weeks ago I took a call from a lady in London who told me that her daughter has this passion about becoming a croupier. But she is underage (17yrs) and won’t be 18 years until October. The other problem, she confided in me, was that she herself worked in the "Care" sector, and it would be a bit of a struggle for her to pay the fee for her daughter. She had called other providers, but obviously didn't get much help. Instead of rejecting this lady (whom I really felt for), I chatted to her for a while and asked about her daughters I.T. Skills, any Office Admin Skills and more particular, if she knew very much about Facebook. Social Networking etc.

london academy of gaming

After working and training at the Academy, Hollie Bridger has secured a job at a top casino after she turns 18.

 Turns out the young girl had all those skills and more. I invited the mother and her daughter to come and see us. They arrived on time and her daughter was immaculate and just a perfect fit for a young trainee. Karen took to her right away and after some right brain thinking, it was agreed that she could come in 4 days per week and work "for free" as our young office manager and in turn we will "pay for her course, in full", pay for her License, and all the solicitors fees.  Her name is Hollie Bridger and she is now a very valuable member of our team, carrying out all the office functions, and managing our website.

She does this in the morning and trains with the trainees in the afternoon. By all the feedback she is doing very well and will achieve her dream. Sadly for us we will lose Hollie in October to a top Casino.

 What will we do then? We will see if we can find another one like her, though she is going to be very difficult to replace; The Casino World’s gain and our loss.

In addition to their school in London, Liam told us about the Academy’s new site which opened up in Limassol, Cyprus. He, along with consultants from Deloitte, are advising relevant government departments to form new legislation needed to pass to open a casino there in the next 2-4 years. Plans for the casino resort include a 5 star hotel with a casino. Liam also works with the UK Gambling Commission to assist the Cypriot Government to form the new commission.

About The Author

I made my entrance to online gambling in 2004 in an attempt to understand the psyche of the casino goer. I've spent prolonged periods delving into the industry and its inner functions and continue to do so at VegasMaster every day. My research and experience has given me insights into gambling that I hope you'll benefit from.

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