Students Learn the Business of Luck at Coyote Casino

Coyote Casino where classes are held

Coyote Casino where classes are held

By David Stepanian

Sounds of dice hitting the craps table, cards shuffling on velvet and balls spinning around roulette wheels can be heard at Coyote Casino, at the College of Southern Nevada’s Cheyenne campus, where students enroll to learn to become casino personnel including blackjack dealers, pit bosses or even slot technicians.

From casino surveillance to baccarat dealing, CSN offers classes on many casino operations, which is required for employment at major casinos.

A range of courses include the following: blackjack dealing, casino cage operations, slots management, craps, roulette, baccarat, poker, Pai Gow Tiles, race and sports book management and casino surveillance.

The courses focus on the hospitality industry, and what it takes to work in casino and gaming fields.

Students can sign up for one class or earn an entire associate degree in this field. Cost per class was $280 spring term but will see a small increase this fall. The school offers its classes in four-week intervals; enrollment typically caps at 10 students.

One of the more popular courses is GAM 110 Blackjack Dealing where students work on card totaling, chip handling, cutting, shuffling, multiple deck delivery, call bets, and speed and accuracy, according to the class description.

These skills are required by many employers.

“I have a job lined up at Golden Nugget,” says Meliton Bautista, a CSN student learning blackjack dealing. “They need me to take a class before I can begin.”

CSN student Nathan Ruano says, “Once you get a job at a casino, they don’t want to wait an entire semester before they can hire you, so you take a four week class for three hours a day and that way they can hire you as soon as you’re done.”

The classes also emphasize the importance of dealing with money on a regular basis. Anthony Shephard, a Treasure Island sports book employee and CSN student, said that can be a determining factor in casino or gaming employment.

“You’re dealing with the casino’s money as well as people’s money, so one mistake could cost you your job,” Shephard says.

CSN’s next gaming term begins June 2, 2014. For more information on CSN’s summer term, visit

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