Bally’s Atlantic City, Stockton University Double Down On Summer Jobs Program

Written By David Danzis on May 31, 2023
sign for bally's atlantic city table games learning center

Ty-sae Clayton is too young to gamble in an Atlantic City casino. Yet, the 19-year-old Stockton University student from Camden could very well be dealing blackjack at Bally’s Atlantic City by the end of June.

Clayton, a visual arts major, is one of 17 Stockton students participating in Bally’s dealer training program.

“This is an adult job,” Clayton said. “It’s solidifying adulthood for me and opening my eyes to the real world.”

Stockton providing on-the-job AC casinos training for students

Stockton’s “Live, Work, Learn” program is now in its second year. The partnership between the university and the city’s nine casinos is a win-win.

Students receive paid on-the-job training, credits toward graduation, a partial tuition payment and beachfront housing in Stockton’s AC dorms for the summer. The casinos fill vacant job openings with eager, young workers, hoping that some trainees may stick around past Labor Day.

Bally’s is the only casino in town offering table game dealer training. Housed in the bus terminal on Pacific Avenue, the dealer training school is split into two four-hour sessions each day. The four-week course concludes with live blackjack shifts on the casino floor at Bally’s.

‘Amazing’ team keeps students engaged

Devon Dunlap, a 23-year-old from nearby Egg Harbor Township, is participating in “Live, Work, Learn” for the second year. The computer science major will earn a resume badge this summer since he received course credits last year.

Dunlap, whose father works in two AC casinos, returned for a second stint at dealer training because of the Bally’s AC instructors.

“They make this fun; they keep us engaged,” he said, seated at shortstop on one of two classroom tables while classmate Carter Jackson dealt. “The team is amazing here.”

Student can’t ‘imagine doing anything else’ and ‘getting paid for it’

Andres Arteaga was dealing at the $25 training table to 20-year-old Jason Swayze, who was enjoying playing with house money.

Last summer, Swayze worked as a valet in Stockton’s work program. The business student from Totowa preferred dealing cards to fetching cars.

“This is fun; it’s fast-paced,” Swayze said after “winning” a couple of hundred dollars during a mock hand. “I can’t image doing anything else (better) and getting paid for it.”

Even if not first choice, Bally’s AC dealer school ‘the best option’

Azhani Best, an 18-year-old hospitality and tourism major, has previous work experience. The Newark native said she’s worked in fast-food restaurants and convenience stores.

Best admits Bally’s dealer training school “wasn’t my first choice.” But, she wanted to stay on campus for the summer and accepted the role she was given.

In less than two weeks, the game is starting to grow on her.

“It’s actually pretty fun,” she says with a smile before being dealt a queen that busts her 14 showing. She reaches into the cup holder at the card table where she keeps her cheques and places another bet. “This wound up being the best option for me. I like it so far.”

Photo by David Danzis / PlayNJ
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David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports, and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting, and online gambling. David lives in Atlantic County, NJ with his wife and two children.

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