blackjackSPRINGFIELD: Mass., While MGM pitches a new casino for Bridgeport just over the the Connecticut border in Massachusetts the company has opened a training facility for casino dealers. Located on the ninth floor of the old State Building in the heart of downtown the “school” overlooks the MGM complex being built.

MGM has promised a similar training facility for Bridgeport and New Haven if it gets a go ahead for a Bridgeport casino.

As casinos pop up across the U.S and the region and job opportunities can be found from Rhode island to a new casino being built on the former Concord Hotel in New York’s Catskills.

In Springfield the $950 million investment for a new ‘destination” casino which is expected to open in September is sending shockwaves through Connecticut. Legislators have authorized a new casino to be built in East Windsor and run by a partnership between the Mashantucket and Mohegan tribes. The U.S. Interior Department has refused to authorize the new casino, throwing a monkey wrench in Connecticut’s plans.

The cost for the training classes are $399 for Black Jack dealing and $269 for Roulette, class are for several hours per day or night for a period of up to six weeks. Students getting a passing grade will grade will get an interview and “audition” at MGM, although a Massachusetts gaming license is also required for dealers. The training facility is being run by the Massachusetts Casino Career Training Institute, and is managed jointly by MGM, Holyoke Community and Springfield Technical Community Colleges.


Robert Westerfield VP of of table games at MGM Springfield, and a casino industry veteran told the Springfield Republican newspaper “This is the nicest training school in the country.”

MGM says it will have 3,000 employees in Springfield and 450 dealers to support the 117 for poker, roulette, blackjack, and Midi baccarat, gaming tables.