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City Colleges Prepare for Casino Job Rush

By Shannon in News on Aug 29, 2007 3:30PM

croupierOne of Chicagoist’s things to do before we die is to gamble in a casino. A lofty goal, we know. Our one previous attempt at a Quad Cities riverboat ended in a DQ, as we weren’t old enough and our mother had left her driver’s license at the hotel. We know it’s way less glamorous than movies would have us think, but damn if we don’t want to feel the chips in our fingers and to try to forget all of our training has been online, where people can’t see our horrible poker face.

Houses of gaming within city limits have been a bone of contention in Illinois government since time immemorial. But! If we were to have a chance to know when to hold 'em (and when to fold 'em), Chicago City Colleges would be there to show us the ropes. Inspired by our very own alderman Tom Tunney’s remarks at a city council meeting Monday, CCC chancellor Wayne Watson claims he’d introduce casino training courses into the taxpayer-funded college network. The Colleges would train students to be dealers, but Wayne downplayed the gambling aspect of casinos somewhat, focusing instead on hospitality: “A larger part is wait and support staff,” he said. True, but let’s not kid ourselves, shall we?

None of this will go down without state approval, of course, with newsmaking House Speaker Michael Madigan being the primary opposition. Blago’s for it, Daley’s for it (if the city gets a decent cut), and a sprinkling of Republicans and Democrats in state government have shown recent interest as well. There’s also the issue of where a casino would even go in our crowded little burg, but we hear there’s a little Art Deco gem at Canal and Harrison that’s just begging for a second life. Can you imagine? All glitzed up, looming over the Eisenhower … heck, we’re getting excited just thinking about it. But then, we always were idealists. Now excuse us while we sign up for that roulette course.

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