The pink cast that went up to his right forearm seemed like the worst thing for a man whose money will be made dealing cards.
But at least, Anthony Gaines, a right-handed blackjack dealer at the Hollywood Casino Toledo, still could wiggle his fingers.
The cast -- evidence of a weight-lifting mishap on Easter -- was scheduled to come off in two weeks, cutting it tight before the casino's tentative May 29 opening.
Mr. Gaines, 21, of Detroit didn't seem discouraged.
"I'm excited," he said, confident his doctor would piece him back together in time. "I'm ready to get started."
So with his broken hand, Mr. Gaines joined about 130 of his new co-workers Thursday for a job orientation at the SeaGate Convention Centre in downtown Toledo.
For many of the dealers, Thursday was Day One on the job after months of training, unpaid practice sessions, and waiting for the East Toledo casino to finally open. They received employee handbooks, learned the proper protocol, and met their new bosses during what was the seventh orientation in two weeks.
The $320 million casino's operators are waiting to receive a license to operate and approval from the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
"We're so close to opening up these doors," said Jason Birney, the casino's vice president of marketing.
To gear up, casino executives bought television and radio commercial time in the Toledo and Detroit media markets, which began running Monday, Mr. Birney said.
The casino is also focusing on the Fort Wayne, Ind. market, about 110 miles away on U.S. 24, which it hopes to tap into.
During the orientation, executive Chrystal Herndon announced the casino will hire about 100 more people in the next few weeks.
The positions are for jobs primarily in the food and beverage department, such as busers, sous chefs, and cooks. People who are interested can apply at www.hollywoodcasinotoledo.com/careers.
The average casino employee's annual pay is $40,000, which includes base salary and tips, Mrs. Herndon said.
The hiring will bring the casino's staff to slightly more than 1,300 employees. About 75 percent of the workers will be full time, and 25 percent will be part time, she said.
Casino General Manager Richard St. Jean, who stressed the importance of customer service while talking with the employees, said Penn National Gaming would vet internal candidates first if openings appeared in the marketing, finance, and other departments in Toledo's casino as well as at other Penn-owned properties.
Thursday was also a time for first-day jitters.
Blackjack dealer Alison Clark, 24, was full of the typical questions.
What will her shift be like? Where will she need to go?
And to complicate matters, she was a gambling novice and hadn't been inside a casino before, other than to get her new uniform fitted.
"It's so new to me. I actually feel lost," said Ms. Clark of Maumee. "I just need to be pointed in the right direction walking and I'll be fine."
But Thursday was a time of relief, too, for the young mother.
For months, she stressed about paying bills and supporting her 3-year-old daughter, London, after she lost her assistant manager job at a Holland breakfast joint on Jan. 24.
Finally Thursday, she could begin the casino job she was hired for in late February.
"It's so exciting now. Here we go," said Ms. Clark as she stood in a room with the other new employees waiting to get briefed on her new job. "I don't have to wait anymore."
Contact Gabrielle Russon at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6026.