ANDERSON — Officials at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino say they expect to have a roster of at least 150 trained employees ready when the facility welcomes live table dealers beginning Jan. 1.

Legislation allowing legalized sports betting across the state, which took effect in September, also moved the start date for live table games up to 2020 from 2021, according to state Rep. Terri Austin, D-Anderson, who co-authored House Bill 1015. Austin says the law allows casinos to “create a full-service amenity for people who like to do recreational gaming.”

Hoosier Park opened a dealer school in September, bringing in trainers from across the country to prepare employees to staff as many as 28 tables.

“We’ve got about 170 people training to be table games dealers,” said Trent McIntosh, senior vice president and general manager at Hoosier Park. “Basically we’ve finished portions of that, and we’ve got some dealers that are really fully trained and ready to go. We’re running a continued dealer school basically through opening and then honestly beyond.”

The casino has already added 20 staffers to The Book, its newly opened sports betting parlor. Once staffing is filled out for live table games, Hoosier Park — Madison County’s fifth largest private employer — expects to have more than 1,000 people on its payroll. The facility is guaranteeing a wage of $20 per hour, including tips, next year for its dealers, according to McIntosh.

Local economic development officials say the impact for other local businesses will be considerable.

“It is going to make a significant difference as far as the number of people you’ll see,” said Greg Winkler, executive director of the Anderson Economic Development Department. “As close as (Hoosier Park) is to I-69, we’re going to be so close to the areas of Indianapolis where people have disposable income.”

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