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Is Working For the Gambling Industry a Black Mark?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the software-is-software dept.

Businesses 467

An anonymous reader writes 'I'm a recent university graduate and I have been offered a software developer position in a company that supplies software to the gambling and betting industry. At first I was very excited about the opportunity, however, a few of my friends have told me that working for the gambling industry will put a permanent black mark on my career as a software developer. I don't know that many people in the industry with experience in hiring. Google has not helped, and everybody else I ask doesn't know. So I'm asking Slashdot. In your experience is this true? When you hire developers, is the fact that they worked for a gambling company a big turn off? Also, I'm currently in the UK, but would like the freedom of working in US or somewhere else later on in life. So experience from anywhere in the world is welcome.'

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467 comments

Not a black mark (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725307)

More of a roll of the dice.

Re:Not a black mark (5, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725743)

If the company you work for is completely legal it shouldn't cause a big mark. If it's government operated it's as safe as it gets. And probably scores higher than if you have had a work for the IRS (or what it's locally called)

But if you work for a telemarketing company (Who doesn't love to hate telemarketers) or in the "adult entertainment" industry (the sexual harassment factor) you may have a harder time.

Re:Not a black mark (2, Informative)

dasherjan (1485895) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725939)

I think that the reason a lot of people consider it a black mark is because of the mob connection to it from the "old" days. For whatever reason people associate the entire gaming industry with organized crime. When some potential employers (granted the older ones mostly) see that you worked for the gaming industry. They wonder if you are really trustworthy. Though I think today the corporations are starting to change that perception some.

porn? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725313)

what about adult websites dev/design/building/hosting. gambling on the resume can't be worse then porn.

Re:porn? (2, Interesting)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725429)

Depends on the "porn", but lots of people see porn as a legitimate thing between consenting adults who know what they are doing. Gambling, pretty much by definition, has to work with people who don't know what they are doing. That makes it, if not always worse, at least more clearly bad.

Re:porn? (1, Troll)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725531)

Gambling, pretty much by definition, has to work with people who don't know what they are doing.

Are you talking about Vegas gambling or Wall Street gambling?

Re:porn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725577)

Gambling, pretty much by definition, has to work with people who don't know what they are doing.

Not completely true. Personally, I find Las Vegas and its ilk extremely creepy, but I believe you can get extremely close to 50/50 odds with the right strategy in craps. Otherwise, casinos are no less unethical than tobacco companies, and you can take that as you will.

Re:porn? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725585)

Gambling, pretty much by definition, has to work with people who don't know what they are doing. That makes it, if not always worse, at least more clearly bad.

While gambling is generally a tax on people who are bad at math, some people gamble for the entertainment value, and can easily afford to cover their losses.

I'd be interested to see an analysis of different types of gamblers.

Re:porn? (1)

polemistes (739905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725893)

There is one and only one way of winning in gamling. Luck.
Don't laugh. I know lucky people, and I'm not one of them.
The people I know have gambled a lot their whole life, with quite a profit. Not horse racing or anything where guessing is possible. If you know your math, you'll know that's very very improbalble without luck. Plain luck.

On topic:
I wouldn't hire you if I knew you considered taking the job but refrained to do it because you thought it might hurt your chances of getting other jobs. That is a very questionable moral and hypocritical. Please choose what you want to do with your life based on your own moral judgement.

Re:porn? (4, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725613)

"Gambling, pretty much by definition, has to work with people who don't know what they are doing."
I'm not entirely sure how you managed to arrive at this conclusion.

People gambling aren't always idiots that think "Ima go win a million bucks". Often times they are people that do it for recreation or fun knowing full well that they're loosing money. For example, you can gamble at a slot machine for many hours on only $20-$50. Some people have fun watching the wheels spin and lights flash. For them, it's worth the money. Other people enjoy the social aspect of gambling such as in blackjack where the players aren't competing against each other. Or in craps, where the players are all competing against... the shooter... or the house.. unless they roll a 7 and it's the third tuesday of the month.... anyway, there's a lot of people cheering for someone so someone is having fun.

Re:porn? (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725909)

For example, you can gamble at a slot machine for many hours on only $20-$50.

I'm fine with your examples. A good way to get good cheap food is to dress up in a proper tux and go to pretend to gamble. There are lots more examples; but mostly those aren't the people who are making money for the gabling industry. That's basically two groups. The first is "high rollers" who are losing money at a rediculous speed but are sometimes able to afford it. The second is the "idiots" as you called them. The slow gambling people are tolerated, even encouraged, mostly because they give a good atmosphere for getting the money out of the other two groups.

Re:porn? (-1, Flamebait)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725931)

I have fun watching wheels spin and lights flash. I spend $20-$50 on a video game. People who think gambling is fun are, by definition, idiots when there are better options out there.

Personally (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725317)

Personally, I've never heard of this. But do you really want to gamble with your career?

