High Hand:Encore, Cambridge College Open Doors on New Dealer School

September 20, 2018
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Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox was on hand in Charlestown Monday with Cambridge College President Deborah Jackson, and a handful of members in the first Dealer School training program, to officially open the doors on the area’s only training facility for prospective dealers at the Encore Boston Harbor casino.

“Today is the first day and we have more than 100 people kicking it off today,” said Maddox before cutting the ceremonial ribbon. “We believe in investing in the communities around us. That’s what makes a successful enterprise – when you invest in your community and the people that work for you.”

There are 167 members in the first class, and all were excited on Monday during their first day of school – sitting down alongside real blackjack tables and real poker stations provided to the College by Encore.

State Rep. Dan Ryan and State Sen. Sal DiDomenico were on hand to show their support for the program, which is ultimately overseen by the state’s Gaming Commission (MGC).

Cambridge College President Jackson said the Dealer School was a great addition to their curriculum and fell in line with the mission of helping adults find training for good-paying careers. Cambridge College recently moved its entire school into the Hood Park office complex, and was in a great place to be able to expand and utilize space for the Dealer School.

She said they had 1,900 applications for the school initially.

“This has been a long time in the making,” she said. “We have been working on it for about a year. As is the case with all good outcomes, it is the building of great relationships that gets you there.”

She also credited Cambridge College personnel Phil Page and Mark Rotondo with getting the school off the ground successfully.

Encore President Bob DeSalvio said it was the realization of a commitment to the people of Massachusetts – particularly those around the casino – to train and employ them in good-paying jobs.

“This is a big step towards our commitment to train those in the community to work at Encore Boston Harbor,” he said.

The Greater Boston Gaming Career Institute, as the Dealer School is officially known, welcomed more than 165 local students to its Bet On U program, which was created by Cambridge College in collaboration with Encore Boston Harbor. The institute was formed under the leadership of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

The Bet On U program is designed to train qualified, employment-ready gaming professionals who are interested in starting exciting new careers as one of the more than 1,100 full- and part-time dealers at Encore Boston Harbor when the resort opens in June of 2019.

“The dealers who will be working at Encore Boston Harbor when we open our doors will have more than just jobs, they will have well-paying careers,” said Maddox. “Many of the top executives in our company started as dealers; we hope students from this course will progress the very same way. It’s always been our belief that true success comes from investing in your employees, and the communities where we live and work in.”

‘Mastering Blackjack’ and ‘Perfecting Poker’ are the first two games being taught at the institute. Students can prepare for a career as a blackjack dealer in nine weeks or a poker dealer in 14 weeks, with classes available at various times on weekdays and all day on weekends. Each class is taught by professional casino dealers using the latest tables and gaming equipment.

The cost for each game is $700 with 50 fully-funded scholarships from Encore Boston Harbor available for eligible local residents who require financial assistance. Half of the scholarships will be awarded to women. Students must be 18 years or older to apply to the Institute and work as a dealer in Massachusetts.

The second semester of the Greater Boston Gaming Career Institute will start in January of 2019, with applications being accepted now. The institute is located at 510 Rutherford Avenue in Charlestown at the Hood Executive Park, less than two miles from the Encore Boston Harbor Resort and easily accessible via the MBTA’s Orange Line.