22 Feb 2012

New Hollywood Casino Toledo to Hire 1,200 People

Author: Matthew Thacker | Filed under: Business, Local stories, Spring 2012

By Matthew Thacker

Construction is almost complete on the new Hollywood Casino Toledo, which is expected to attract casino goers from other states to the Toledo area. But more importantly for the Toledo region, it is expected to bring 1,200 full-and part-time jobs.

John McNamara, marketing operations manager for Hollywood Casino Toledo, said via email that the casino plans to hire approximately 90 percent of its new workforce from Northwest Ohio.

With unemployment in the Toledo area at 8.6 percent—according to the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics—the new jobs provided by the casino could prove to have a positive economic impact on the region as a whole.

In addition to the jobs themselves, McNamara said that the casino would also bring contracts for goods and services with local vendors which could mean an infusion of millions of dollars into the local economy.

McNamara said the casino will also be responsible for paying millions of dollars in taxes, which will ultimately benefit the City of Toledo, Lucas County and school districts throughout Northwest Ohio.

Michael Bankey, vice-president of Workforce and Community Services at Owens Community College

The new Hollywood Casino Toledo under construction. Photo by Matthew Thacker.


in nearby Perrysburg, Ohio, agrees that the casino could be a great opportunity for the region.

Bankey serves as a link between the new casino and job candidates who are required to attend professional card dealer classes. The classes are held on the community college campus but only temporarily.

“Once we have trained and hired our team of dealers needed for the opening, any future training [will] be done on site at the casino,” McNamara said.

Bankey said that the new casino will help not only those in the region who are unemployed, but also some who currently have jobs yet remain underemployed.

“We have some folks who have skills in other areas that just are not doing well, so now they are looking to make a total career change,” Bankey said.

One person who may be changing careers is Bob Clements. Clements, 26, works part-time at the Wood Lane Center in Bowling Green and is also learning to deal blackjack in one of the casino classes.

Clements said that he thinks being a blackjack dealer will be a fun job adding that he will get to “gamble with someone else’s money.”

M. Neil Browne, senior scholar and distinguished teaching professor at Bowling Green State University said, via email, that to look at the total impact the casino may have on the region you have to figure in the effect the casino may have on other local businesses.

“One of the best questions to ask in this context is: ‘Ok, but how many jobs will be destroyed as you cannibalize customers from competing, existing business establishments?’” said Browne.

The Hollywood Casino Career Center, located across the street from the new casino, will begin hosting professional card dealer classes after the casino is open for business. Photo by Matthew Thacker.

He also said, however, that he would not make a guess as to the casino’s overall impact on the region’s economy without having first conducted weeks of study on the specifics of the issue.

Bankey said that he feels like Hollywood Casino has been diligent in its efforts to minimize any short-term negative impact on the Toledo economy.

For example, Bankey said that the casino agreed to not build a hotel in its casino initially but to instead form partnerships with the community’s existing hotels.


“There may be one in the next phase,” Bankey said, “but they agreed that they would not put a hotel in the casino until surrounding hotels had a certain level of bed occupancy.” He also said the casino’s commitment to purchase food for its four new restaurants from local farmers and vendors.

Bankey said that while there is never a way to accurately predict the future of the economy, he is hopeful about what the casino means for the future of those in the Toledo area.

Already Clements said that his math skills have improved as he has learned to quickly calculate the correct payout of winnings in class, but he still isn’t sure about his career aspirations.

“I’m interested,” Clements said. “If it turns into a career, that’s cool, but right now it’s just a job.”

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