/rimshot

Re:Personally (1)

Fareq (688769) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725835)

Personally, I've never heard of this. But do you really want to gamble with your career? /rimshot

I get the pun, but...

Realistically, whatever decisions you make regarding your career are made without foreknowledge of how they'll turn out.

No matter what you do, you're gambling with your career. Short of not having one, anyway.

Or, I guess you could say "You can't win if you don't play"

Uh, what? (5, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725323)

Seriously, as a hiring manager I care if you can do the job I am hiring you for. If that's software development then that means I'm looking for education, experience, and successfully completed projects. I really can't delve into the minds of HR types so I guess they might hold it against you in the more conservative parts of the country, but they are generally used as a glorified GREP from what I have seen.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725465)

I would think that the gambling companies wouldn't be named "Joe's Online Gambling". If anything, they're named things like "Tabcorp Holdings Limited" [hoovers.com] . So, the HR folks won't see it off the bat, anyway.

The job description is going to be something like, "Designed and developed Swing interface. Developed probability engine for calculating permutations and combinations."

The gambling industry, especially the electronic slot machines is pretty impressive firmware. I'd be bragging about it myself.

Writing adult websites, on the other hand, I I would stick to being as vague as possible.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725699)

Seriously, as a hiring manager I care if you can do the job I am hiring you for.

Generally the amount of damage a new hire can do is much more than the amount of good. In most companies an intelligent employee can find ways to steal millions from the company or at least cause that much damage. You probably do this automatically, but if you think someone is lying or cheating in their interview process that should definitely rule them out, even if they are technically able to "do the job"

Re:Uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725765)

I would say if you manage to work in the gambling industry writing software for an extended period of time (more than six months) without a felony conviction that your integrity is probably safe. In fact, probably safer than someone working in a number of other industries. Personal opinions will often influence decisions though. I wouldn't expect to get hired for a job with a religious institution, or the state of Utah after working in gaming or porn, but other industries may be more than welcome.

No. Its not a black mark. Its a bad industry (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725329)

I work in the Gaming Industry in Nevada. Its not a black-mark on your resume from any societal/value thing. However, its a boring, crappy, narrow-minded industry. get out now and do something more interesting.

Re:No. Its not a black mark. Its a bad industry (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725503)

I work in the Gaming Industry in Nevada. Its not a black-mark on your resume from any societal/value thing.

In Nevada. If you were to move elsewhere, though, you might be surprised.

(Might be. I personally don't know... I just think that perspectives might be a bit skewed in Nevada due to Vegas).

Re:No. Its not a black mark. Its a bad industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725639)

There's a really really good chance that the OP doesn't work in Vegas. I know plenty of people that worked for IGT Reno, or SDG and did gaming work most of which was never slated for release in Nevada. I would agree that regardless of where your gambling software is going to be used, it's still very narrow minded industry.

Re:No. Its not a black mark. Its a bad industry (4, Insightful)

El Torico (732160) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725615)

However, its a boring, crappy, narrow-minded industry. get out now and do something more interesting

You've just described about 90% of all jobs.

Re:No. Its not a black mark. Its a bad industry (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725763)

I work in the Gaming Industry in Nevada. Its not a black-mark on your resume from any societal/value thing. However, its a boring, crappy, narrow-minded industry. get out now and do something more interesting.

"These are tough times. Hard to find yourself work. A man can get a job, he might not look too close at what that job is."

(Firefly quote, but I remember it applying to me once before)

Re:No. Its not a black mark. Its a bad industry (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725927)

This sounds like most jobs, in most industries. Face it, not that many jobs are really all that interesting. Software development makes a good career for me personally because it's a lot more fun than cleaning toilets or writing TPS reports and pays pretty well. But it's not that often I get to work on something really interesting to me, though I've definitely put a lot of work into maneuvering my career so I get to work with technologies I prefer and find interesting (i.e. Linux), even if the end application isn't all that interesting.

If I want to do something genuinely interesting, I do it on my own time at home, where I have the luxury of doing whatever I fancy (within reason and budget).

gg (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725331)

dsfg

Aye, aye, aye (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725341)

This thread is off to a great start with bad AC jokes...

Isn't that a highly regulated industry? (5, Informative)

khasim (1285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725349)

Why would it be a black mark?

If anything, it shows that you can work in a highly regulated field that moves a LOT of money around at a LOT of locations with HIGH security.

As long as none of your references are named Guido, you should be fine.

Re:Isn't that a highly regulated industry? (3, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725463)

Depends. Working on machine code for the slot & other game systems used in Vegas is a VERY highly regulated industry.

Working on an online gambling site run out of the Cayman Islands is not.

I would higher someone from the first industry to work on something as important as electronic voting systems. I wouldn't hire someone from the second to mow my lawn.

Re:Isn't that a highly regulated industry? (5, Informative)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725515)

The guys I know who have worked on Vegas slot machines are right up there with avionics programmers for writing reliably bulletproof code. And they're higher security. If one of them was ever looking for work I'd hire them in a second. If I could afford them.

