NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
N G I S C Chicago Meeting, May 20, 1998
MR. RICK ADAMS
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Mr. Rick Adams.
MR. ADAMS: I thank the Commission for letting me be here. My name is Rick Adams. I recently celebrated the first anniversary of my employment at the Hollywood casino in Aurora, Illinois. My job is food and beverage manager and is probably the best job I've ever had.
Before I was hired at the Hollywood casino in Aurora, I spent nine months receiving unemployment benefits, after being laid off by a Fortune 500 restaurant company. Being older than many of the workers, it was hard to find a job. I registered with a group called KDK which stands for Kane, Dekalb and Kendall Counties which offers support and resources for those looking for employment.
As it happens, Hollywood casino of Aurora is a major supporter of KDK, and Shannon Pratt, Hollywood's vice president of operations is the chairman. It was kind of an accident that I even heard about the job at Hollywood casino, since I never thought about food service jobs in the casino industry. I was embarrassed and worried about being out of work. I had always held responsible jobs. I worked for Jewel Food Stores for many years. I worked for 7-Eleven, Southland Corporation as district manager, overseeing 32 stores. I have an undergraduate degree from U of I and an MBA from Loyola.
As it turns out, losing my former job and coming to work for Hollywood casino Aurora, after meeting my wife, is probably the best thing that has ever happened to me. The casino has been very good to me. I now manage ten supervisors with an hourly staff of about 120 people overall. I'm well paid. I get good health benefits, including medical and dental insurance and work closer to my home than I ever have.
When I wanted to learn more about using computers, Hollywood Casino Aurora paid my tuition for several classes. I hope to work for Hollywood casino for a long time. I no longer worry about being old when compared to other workers. In Hollywood casino it doesn't matter how old you are. If you can do the job, the job is yours.
I'm also proud to work for Hollywood casino in Aurora because it has done a lot of good in the community. When you walk around downtown Aurora you see new buildings, new energy, new attitudes from people. The police officers stationed at the casino tell me that areas that were once diseased with prostitutes and drugs are now filled with new buildings and clean crime free areas. The Paramount Theatre is alive again. Walter Payton and Michael Jordan have both made substantial investments in Aurora.
Hollywood casino has been responsible for change in Aurora and the change has been positive. It has also changed my life for the better. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Thank you. I understand that our number three speaker and our number ten speaker would like to switch, and since obviously we're going to get to both of you, I certainly have no problem with that.