By Rick Ritter

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — We’re just a few months away from Baltimore opening its first casino. The Horseshoe Casino is expected to create more than 1,500 jobs.

Rick Ritter shows how some Baltimore residents are getting in on the action.

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WJZ got a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to land one of the casino’s coveted dealer positions. These students are training for weeks just to get their foot in the door.

What’s been in the cards for years is weeks away from rolling into Baltimore. After months of construction, training is well underway for the new Horseshoe Casino on W. Ostend Street.

The Horseshoe Casino is expected to create more than 1,500 jobs. On Wednesday, WJZ got a sneak-peek at what it takes to become one of the casino’s 300 dealers.

“This is a typical day at the classroom here at the table games academy. It’s a four hour classroom. The students gets individualized training,” said Robert Westerfield, director of table games.

Each student is with Baltimore City Community College. Training started back in April. Students are dealt a 240-hour program that stretches across 12 weeks, with four classes five days a week.

“I just turned 24. So I’m at that point in my life where I’m trying to get everything together,” said Jordan Downey.

For some, it’s their dream job.

“I really like the atmosphere,” said Paris Koonce.

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Others never touched a card before.

“I’m a big believer in faking it until you make it, and so, some people are doing just that,” said Alex Dixon, V.P., Horseshoe Casino.

Those who complete the program can become certified to deal everything from craps, roulette, poker, blackjack and much more.

Officials admit the hardest thing for students to pick up on are the numbers.

“The initial thing is the math and the dexterity,” said Westerfield.

But these future dealers say they’ll do whatever it takes for job stability, and to be part of a Baltimore milestone.

“It’s a big deal. It’s a really big deal,” Koonce said.

Students must complete the 12-week course in order to be offered a full-time or part-time job.

The full-service casino is slated to open in August or September.

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Rick Ritter