Offshore Poker programmer? Meh. Not really a plus or a minus compared to most other web programmers. What else you got?

Re:Isn't that a highly regulated industry? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725635)

The guys I know (not personally acquaintances of acquaintances who worked with them) who have worked on slot machines are in jail. Their clever programing back doors were no match for their inability to launder money at or above a fourth grade level.

Re:Isn't that a highly regulated industry? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725713)

IGT is one of the worlds largest suppliers of slot machines, and trust me, they hire just as many mediocre programmers as any other industry. The thing is that because releases of slot machines and other gaming devices throughout the US is so heavily regulated that they have better quality control and testing procedures than most other industries. The on top of that the gaming commissions from each state that allow gaming follow up with their own testing procedures and protocols. Even with all of that slots with bugs still get out. There were three men recently arrested on the east coast for getting a slot tech to put a machine into a different game mode, and then used a series of rapid button presses/screen changes to cause the slot to fail and award erroneous jackpots. They apparently got about $300k before it was figured out what was going on. Of course the fact that they always hit on the same machine should have been the first clue to casino staff.

As for it being a black mark on your resume... well that's probably one of the stupidest things I've ever heard of unless of course this person is indeed referring to offshore/shady gambling sites. Not that there aren't or can't be legitimate online gaming sources, just that I wouldn't trust most of them.

Re:Isn't that a highly regulated industry? (1)

spartacus_prime (861925) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725507)

That's a lovely code you've got there. It would be a shame if anything...happened to it.

Re:Isn't that a highly regulated industry? (5, Interesting)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725599)

In the gambling industry you're going to be around some people who rub elbows with some real cuthroat businessmen. You'll see things and talk with people who've been in low places.

Those people will be your managers.

Do it. Especially if you're young. You'll be learning so much from such a safe place.

I'd hire you just to hear your stories.

Re:Isn't that a highly regulated industry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725911)

This is a load of manure. In the gambling industry as a software engineer you are going to be working with other engineers in cubes. Your managers will be the people that were either very good at what they did but wanted more money and so gave up the engineering aspect or those promoted to their level of incompetence.

Re:Isn't that a highly regulated industry? (5, Funny)

KevinKnSC (744603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725657)

As long as none of your references are named Guido, you should be fine.

I guess Python isn't used much in the gambling industry.

Re:Isn't that a highly regulated industry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725715)

You've obviously never been to the Monty Python Casino.

Re:Isn't that a highly regulated industry? (5, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725717)

Why would it be a black mark?

It would around here, in a lot of places. One of the developers I used to work with interviewed at a company that had a banner that read "God Supervises This Office" in the lobby.

Outside southern red states including, ironically, one or two with a healthy gaming industry, it would probably be an advantage. It means you can work in high security areas around a lot of money, don't have any felonies in your background and can work in an environment that's not particularly tolerant of mistakes.

Personally, if a right wing, dogmatic, Bible-thumping company owner didn't want to hire me I'd consider that a badge of honor.

Re:Isn't that a highly regulated industry? (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725979)

Yeah I wouldn't send any resumes to the LDS church in Salt Lake City, Utah. You have to be a Mormon to work for them.

But IMO most places only care about relevant experience.

Re:Isn't that a highly regulated industry? (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725845)

If anything, it shows that you can work in a highly regulated field that moves a LOT of money around at a LOT of locations with HIGH security.

I agree 100%.

Much like working in the porn industry (on the tech side, I mean), they [generally] use the latest and greatest of technologies and practices for security. The gambling industry was one of the first to utilize large deployments of quantum random number generators among other, similar technologies.

Personally, I think that when it comes to quality of experience, I think banks, porn and gambling companies are at the bleeding edge of tech and the exposure to their technologies will make you a better developer.

Why? (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725353)

Why would it be? I started my software career in porn, and it worked out well for me. What kind of employer cares what industry you've developed software for in the past?

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725579)

Seriously, I think that porn and gambling are excellent proving grounds for a programmer. In the case of websites, these are extremely high demand websites that process a large number of financial transactions, where uptime is vital to revenues, and where there is a high level of attempted cracking and DoS activity. In the case of embedded systems for casinos it's an extremely precise, highly regulated practice where the product must be hardened against attack and must provide a high level of reliability while processing a large number of transactions.

Programmers move bits around. Whether those bits stand for insurance policies, black jack hands, or naughty bits shouldn't really matter to a hiring manager...what should matter is how well you communicate, how well you estimate, and how effectively you move bits around.

Never heard of it (1)

mrsam (12205) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725357)

Sounds like an old wife's tale. Never heard of anything like this.

I just remembered that over ten years ago I worked for a company that supplied software for state lotteries. That was many jobs ago, and I don't recall that ever becoming any kind of an issue. And, on my resumes I described that job just like all others on my resume. And, as far as my "career" as a software developer, I am making a few orders of magnitude now, then back then. No complaints about my career -- and in the financial industry to boot, where any sniff of something bad in one's background gets you permanently blackballed.

