Most part-time employees at Casino Aalborg starts while studying. It requires fine motor skills, mathematical sense, a distinctly service gene and good physique.
Lars snaps the ball away on the roulette wheel in the opposite direction of the wheel is spinning. It looks so effortless, but It isn’t.
- In the beginning, it happens sometimes that the ball bounces off the wheel. It may cost a beer for screwing up later on, Lars explains while he laughs and continues to practice, flicking the ball on the wheel.
- Want to try? he asks.
I politely decline. I will not take the risk of killing someone with a wildly flying roulette ball. Lars and Alex laughs. Not mockingly, not at all. There is just a good atmosphere around the game table at Casino Aalborg, where we have asked them to tell us about how it is working at a casino.
Brilliant work for a student
Lars Oddershede, have had it as a student part-time job since 2007. He is 25 years old and have studied medicine with specialization in AAU. Today, he has a 3-year Ph.D position, but that did not make him quit his recreational job as a croupier at the casino. As he describes, he would not be as happy as he is today, if he had to quit a job with such a good atmosphere and the unity there is between him and his colleagues.
- We are a bunch of good people, perhaps because many of us have the same mentality. We get along well. You have to be service-minded and outgoing, there are no use for a shy guy. I am having a good time every time I am at work and have many of my friends here. It is like family to me.
They both agrees on the fact that it is a brilliant student job. Therefore, many of the part-time workers at the casino are also students beside work. Six of the eight part-time workers, studies simultaneously.
- It does not disturb the studying part in the same way as if you were to work in a discount shop in the afternoon. They typically work Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening and night. Okay, occasionally you will have to just grit your teeth Friday morning, if you are going to lecture, Lars laughs.
Bitten by the business
Alex stands and runs a pile of chips between his fingers. It looks wildly complicated to do, but he does not even concentrate on doing it. The many hours at the casino just sits in the hands of him. He shares three piles of five chips each and spreads the rest of the chips. He then brings it all back and starts over again. Not even a single time does he fail to make a pile of five chips.
Alexander Tolaev is 26 years old and originally from Russia, but came to Denmark when he was 10 years old. He started working at the casino six years ago, while studying at the trade school after high school. However, he was so hooked on it that he soon started as full-time employ.
- I also went to Copenhagen for a year to try to be where the big money is played. Now I sit in the reception and at the exchange box here in Aalborg.
Alex is training cross fit in his spare time, and it is definitely helping him at his work, at the casino.
- it is not at all a bad idea to be in good physical shape, as we stand up for many hours and does too many stupid moves. It is not a good thing to be tired when you also must hold an edge in the head, he said.
You are going to take a course before you get the job.
Before you get a job at the casino, you will need to take a course. Typically, 2-3 days a week for 2-3 weeks. Along the way, someone will be cut out of the course if they do not have what it takes to complete it.
- It is a bit like the Robinson expedition, laughs Lars and Alex, as we are sitting on the couch in the staff room, upstairs. This is the place where they retreat and takes breaks during the evenings.
- It is somewhat usual that people are not fast enough on their fingers or does not catch the game fast enough. You have to have good motor skills, be sharp to count and then you have to be extremely service-minded, says Alex.
There is never a calculator at the gaming tables. A croupier have to quickly clear all of the bets and winnings in the head. When the table is full, it can easily be a chaotic task. However, the brightest - and most experienced - sees all of the combinations as a recognizable image.
- During the course, we spend a long time on Blackjack. I did not knew that in an advance, and that applies to many new players/people. We are switching turns between playing and at dealing, so we both get a good understanding on how the game works. It also has to be a good experience, when you lose.
The service gene is also important, especially when you are actually working on taking people's money from them.
- They come here to get an experience, and even if they lose, it should still be a good experience to come here. This will make them come back most of the time. That part of it goes for both ways, because it is easy enough to have happy customers when they have just cleaned us. However, we must also be able to turn an annoying experience to a good one. People should therefore get an experience when they come to the casino. That is what they come here to get.
Although they have been working at Casino Aalborg for a few years, it is still not like any other day, 2 days are never the same. They both feel the adrenaline and that thrill.
- Players are challenging you every night, which is what I like. No matter how long I have been here, I still have to act fast and be sharp to do the mathematics, says Lars.
- It's probably a bit like being emergency room doctor, just it's just not about life and death. I learn something new every night, and I get annoyed when I make mistakes, says Alex.
Down at the roulette wheel, I put 1,000 for it to land on a red field. I have been told by a colleague to do that, but I should never have listen to my colleague.
- It will for sure land on one of the red fields, entices Lars.
It did not. I am saying thanks to Lars and Alex, and then i hurried out into the clear air, while I still could. However, I will be back another night. Then I will clean them, I for sure will.