After being released, the biggest challenge a felon encounter is finding a job. In looking for work, a felon who has experience working in the gaming industry may want to apply for a job at a casino.
This blog post will cover whether or not casinos run background checks.
- What Is Included in a Background Check?
- Casino Application
- Casino Background Check
- An Opportunity for Felons?
- Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?
- Tips for Getting a Job at a Casino
What Is Included in a Background Check?
Casino personnel who review an applicant’s background don’t want someone who doesn’t succeed after starting a job. The benefits of conducting a background check for casino positions include:
- Protecting employees and guests from violence
- Reducing the threat of employee theft
- Providing a positive experience for guests
- Increasing repeat business
- Reducing the risk of negligent hiring
- Discouraging dishonest applicants from applying
- Reducing costs of training and turnover
- Employees not dealing well with guests
- Avoiding employee attendance problems
- Dealing with dishonesty on the job
The last category is the biggest issue for felons. Their criminal history can be a problem even if they are now committed to living an honest lifestyle.
An employer may view at least some of the following:
- Credit reports
- Driving records
- Educational records
- Criminal offenses
Background information helps an employer like a casino to determine a candidate’s:
- Past mistakes
- Financial fitness
This allows an employer to identify hiring risks for security and safety issues for the casino.
The criminal record review of a background check includes examining criminal-history files for any criminal offenses, which will reveal all convictions and non-convictions, including cases not prosecuted or those dismissed. Convictions can be reported without a time limit, while a non-conviction will show up for seven years. A crime will not show up on a background check if a felon has his or her record expunged.
There are approximately 200,000 people employed in the gambling industry. The minimum age to work in a casino is 18, although some casinos will require an employee to be at least 21 years old. An applicant is typically required to have a high school diploma or a GED.
Working in a casino has certain particular characteristics, including:
- High-stress environment
- Fast-paced work environment
- Loud and noisy
- Secondhand smoke present
- Physically demanding work
- Working nights, weekends, and holidays
Typical entry-level positions at a casino include:
- Customer service representative
- Restaurant host
- Front desk clerk
- Accounting clerk
Casino Background Check
Casinos have a zero tolerance policy for felonies and drug use. Anyone who wants to work in the casino industry must undergo extensive examination of his or her of professional background and a review of personal character. A background check at a casino typically includes a fingerprint background check. Most positions at a casino have an important role in security and operations of the casino.
If there is evidence of a criminal conviction, an applicant must provide the dates and details of what happened for any arrest even if charges were dropped or dismissed.
A casino background check may involve a variety of areas, including:
- Driving record
- Employment history
- Medical records
- Credit history for the last 8 to 10 years
A negative work history or a criminal record will likely prevent someone from working on the casino floor. A felon may still be other support jobs such as casino or restaurant positions, however.
An applicant will likely be asked to sign a waiver or notification of an investigative report being made concerning the character, reputation, personal characteristics, and mode of living of the applicant. There may also be a statement to the effect:
“As a condition of my employment, I hereby authorize you to seek from school officials, government agencies, the military, law enforcement agencies, credit reporting agencies, and previous employers all information in their knowledge or possession pertaining to my employment history or my qualification and ability to work.”
Other forms may ask the applicant for information, including, but not limited to:
- Employment history
- Educational background
- Credit history
- Arrest and conviction records
Some casinos may also ask for a family history such as where an applicant’s father, mother, spouse, and siblings work. This is an attempt to establish a higher legitimacy in the casino and gambling industry. Because casino workers typically handle a large amount of cash, an employer must know that an employee can be trusted not to steal from them.
Some casinos will only check applicants for any criminal record and call previous employers to verify a work history. Others may ask previous employers how the applicant performed his or her duties, salary history, attendance record, and reason for leaving that particular job. In addition, there may be a request for an account of the person’s:
- Demeanor on the job
If there is any criminal record, the casino will find out about it, so it is recommended to be open and honest from the beginning. Mistakes, such as a DUI conviction, at least five years in the past will not necessarily disqualify a felon as a casino floor employee.
A casino will not hire anyone whose background includes a conviction for financial or violent crimes. A casino will not want anyone who has been convicted of embezzling funds or who may have an unpredictable personality.
Each casino employee is required to pass a background check to get a gaming license, which is required for almost all casino employees in the U.S. A background check will show whether an applicant has obtained a license for a dealer position in that state.
Casino dealers will probably need to pass a reference background check from former employees. This will inquire about the individual’s trustworthiness, ability to act, and competency with numbers.
An employment check will be completed to make certain the applicant was actually employed at each location that was listed on the application. This is important if an applicant claims to have prior experience at other casinos, which can be confirmed through state and federal employment records.
An Opportunity for Felons?
While casinos do hire felons, they typically do not hire anyone with a violent or sexual offense. They usually don’t employ individuals with a conviction of theft or forgery.
For other crimes, a casino will often consider an applicant based on:
- The nature of the offense and the circumstances
- Length of time since the conviction
- Work experience
- An applicant’s skills related to the position for which they are applying
A background check is run for the casino to protect:
- Its employees
- Its guests
In evaluating the results, the casino hiring manager will look for discrepancies between the report and their responses on the application. The casino also evaluates the nature of any criminal offenses discovered by the report.
The casino industry recommends that hiring managers meet with applicants after finding negative information in a background check to give candidates an opportunity to explain why issues should not disqualify them from consideration. If this happens, a felon can use it as an opportunity to describe what he or she has learned from past mistakes and the growth as a result.
Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?
Doing a background check on yourself before applying at a casino will allow you, as a felon, to know exactly what will be discovered when the casino does its review. A felon with any questions can contact an attorney. It is essential to take action and not risk a chance on the results.
There are different kinds of personal background checks that a felon can run:
- From the court in which he or she was charged
- A credit report will help determine how financially responsible an individual is
- Driving records for any job involving driving, such as a truck driver
- An educational report through the National Student Clearing House
Tips for Getting a Job at a Casino
Suggestions for a felon to increase his or her chances to be hired at a casino are:
- Dress appropriately
- Make a positive first impression
- Show a friendly, courteous, and energetic personality
- Make consistent eye contact
- Sit with straight posture
- Speak clearly
- Make a case for a new job opportunity
- Emphasize experience and skills related to the casino industry
- Be ready to provide a job history with a current resume
- End each interview with a firm handshake
- Express gratitude for the interview opportunity
Don’t hide the fact that you have a felony conviction if it comes up. Instead, explain the facts about that conviction without emotion.
It is never a good idea to lie about your past on an application. This could result in not being considered for a job if the casino finds out about it. Highlight skills and abilities that qualify you for the job. Focus on highlighting them during the interview.
Take responsibility for past actions and explain how you are putting your life in order. Doing your own background check allows you to know what an employer will see on your record.
Remember that you are not defined by your crime. Be willing to seeing yourself in a different light, and be ready to establish an honest life. The best opportunity for success in a new life begins with having support from family and friends.
So what do you think about this blog post about whether or not casinos run background checks? Have you or someone you know had a casino run a background check? What was that like and were they successful in being hired? Please tell us in the comments below.