Yes - (0, Flamebait)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725369)

Gambling is about screwing money out of stupid, statistically illiterate and not entirely mentally stable people. A large chunk of those people do not, whatever slashdot groupthink may sometimes seem to say, deserve it (there is no groupthink, just random bunch of nerds). You will be earning money from other people's suffering. Doing it for long or doing it often is not a sign of a person I want on my team.

Re:Yes - (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725431)

So how's this different than working for, say Microsoft?

Re:Yes - (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725757)

So how's this different than working for, say Microsoft?

At least if you work for the gambling industry, your customers have an infinitesimal chance.

Now I'm really confused (1)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725439)

Based on this answer of "yes", I would be under the impression that ANY software development company would be overjoyed to hire you ...given that the qualifications are "screwing money out of stupid, statistically illiterate and not entirely mentally stable people".

Speaking of which ... I have to go and pick up my copy of Windows Vista.

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725487)

You will be earning money from other people's suffering

But...do you know what would happen if all the casinos in America closed their doors? Their clients would open their own gambling clubs.

People want to gamble. Its not like the casinos force the people through the door or anything. The demand for the service (however stupid it may be) is very high.

In fact, if you try to force people to stop gambling, they just break the law and do it illegally. They want to gamble that badly.

So I think you are wrong in blaming the player's desires on those who provide the games. They are just responding to market forces, like everyone else does.

I might see why it would be wrong to "push" gambling on to people. But simply providing a place really isn't evil.

Fantasy boss much? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725489)

Doing it for long or doing it often is not a sign of a person I want on my team.

He wouldn't fit on your team anyway. Unless he's a cuddly toy, a Star Wars figurine or an inflatable woman.

Re:Yes - (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725721)

"Gambling is about screwing money out of stupid, statistically illiterate and not entirely mentally stable people."

So is marketing.

Re:Yes - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725881)

Actually, neither are. But they are morally equivalent, yes.

Not as bad as playboy / other porn fields (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725371)

Not as bad as playboy / other porn fields.

and Gambling is bigger on security tech then most other places even most of the us gov.

Re:Not as bad as playboy / other porn fields (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725941)

After working in that industry I disagree. Even some of the larger sites I've worked for have had some pretty hideous security practices.

A job is a job (5, Insightful)

FoolishBluntman (880780) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725387)

In today's economy, a job is a job
Maybe if this, working for the gambling industry, is your concern, you don't really need a job.

Re:A job is a job (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725529)

Worst case scenario, he says he was unemployed during that period.

But you'll always offend somebody. I was turned down for a job with a company once, and someone I knew got in, despite having lower grades, aptitude test results and everything. Found out later the company was full of pacifists and I'd worked on military projects.

Re:A job is a job (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725605)

So teamwork would have been hard.

Decision good.

Why would it be? (3, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725391)

Admittedly I've never worked with anyone from that industry, but that's more due to location (I don't live near Vegas). Depending on what you're doing, some skills will be useful and some won't. I don't see any reason why not to hire someone because they worked in gambling. For that matter I know a lot of programmers who play poker.

I might stay away from internet gambling sites if you want to work in the US though- the US has arrested executives of them before. But it's not that gambling is a black mark, its that running an online gambling site is illegal, and they might decide to arrest you for helping to do so. The company that hired you is unlikely to care about that though.

Any different than Insurance/Actuarials? (1)

ThreeGigs (239452) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725417)

Seriously, how is programming for gambling all that much different than programming for insurance or actuarial purposes?

Bet a dollar, bet your health, bet your life... it's all in the odds, no?

Big NO (5, Informative)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725427)

My first job after college was in the gaming industry. It has NOT been a black mark on my record, in fact, quite the opposite, it led to my next three jobs and was a factor in the fourth and fifth because another programmer from the same company was also contracting there at the time.

What it did do, though, was set the start of a pattern for me that I've been unable to escape: 1 to 2 year positions at small companies contracting. I suspect that if you're going to work for Bally Midway or some other such big slot machine company, that wouldn't be a problem- but table gaming software even 10 years after the .com I first worked for is still very much in it's infancy, we're not about to replace dealers with robots and just about tech you put into the pit is going to be somewhat hackable or vulnerable to everything from card counting to spilled alcoholic drinks they insist on comping the players with to keep them playing, so it's kind of a tough business to get into. I'm glad I escaped.

Having said that- in this economy a RCG can't pick and choose- you MUST take the first thing that comes along- so go ahead and go for it. Vegas may be the suicide capitol of the US, but it isn't the worst place you could end up living.

One word (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725523)

Vegas may be the suicide capitol of the US, but it isn't the worst place you could end up living.

Showgirls.

Oh, to be a young college grad working in Vegas!

And prostitution is legal!

