Casino Training School
New York state’s first licensed casino-dealer school is preparing to open its doors as early as next week.
The Big Deal Casino Academy is awaiting approval from the state Education Department, and once granted, will set up shop on the sixth floor of an East 28th Street building off Fifth Avenue.
“I’m a poker player, and I have been dying for a casino closer to New York City, ” said school founder Wendy Rubin, an East Village entrepreneur who said the school will be the next best thing.
Certified dealers or casino supervisors will train students in blackjack, poker, roulette, baccarat, craps, carnival games or Spanish 21. Completion of at least two core disciplines is required to receive a certificate.
Students will also be trained in the finer points of catching a cheat.
“Never take your eyes off the table, ” said Rubin. “That’s one of the most important things we teach.”
Gamblers can be very inventive — although they can give themselves away with body language and “suspicious behavior, ” such as trying to divert the dealer’s attention, she added.
“In general, dealers need to ‘walk the game’ — which is moving side to side — never turn your body away, ” she advised.
Other giveaways are a sudden jump in ‘money movement’ —a string of $25 bets followed by a sudden huge wager. “Six to eight units higher is indicative of cheating, ” she said. Dealers also will learn to be on the lookout for gamblers who take the money and run. “There are always the players who reach up, grab chips and run for the exits, ” Rubin said.
The 2, 000-square-foot space will contain three poker tables, eight blackjack tables, and roulette, baccarat and craps tables. Rubin said she’s banking on a growing casino industry.
The school is a gamble — considering the three casinos just approved for upstate could be years from opening. Last week, the state announced its recommendations for casino projects in Sullivan, Schenectady and Seneca counties. But each proposal now faces environmental reviews — and possible lawsuits by opponents.
Ultimately, it’ll be up to the state’s Gaming Commission to grant licenses. The Education Department, which oversees vocational schools, told The Post the casino school would be the first in the state.