Six famous faces you probably didn’t know once worked in the casino industry

famous casino players

Croupiers dealing with mega-money bets, pit bosses keeping a close eye on a select number of tables and customers to ensure smooth gameplay and happiness, cleaners, security.

The opportunities to work in the casino industry cross numerous spectrums, with the majority of positions aimed at ensuring that customers have a fun and hassle-free experience that will encourage them to return again in the near future.

Some famous faces have dabbled with casino work at some point in their existence. Here are six such people:

Dean Martin

Prior to becoming one of the biggest entertainers of the 20th century thanks to his performances in the Rat Pack, film appearances, television variety shows and recognisable hits including That’s Amore and Memories Are Made Of This, Martin had more of a rough and tumble upbringing.

Growing up in Ohio, Martin, or Dino Crocetti as he was born, was a talented blackjack and poker dealer from a young age, putting his huge hands to good effect locally and across the Ohio River in Kentucky.

These were more dingy venues than Las Vegas landscapes, but legal and illegal casinos provided reasonable sources of income at the time compared to other methods of work as he searched for a break into the showbiz industry.

Richard Marcus

When it comes to professional casino cheating experts, few trump Marcus, who was a member of numerous gambling gangs using sleight of hand tricks and physiological stunts to convince staff that they were getting lucky at the tables, when they were simply performing rehearsed routines.

However, he was approached to join his first crew when being hand selected by a team leader during a quiet session dealing mini baccarat.

Marcus revealed in his book The Great Casino Heist that he had originally driven to Las Vegas just prior to his 21st birthday, run his bankroll up to $100,000 and then lost the lot during a single session playing baccarat.

Skint and sleeping under an underpass, he audaciously entered a dealing school without officially joining the course, picked up a few hints and tips for working the roulette and blackjack tables and, after some knockbacks, was given his first dealing gig.

The rest is history.

Brandon Flowers

It was an advert in the Las Vegas Weekly, a free newspaper, which Flowers responded to that proved the first step towards the formation of The Killers.

If Flowers hadn’t answered and helped establish Vegas’ most successful rock band of all time, he admits himself that a longer-term career in the casino industry was probable.

He once told Radio X: “I’d be working at a casino probably. That’s what I did before. It was exciting for me to work for tips and the hustle and bustle. It was exciting.”

Ryback

Ryback always had the desire to be a professional wrestler and started training down this career path while attending the University of Nevada.

Alongside his training and studying on a fitness management programme, Ryback also worked part time at a hotel and casino.

Having impressed during a wrestling competition where the winner received a full-time contract with the lucrative WWE organisation, Ryback did gain a developmental deal despite losing and progressed to become one of the company’s bigger stars of the last five years.

Rutina Wesley

The American horror series True Blood has been a major television success over seven seasons, with Wesley a large part of this as the character Tara Thornton.

Like others on this list, she grew up in Vegas and this involved working in a casino in her younger years.

As well as being a waitress encouraged to sing and dance to entertain customers, which was appropriate as she studied performing arts and dance, Wesley helped operate the lifts.

Chris Wallace

Hear the name Chris Wallace and many will immediately think of deceased rapper The Notorious B.I.G, but this is a name he shared with the current Memphis Grizzlies general manager.

Having dropped out of the University of Kansas, Wallace moved to Reno in Nevada and spent eight months working in the casino industry. His main duty was in the largely now defunct job of change boy on slot machines.

However, basketball was always his chief passion and, having launched his own magazine on the sport, he was given a scouting role with the Portland Trail Blazers. He has now been with the Grizzlies for 10 years.