Re:One word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725553)

Not in Vegas. But in the rural areas of Nevada, yes.

Allow me to educate you about Vegas (5, Interesting)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725669)

Showgirls.

If they're not Real Estate Agents/Mortgage Brokers/Daytime Call Girls, they're vampires. You never EVER see them during the day, they pancake on the make-up with a trowel for good reason, and most of them are either taken by large burly boyfriends, or not interested in anything with a Y chromosome.

Oh, to be a young college grad working in Vegas!

Been there, done that. Fought in the dating wars in Vegas from '01-'06. And the only way you ever got lucky was if you had money (to buy girls with), or were a "Vegas Boy", meaning you had no body fat, perfect abs, perfect tan, perfect teeth, perfect hair, wore polo shirts and khaki shorts, and generally sported more bling than most girls do. Oh, and driving a hot car. Just remember, Vegas is one of the few places left in the US where you don't have to have a high school degree to make 40K a year. Lotsa dim, good-looking young boys and girls come to Vegas to party, work crap jobs and make lots of money, which they then promptly spend on partying, and repeat.

And prostitution is legal!

Now this is a valid point. But prostitution is only legal in certain sections of the county, and not in Clark County. So you'd have to drive an hour northwest to Pahrump, where the brothels are at. This is what the smart guys do. Prostitution is NOT legal in Vegas itself, and Vegas Metro's Vice division has lots of fun arresting stupid young dicks trying to pick some tail up when they could have driven an hour away and had lots of tail for the same amount of cash LEGALLY. And then there's the stories of all the scams and robberies perpetrated... Oh yes, loads of fun. Couldn't leave there fast enough.

Re:Allow me to educate you about Vegas (2, Informative)

El Torico (732160) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725865)

A friend of mine once described Las Vegas as "Grotesquely American".

Re:One word (2, Informative)

Libertarian001 (453712) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725851)

Prostitution is not legal in Las Vegas, which is in Clark county. It is, however, legal eight of the state's more rural counties.

Re:Big NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725841)

Yeah! Damn right you would hire someone working for the sex industry. I tell you something guys: I worked for the sex industry and you will not get rid of the moral questions involved. Every day you are confronted with ugly content and dirty stuff, and best of all you cannot even tell someone WHAT exactly you are working. I would never ever make that move again. Its st least as immoral as gambling. People get addicted to sex as they get to gamling, there is no difference in it.

To all those sex-businesses out there: You all have some nice portal an nice blogfarms and nice cutting edge SEO and nice partnerprograms and all the like. But you know what, I would not recommend any one having at least some braincells thinking straight to your industry.

The gambling or sex industry are low hanging fruits. Sure they want to hire, because they have such a braindead business, that some capable people can make a difference. I would never ever do it again, it will even by chance ruin your sexlife if you had one.

There are many problems out there searching for a nice solution. DO NOT FIX WHAT's NOT BROKEN: NO SEX INDUSTRY, NO GAMBLING!

Re:Big NO (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725955)

Vegas may be the suicide capitol of the US, but it isn't the worst place you could end up living.

Maybe not the worst, but it's pretty damn close...

It sounds like hyperbole or jealousy (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725435)

[quote]a software developer position in a company that supplies software to the gambling and betting industry[/quote] Seems to me that the worst thing that could happen is you work for a company called "We hire unreliable louts" or maybe "Bad gambles, Inc". As you probably can predetermine this, you shouldn't worry about anything that your instincts don't already clue you in on. Your friends are probably just narrow minded or jealous. Just make sure that your official job title doesn't hint at bookmaking, card dealing, or something called 'fluffing' and you will be OK.

Yes and No (3, Insightful)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725437)

Anything can be a black mark if the person hiring dislikes it. There is nothing particularly unique about gambling.

Mark on what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725459)

Perhaps this is a quaint notion, but: I'd be more concerned with the black mark on my soul.

That word should mean something to you, regardless of whether you're a materialist physicalist skeptical rationalist naturalistic realistic reductionist scientific atheist or otherwise.

Maybe. (1, Informative)

chrb (1083577) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725467)

British, working in the gambling industry, and possibly wanting to visit the US in the future? Why don't you ask David Carruthers [guardian.co.uk] , Gary Kaplan [physorg.com] how that worked out for them?

(To be fair, they were the guys at the top and I haven't heard of any lower level staff being arrested, but still, I doubt US immigration would look too kindly on it if you ever were to apply for a green card.)

Troll? (1, Offtopic)

chrb (1083577) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725855)

Please explain, how is it trolling to point out that several British men (there have been others, e.g. Peter Dicks) were are/were involved in the online gambling industry - activities which are completely legal in the UK - have been arrested and prosecuted by US authorities? There is no legal guarantee that being based in the UK would make you immune to prosecution in the US, and now it seems that the British government are happy to extradite citizens to the US for actions that aren't actually a crime in the UK (e.g. Ian Norris [telegraph.co.uk] of Morgan Crucible).

