OXFORD — Workers raised the first slot machine into place Thursday morning at the Oxford Casino, where Public Relations Manager Scott Smith said work is ramping up for a June opening.
The video-screen slot machine is one of more than 500 that will be up and running when the casino opens. Smith said hiring will begin soon in earnest for positions in security, food and beverage services, among other positions.
Training for table-game dealers began Monday evening, Smith said, and will continue for more than two months. Tuition is free.
The Oxford Casino held a job fair March 3 in Oxford, and 92 potential dealers were invited from about 500 applicants to take the classes, which are being held in a space in the Oxford plaza, Smith said. Sixteen other Mainers with casino-dealing experience have been hired, as well, and some are helping to teach the classes.
Classes meet daily, and at the end of the training process, students will audition for about 90 full-time and part-time dealer positions. Smith said the casino will select those who can be accurate while displaying a friendly, engaging personality.
“It's a very rigorous process,” Smith said.
About 1,500 people have applied online for casino jobs, he said, and the casino is considering holding more job fairs as the casino's opening day nears. At this point, most of the positions filled have been in management.
Smith said the casino's primary market is a 50-mile radius from the Oxford location, which covers Lewiston-Auburn, Portland, the southern coast and much of New Hampshire. He said the casino will work to also attract customers from Boston and Canada.
He expects the casino will be a shot in the arm for businesses in the Oxford Hills area. “I see there being a really robust economic cascade,” Smith said.