NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
Steve -- and this is handwritten here, so that it's even more difficult to read.
MR. KARAISZ: The last name is Karaisz, Madame Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Karaisz.
MR. KARAISZ: Members of the Commission, good afternoon, and thank you for the opportunity to speak here today.
I want to tell you a brief story about a guy who finally wised up one day in 1979 and took his father's advice who said, "Go on vacation this year, but do something with it. Go down to Atlantic City and look for a job in a new business, in a new industry that looks like it's got a lot of promise."
I'd heard Bally's Park Place, a casino- hotel property, was slated to open later that year. I went down, sought out the trailer on the parking lot with nothing else on it, got an application, filled it out, got interviewed, asked when I could start, hired all in the same day, and they told me I didn't need any experience, that they were kind of like the Armed Forces, that they would give me experience.
So I called home, quit my old job over the phone -- my boss wasn't thrilled with that -- called my folks, told them, "Send me what you can. Sell the rest," that I'd found a job in Atlantic City.
I started out as a security officer on the construction site for $4.87 an hour. Shortly after that I was trained in the casino and security procedures. I learned a lot in that time, and after the property opened, I was promoted.
I was assigned a mentor. The casino sent me to schools. They sent me to seminars. They helped me to grow as a supervisor and as a person.
In 1987, I was promoted a second time, more responsibility, more schools. Now I was the mentor, and I got more money, and I bought myself a house. I was a real, real success in my own mind. I thought I had been doing very well.
But that wasn't enough for them. They challenged me to do more, sent me to more schools. They groomed me, I like to think, and made me what I am today, and in 1991 I was promoted a third time to the rank of shift manager, and that's what I currently serve in that capacity.
They put a great deal of faith in my abilities, and I'm eternally thankful for that.
People ask me about my work, and they ask me if I like what I do, and I tell them it's not really what I do. It's what I am. It's what I've become, and I love it.
I was able to do things with the extra money that I got through promotions. I went on vacations and met my wife. We got married -- not at the same time, of course -- but we have two beautiful sons. We were able to buy a nice house in a community that was built from the casino influx of people. We call it Wonderful Street because things are really wonderful there for us, and without the casinos I wouldn't have all of the things that I have today.
The casinos take care of my needs security-wise for my family. They give me benefits, affairs to attend, nice functions for me to take my wife to, and a growing environment in the community that we really have learned to love based on all of the influx of new stores and businesses that have come in to help accommodate the people who now work in these 13 casino properties in Atlantic City.
The quality of life for my family has really improved every year since 1979 when I started working in the casino industry and took that vacation and listened to my dad's advice.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak here today.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Thank you.
We have approximately four more individuals, three that are on the list, one that showed up late and I put at the bottom of the list. I would be happy to entertain a motion to extend our period by 15 minutes so that all of those individuals who have traveled a great distance to be here could be heard.
MR. WILHELM: So moved.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Do I hear a second?
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Thank you.
DR. DOBSON: Madame Chairman, Mr. McCarthy and I both have a plane to catch. So we are going to have to slip out, but I intend no disrespect to the people remaining.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: I understand that we have Commissioners that are in that circumstance, but the chair will remain, and we will hear from everyone who's traveled in order to be here.