Get some new friends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725469)

I've interviewed many applicants for software engineering positions, and several have had previous positions developing software for gaming machines. I actually see this as a good thing, because those developers are often more suitable as they have better coding habits and are more aware of solid, robust programming practices due to the stringent requirements placed on gaming machines.

Get some new friends. Those friends obviously don't want you to get a job that may elevate you above them.

No personal experience, just an opinion (1)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725483)

If you worked for an "established" company, i.e. a brick&mortar casino or a maker of slot machines, it should not be a problem. I'm sure that the gambling industry faces lots of interesting challenges (i.e. random number generation, security, following regulations...) Now, if you worked in the shadier side of the industry (online "casinos", "yOu already W0N 1ooo dollrs" emails and the like), well, that could be a problem with many potential employers.

It's all in how you present it! (1)

wdhowellsr (530924) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725491)

I've learned over the years that you may have to take jobs that aren't the most socially redeeming as you would hope. The trick is to make sure your resume is written so as to downplay the company versus the actual coding. As an example you could say that you had work on statistical analysis of number sequences.

That being said I was offered a job that was described as high volume video streaming over the web. When I showed up it was a porn video streaming company with multiple cubicles each with it's own actor performing for the camera. Needless to say I decided to turn them down.

I doubt it would be a problem (1)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725495)

I'm a manager in an engineering firm (think the pointy-haired boss, but less clueless) - although we don't do software development, we occasionally have the need for code analysts. I think it's highly unlikely that experience with a gambling firm would be disqualifying. If you know your stuff, you should be good to go. Just list the official company name (which probably doesn't scream "we do gambling") on your resume, and focus on the technology you actually use and are familiar with. You should be fine.

Hell yes it is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725501)

When we hire we look for web application development experience, database experience etc., if you're coming in from a gaming dev. background we might assume you can program, but we definitely assume you will need 9-18 months in the position until your developing at the same speed as the rest of us because you lack familiarity with the common problems and APIs. So when we secure a work contract with a client and need people to start ASAP, we need people who are already skilled up in the same problem domain.

But there's something else too, how interesting is an ex gaming programmer going to find working on boring business apps? Do we really want to take the risk on hiring them when they haven't yet proven they can handle the tedium of business apps?

not for me (5, Informative)

obi1one (524241) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725505)

I worked in the gaming industry, and didnt have any problem getting work afterward. My next employer was pleased that I had worked in a highly regulated industry where if our new code caused downtime, we had to explain to a state gaming board about how it happened.

Depends how you put it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725517)

Let's rephrase this. You are considering working on web-based financial applications in a highly regulated sector. I'll give you a quick guess at the ratio of people with those skills that are needed vs available.

I rather doubt it (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725539)

Whether it is porn or gambling or some other vice, there will be foes of course, but it shouldn't be difficult to deflect any negative questioning with remarks to the effect of the reason you exited the industry being conscience related.

I once worked for a free news publication with a great deal of "adult services" advertising and was asked about that. I simply said that it was a bit of a surprise, a shock and was distasteful at times, but eventually I found other work and exited the business. That seemed to answer the question sufficiently, but who knows for sure... the point is that I was indeed asked about my connection with a morally questionable business.

Re:I rather doubt it (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725673)

Yeah, that 'I found it objectionable' might work if you only worked for a company a year or two. If you try that and you worked for the company for 5 or 7 years, I'm gonna think your less than honest. Although, in the first place, I wouldn't have any problem with someone programming in the gambling industry. If anything, I know that gambling software must be *correct* because it is a highly regulated industry. Anyhow, it's a legal business, so why should it be a black mark?

However, some people will have a problem with it, but, I don't think *enough* people will consider it a black mark against you, to worry about (at least in the U.S., dunno about anywhere else). I figure, if someone has a problem with it, you probably are better off not working for them anyhow. I don't think it'd be a problem at any relatively large (or even medium size company), as those companies are generally so 'corporate' that it really won't matter. The only place it might matter is for a very small, entirely privately owned company where the owner has a rigid moral code.

You could always say that gambling is a core tenet of your religion, and sue them for religious discrimination. *grin*

Re:I rather doubt it (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725879)

I tend to favor matters of doubt in the other direction. I once questioned a person who was invited to return to work building military weapons. They are used for the purposes of killing people and destroying things. They are used to intimidate people both foreign and domestic. The will of a few are pushed onto the world through the use of these things. I asked him how he felt about working for such a thing. "I'm okay with it" was his response. I get only the sickest of feelings about working for that industry. On the other hand, adult industry advertising makes me less sick... sometimes it's rather amusing -- all the different sorts of people you run into and all. The gambling industry? I have my doubts but it is generally just as harmful to the weak as other vices. Make no mistake about it -- addicted people are harmed by all of these industries and it is their mental and emotional weaknesses that are being exploited by these industries.

