Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The IRs want you!

By Mavis Toh

Bet you are excited.

Singaporeans can expect up to 20,000 job openings when the two integrated resorts (IRs) - Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World at Sentosa - open, at the year end and early next year respectively.

What are some unique jobs linked to the IRs? Here are five.


Mr Dennis Andreaci was 23 when he started work as a dealer in Atlantic City in the United States.

Today, the 53-year-old is vice-president for table games at the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort.

Dealers, he said, often make up the largest group of staff in a casino. Their primary job is to operate the gaming tables.

Typically, there are around 19 types of games in a casino and each dealer would be trained to master at least two.

From blackjack to baccarat to roulette, dealers must not only understand the game but also calculate payouts accurately.

At Marina Bay Sands, chosen candidates undertake a 12-week training session where they learn to master games from professional dealers.

Dealers do eight-hour shifts and work a six-day week. During each shift, they would also be given a break after manning a table for 80 minutes.

'Their brain is constantly moving because they need to calculate payouts,' said Mr Andreaci. 'So they need to relax.'

Besides being good with numbers, they also must have a high level of personal integrity because they would be dealing with 'large sums' of money.

They also need to be personable and have good customer service skills.

'The best dealers are ones where the customers keep coming back to their table and everyone is having a good time,' said Mr Andreaci.

Marina Bay Sands is looking to hire about 2,900 dealers. Those looking for part-time work are also welcomed.

Criteria: Must be above 21; past casino experience is a plus.


The word 'butler' brings to mind the image of a manager in a grand household.

At premier hotel Maxims Tower, butlers are at the beck and call of high rollers. The hotel is one of six at Resorts World at Sentosa.

They will have to cater to every whim and fancy of these high-end guests, from how they like their luggage unpacked to what they like to eat.

Butlers are briefed well in advance on such preferences before the guests arrive. Even then, there is always the chance that the VIP might want more - like tickets to already sold-out shows. The good butler will just have to find a solution.

Butlers should also be able to talk intelligently on any topic, if the guest is in the mood for small talk.

'The greatest fulfilment is when a guest leaves happy and asks for you when he comes back,' said senior vice-president for human resources and training Seah-Khoo Ee Boon.

Resorts World is looking to hire 20 butlers.

Criteria: Meticulous and with good customer service skills. Experience in hospitality is a plus.


If your childhood dream was to play a popular movie character, it could well come true.

When Resorts World opens next year, its Universal Studios theme park will need mascots and celebrity lookalikes to create a buzz.

Mascots don costumes and - voila - they become Shrek, Princess Fiona or even Alex the Lion from Madagascar.

Together with celebrity lookalikes like Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe, they walk around the park. Their job, said Ms Seah-Khoo, is to 'thrill the guests and act the part'.

The outstanding ones could go on to act in the park's shows.

But only the brave, strong and nimble need apply since the costumes are usually heavy.

For celebrity lookalikes, one must have the ability to imitate and, of course, resemble that said celebrity.

Resorts World is looking to fill 200 such positions.

Though high educational qualifications are not a must-have, having an outgoing and energetic personality is.

'You must love to show off your costume and be bold and fun-loving,' said Ms Seah-Khoo. 'This could be a dream job.'

Criteria: Physically fit, energetic and well-coordinated. Must have a passion for meeting and interacting with people.


When 'big shots' go to a theme park, they do not want to be given a map and figure out where the fun attractions are.

Instead, they often ask for tours conducted by personal guides.

Resorts World plans to train 20 studio VIP guides.

'A lot of these guests are well-travelled; we need someone with good general knowledge and be able to strike a good conversation,' said Ms Seah-Khoo.

They also need to be especially meticulous and professional as they are representing the company to host the most important guests.

Criteria: Eloquent with great presentation skills and a professional appearance.


Hotels and casinos want customers, and that task of bringing them in falls on the marketing team.

At Marina Bay Sands, the team is divided into international marketing and casino marketing.

The main job of the international marketing group is to build relationships with foreign clients and facilitate their bookings.

An experienced team is required, as they would most likely be dealing with high-end customers.

'To build relationships through personal interaction with this group of people takes a lot of time,' said Mr Andreaci. 'That's where the experience comes in.'

For the casino marketing group, its role would be to identify good existing customers and make them members.

Those with solid customer service skills and have worked in hospitality fields would make great candidates.

'Former airline employees would be perfect for the role,' added Mr Andreaci.

Being multi-lingual would also be a plus.

The Marina Bay Sands is looking to hire 310 people for these marketing positions.

Criteria: Good computer and customer service skills. Experience in dealing with high-end customers is a plus.

The two IRs did not want to reveal salaries for the positions profiled on this page. Contact details:

Resorts World at Sentosa:

Marina Bay Sands:

This article was first published in The Straits Times.


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