Casinos, like many employers, run background checks on all applicants. Currently, you do not need any special qualifications to work in a casino.
There are no laws saying that someone with a criminal background cannot work in a casino. But, a casino may or may not be willing to hire you depending on the specifics of your crime. For instance, time since the crime and type of crime are important factors.
Some common background checks that a casino will run include;
- Criminal history
- Education history
- Sex offender registry
- Drug screening
That said, you have a few different options for dealing with your criminal record. The options that you have depend on your state and specific crime. Different states have different options and eligibility.
Why do Casinos do Background Checks?
In general, casinos run a few different background checks on all applicants. Casinos are businesses. So, they want to ensure earnings and the safety of customers and employees. Certain parts of your background check may or may not concern them.
Casinos run background checks to figure out if you are a risk to either earnings or safety. For example, red flags might include violent, sexual, or financial and property crimes. DUI’s would also concern casino employers. This is because it may show that you are not responsible with alcohol.
Of course, there might be exceptions. But, these are the things that casinos look for in a background check.
Employers may have different reactions to finding something in your background check. They might decide not to hire you before going any further. Or, they may decide to follow up with you for an explanation.
Laws allow employers to reject people for jobs based on criminal records. This is not considered discrimination. So, each employer has the choice of whether they deny you because of this or not.
Along with criminal records, casinos also run background checks for other reasons. For example, they may do an education history check. This can help confirm information that you list on your application.
What Background Checks do Casinos Run?
The are several main background checks that casinos might run. These may vary based on their requirements.
Criminal Record Checks
You can expect a criminal record check for almost any employer. These checks find any misdemeanor or felony charges on your record.
Again, this may or may not be an automatic disqualification. It depends on the specific employer.
Sex Offender Registry
Every state in the United States has a sex offender registry. These may differ a little by state, but all base themselves on Megan’s Law.
Megan’s Law is a way for communities to be aware of a sex offender living in the neighborhood. This was first created in New Jersey as a result of a young girl named Megan who went missing.
Sex offender registries include identifying information about the sex offender and the offense. The offenses, themselves, will be on the criminal background check. This check lets employers know if you are still a registered sex offender.
The education requirements differ depending on the specific job for which you apply. For example, you might need a college business or management degrees to be a manager. Degrees or courses that show math skills are useful for dealers. Chefs in the casino may need culinary degrees.
Education history checks will confirm if you have the needed degree or training. But, a lot of the jobs are entry level, such as bartender or server. For these, you will likely only need a high school diploma or GED.
It is common for any employer, but especially casinos, to do drug screenings. These screenings pick up on any illegal or prescription drugs that you might have in your system.
Prescription drugs will not disqualify you from the job. But, you need to have a valid prescription for it. Taking these drugs without prescriptions is illegal.
Options for Criminal Records
So, what should you do if you have a criminal record and worry about getting denied for a job? Well, you actually have a few different options that will make you more employable.
This is when your criminal record is no longer available to the public. This means that the crime will no longer appear on your background check. You can also then say you do not have a criminal record based on this crime.
To get a record sealed, you have to file a petition with the local court. Not all offenses are eligible. For example, the court may deny the sealing of some sexual, violent, or felony offenses.
Expungement is when you get your record cleared. In a legal sense, expunging a record makes it so that it no longer exists. In turn, you are then allowed to say that you do not have a criminal record based on that offense.
To get a record expunged, you need to petition your local court. Not every crime is eligible for this and it will vary based on state. For the most part, particularly violent or sexual crimes are not eligible. Some other felony offenses may also not be eligible.
A pardon is like legal forgiveness. Unlike with expungement, pardoned offenses remain on your record. But, the pardon does show that you no longer pose a risk based on that crime.
Again, not all crimes are eligible. Who you seek a pardon from depends on the specific offense. For state offenses, the governor handles the pardon. For municipal (local) offenses, pardons are the mayor’s job.
Generally, state and local governments have specific pardon offices. But, your local court would be able to give you information on this.
There are a few different certificates that you can seek in response to your criminal record. The most common is a Certificate of Rehabilitation. This may have different names depending on the state, but they all serve roughly the same purpose. For example, New York calls it a Certificate of Good Conduct.
These certificates, like pardons, show that you are no longer a threat. But, they also show that you are now rehabilitated or reformed from your crime.
To get a certificate, you need to go through your local court. There are usually a few requirements. For example, a certain amount of time must have passed since your offense. Certain crimes are not eligible.
The court may also ask you to show proof of rehabilitation. This may be different based on the crime and local requirements. Some examples include employment, therapy, or education. You may also need to ask for letters from a supervisor, therapist, teacher, etc. to verify. Letters would verify that you have taken steps to improve and have succeeded.
Sex Offender Registry
Being taken off the sex offender registry does not always happen as a result to the above options. For instance, you may have gotten the sexual offense taken off your record (expunged). But, you may still have to register as a sex offender.
When you are seeking any of the above options, make sure you ask about sex offender registry. There may also be separate options for getting your name taken off the registry.
You may be able to petition the local court to do one of two things. First, you might be able to reduce the amount of time (years) that you have to register. Second, the court may say that you no longer need to register at all.
This is only an option for less serious sexual offenses. Examples include statutory rape between two consenting teenagers or public indecency. Offenses such as violent rape, child molestation, etc. are not eligible.
Casinos can be a fun place to work. There is always something to do and you get new experiences each day. You also get the chance to be social at work.
But, a criminal record may hinder your ability to work in a casino. First, employers may have concerns. They need to know that you can handle yourself, not damage or steal property, and keep customers safe.
Second, if you had drug or alcohol related offenses, be cautious. Be aware if you have struggled with addiction related to these offenses or if they were rare issues. You will get exposure to tobacco and alcohol in a casino, even when not working in the bar or food service.
Thanks to the above information, you now know what background checks entail. You also know what a casino looks for or avoids in its applicants.
Remember that you have several options for your criminal record. These may help you become more employable in general, not only with casinos.