There are a lot of things that are wrong with the world and humanity in particular. Contributing to the problem by supporting and assisting these industries just makes you one of them... or worse, someone who helps them and being used by them.

I'm atheist. I have no religious objections to all of that. I do have issues with taking advantage of the weaknesses of others for personal gain.

I don't think so (3, Interesting)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725541)

Well, anecdotal evidence but I do live in Vegas and I worked in a non gaming software company here with people who previously worked for gaming companies and moved on to other jobs without any problems. One of them works for a major military contractor right now, after working for IGT (who makes most of Vegas slot machines) for years. So I don't think it's a problem. I guess it depends on the details. If your job offer is from one of the offshore poker sites or other sites illegal in the USA, it might be a different story.

Not for me... (4, Informative)

chriskenrick (89693) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725551)

It's never been an issue for me, and out of my approximately 15 years in IT, I've spent about 10 of them working for gaming or wagering companies. If anything, gaming or wagering companies seem to prefer people with experience in that industry, so in effect you are probably creating more opportunities for yourself down the track rather than less.

Oh, and if you're getting into a highly regulated area such as slots or table games, you'll find that you'll have no choice but to gain skills in careful attention to detail in areas like version control, configuration management, hardware control, and security. That sort of rigour in those important things will serve you well no matter what your next role.

No - you'll be fine. (2, Interesting)

Count Sessine (1135193) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725559)

I'm in the gaming industry, and I've interviewed and worked with plenty of people who started out writing gambling software. I wouldn't have any problem hiring someone out of that field, and neither would my colleagues and coworkers. Now, outside of gaming in general, in the world or grown-up software? Not sure about that...

The Value Proposition (2, Insightful)

Dr_Harm (529148) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725637)

We seem to get a lot of these sorts of questions at /. -- and as someone who interviews and makes hiring decisions, let me tell you about the number one factor for making the call:

The Value Proposition

At the end of the day, what I'm doing is entering into an agreement where I give you money (and things that cost money, ie. benefits), and you give me your labor. Your skills and experience and a few other factors (ie. culture fit) alter your "productivity", or how much "labor" I get for my money. In other words, I am spending my money on you, and I want to make sure I get good "value" for that money.

As such, I really don't particularly care who you worked for in the past, unless it can be used as some predictor of future performance. I do care about the skills and experience you have picked up along the way, your personality, your thought-process, etc.

Occasionally, very occasionally, the "where you used to work" question does become relevant. If your last job was for a blood-relative, that is going to be a yellow-flag that needs further investigation and verification. That's probably the most common scenario where it comes into play.

Good Mark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725641)

I live in michigan and if you have a job to place on a resume its a good sign. At this point in michigan I think they'll accept drug dealer as relevant job experience

Maybe... (1, Interesting)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725647)

Is your next employer(s) a highly religious zealot? If so, yes, be concerned. And not just because they might frown down on your heathenish past!

Otherwise, why would you ever think it to be bad? They have high security and confidentiality concerns, what employer would see your experience and involvement with a high-security job as a bad thing?

Take what you can get (1)

kroby (1391819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725659)

IGT in Reno Nevada was one of the top recruiters for hardware and software engineers at my university. There is nothing wrong with working for them, but most graduating students had a bit of a stigma against it just because it was everybody's fallback plan. That, and working there is like a college reunion when half their employees are from the same school. I think the bottom line is, if it is the best offer you have then you should take it. Fresh graduates do not usually have the luxury to pick and choose their first job; you need experience before you can do that.

Try this ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725691)

Imagine yourself, some day in the future, working at the company of your dreams. You're talking with your new colleagues, and one asks you, "So where did you work?" You tell them: "I worked for ." If I felt that the work was honest and that the company wasn't corrupt, I don't see why I would feel ashamed telling them this. So, in my opinion, you'll probably be fine.

It would be different, I think, if you had worked at a porn company, but that's just my general feeling.

Black Mark (2, Insightful)

hardihoot (1044510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725695)

I say go for it. You could end up in Atlantic City, New Jersey in one of Donald Trump's hotels. You would be New York City and Washington DC about 3 hours away. The cultural experience would be quite remarkable I think. Then again, you might end up on a riverboat on the Mississippi river having to work in a cramped cubicle below the waterline.

great experience (4, Funny)

sohp (22984) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725711)

The way banks and other financial services companies operate these days, working in gambling would be a GREAT introduction to the world of credit default swaps and mortgage-backed securities. Next stop: WALL STREET!

Who cares about a black mark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725739)

You never have to work again... write in a special "hit the jackpot" sequence, visit all your customers' casinos over a weekend, and skip the country. Oh, and your friends are idiots.

I'll go with the other hiring managers here. (1)

wonderboss (952111) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725787)

I don't care much about what business previous employers are in, unless it is very similar to mine. I care if your knowledge and experience are relevant to my business. I would also like the idea of your previous employer being very serious about reliability.

