Prairie Meadows Casino in Altoona. (RI photo)

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is working with the 19 state-licensed casinos on a request to ease some of the licensing requirements for employees.

Racing and Gaming Administrator Brian Ohorilko, says they are seeking a waiver for employees not directly involved in the gambling operation. He says it includes all positions that were not involved in the activity on the gaming floor, handling any gaming revenue, or security of surveillance.

Ohorilko says the casino have many employees who work with the related services at the casinos. “Golf course attendants, restaurant employees, valet employees, hotel employees — maybe housekeepers,” he says. The labor market is tight right now and there is great competition in the service industry for employees, and he says that’s the motivation behind the request.

“The industry cited a couple of factors — one being the difficulty in finding employees right now — and looking for some relief,” Ohorilko says. Non-casino workers at these jobs aren’t required to get a license — while all casino employees are required to get some sort of license to work there.

“There are different classes depending on the level of occupation. In other words, a casino general manager would be required to have the highest level of license — where someone who does not work on the gaming floor — like these non-gaming employee class would receive the lowest level of license,” Ohorilko explains. He says each level of license gets deeper into an individual’s personal and financial background to ensure there are no issues. With the most comprehensive background checks for the highest level licenses.

Ohorilko the commission staff is working with the Iowa Gaming Association to formalize a request for the waiver.