Maryland Live! gaming school applicants try their luck

(photo Free Richard via Flickr)

Is it in the cards? Wannabe dealers at Maryland Live Casino are betting on it.

A referendum last year legalized table games in Maryland, which is why people crammed on craps Tuesday afternoon.

Maryland Live casino is in the process of adding some 150 table games. To man those positions, it launched a dealer school.

“We need to put a lot of people to work,” says Rob Norton, president of Maryland Live.

About 9,000 people applied for the dealer school. Of that, some 900 actually made it to the tables.

In the basement of a Glen Burnie shopping center, Maryland Live management set up a mini- casino. It's complete with black-jack and craps tables.

Opal Chattoo is one of the “students.” Chattoo went bust when the economy folded.

“Things kind of crashed for me and I ended up at my mom's house,” Chattoo says.

The casino needs some 800 dealers, so the chances are pretty good some of these students will make it to the real deal.

“We anticipate that they are going to make probably between fifty to sixty thousand,” Norton says.

It isn't a sure bet. A number of students folded after week one.

But Chattoo says she’s already is a winner because this class is giving her something she hasn't had in a while: Hope.

“To get a good job and you know a second chance,” Chattoo says.