Taking a gamble pays off
When Tando Guzana dropped out of university to pursue a career as a casino game dealer, he was taking a gamble.
Guzana was studying office management and technology at the University of Cape Town when he learnt about dealing.
The now 32-year-old was drawn to this career by its fanciness, excellent perks and that it pays well. He has dealt poker, American roulette and blackjack. His passion for dealing showed when he won the Tsogo Sun Dealer of the Year in December.
Guzana, who started working for Montecasino in 2015, walked away with a trophy and R10000 cash prize.
He considers that his win can be partly attributed to his smile and his attitude.
"All the finalists know how to deal very well. It was more about who we are. I decided to tackle all the challenges as if it were a normal day at work.
"I am always smiling, relaxed and friendly with the guests because I believe my smile is a key that can unlock their hearts. I engage in game-related conversation, and I try to make them feel special and happy."
Guzana said dealing has its own challenges as customers sometimes become rude and insulting. "As a dealer you are required to understand customers and to fight back. If the situation gets out of hand, you call a supervisor to handle it.
"I always understand why they will be angry and shout. It is not nice to lose money. When you play, you only want to win."
Guzana, who is originally from Ncambedlana in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, started dealer training in 2008.
After 10 years in the industry, Guzana's dream is to work with young dealers who are entering the profession.
"Dealing pays well. If you are not disciplined, this money can make you lose focus. You could find yourself partying too much and forgetting about your job."