Anything but telemarketing is kind-of ok :-) (3, Insightful)

moz25 (262020) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725803)

I don't see experience with a gambling site to be an instant disqualifier. Maybe if that's the only kind of site you were involved in it would be, but if it's one of various projects, it shouldn't be big deal.

The only time a resume gets thrown into the trashcan right away is if I see "telemarketing" in any fashion that doesn't involve stopping them or hunting them down. It's something you try to hide, not something to put on your resume. I want someone with some brains.

Also, as an aside: try to avoid going into detail about any activities that are trivial compared to the job you're applying for. Some people seem to think that if they have a 10 page resume padded with irrelevant history, they'll look better. Nope, doesn't work.

Don't Worry too much about it (4, Informative)

Tuzanor (125152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725837)

As somebody who DID work as a systems administrator for a publicly traded, Canadian based company that supplies software to the online gambling industry I can say that unless you're an executive it will have no bearing on your future employment any more than working for an 'evil' defence contractor or such will. Sure, you'd have a hard time getting a job at amnesty international after working for BEA, but the experience you'll get will open more doors elsewhere. The company had far more trouble hiring people who were willing to work for the company, in fact. Though in Canada 'online gambling' had a much more negative connotation than it does in England, where betting shops are everywhere.

The experience I got was very worthwhile. I got to travel to interesting locations to setup the servers. Places like Curacao in the Caribbean, Malta, Ireland, the netherlands (we did work for the government casinos there, in fact), etc. I started out in a very jr position, but moved up extremely quickly because I was capable and they had a hard time finding good people who were willing to work for them. This gave me Sr-level quality within 2 years. I've since moved on, but I would do it again in a second. It's not been a black mark on me at all and people are usually curious about it. Because of complex legal and national regulations, the accountants also were in a similar position. They had a lot of trouble getting quality accountants, so they had to get more Jr. ones who moved up fast.

The executives had far more trouble after leaving, though they also ran the company rather poorly. In fact I'd say that the worst part was having to work with/for some people that I would consider less than high caliber. Because of this, I became the go-to guy to fix poor decisions made from incompetence at the CTO and director level.

I never noticed any stigma attached. (2, Interesting)

Psyko (69453) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725871)

Having spent close to 10 years working in Gaming Systems (back end accounting, marketing & reporting systems, real time concurrent data collection for 4-5k+ nodes), I don't think there's really a stigma attached at least here in the us. I've never worked at casino property directly though, staying more with the companies that provide them software/hardware.

I've worked as an FTE and as a contractor for a couple of the larger international players in the space and I think overall it was good experience, casino marketing can be a moral issue for you as you're essentially trying to get people to give you their money praying on their hopes that they can get something for nothing, but that's how all gambling works.

I've since moved out of that industry, from there to direct marketing & data mining/warehousing from there into ecommerce focused, and now onto commercial services (printing, transaction management etc).

I saw a couple people point out travel, depending on what your specific role is and who you're working for you can pretty much end up anywhere. Just in North America, from Indian gaming, to Riverboat gaming & established "legalized gaming zones (ie. Vegas, AC etc) and state run (Winnipeg/Quebec/Sudbury) you could end up all over the continent, then internationally there's large markets in europe, asia, australia, even south africa.

I say go for it. You'll learn some things and collect a check, just like any other job.

What you *do* or where you do it (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725915)

While different companies may look differently on resumes, gambling related jobs aren't really respected any more or less than any other profession. IGT is based in my town, and nobody cares as much about the name of the company as the experience there -- actually the software guys I know at IGT are well enough respected among their peers. Experience in IT is still experience in IT. Embedded programming is the same for a slot machine as it is for a kiosk or microwave oven (though with *much* more process and regulation).

You may run into biased recruiters who object to you working at a gaming company, but there are biases against damn near every industry out there (webmaster selling alcohol, system engineer building cigarette rolling machines, etcetc). All in all, it's better to get *some* experience in a potentially objectionable industry than none at all. If you're working with gaming machines you'll come out with good embedded systems knowledge. For a gaming website (or pretty much any IT related gaming job) you'll get a pretty decent security background (or so I imagine). Most important for any of these however is you'll get experience dealing with a regulated industry which will have its own processes and assorted red tape. This can be great if you move to other regulated industries down the road (banking, defense).

Nobody can say for certain that *any* job won't effect you later on. There are pitfalls in any industry, shady companies and fly by night operations are everywhere. Be smart and do some research into the company that is hiring you regardless of what they build. If it's not something you object to, you are probably OK. Most folks don't consider gambling something especially terrible.

Black mark? Pffft. (3, Funny)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725917)

I haven't worked in the gambling industry myself, but based on what I've read about its extreme computing requirements, I'd be very interested in seeing a resume from someone who had worked in it. The same goes for parts of the online porn industry for much the same reason. Both are very technically challenging environments and are often leaders in innovation. Their achievements aren't lauded as much as they might be if the subject matter wasn't so unseemly in the minds of many, but at the end of the day, data is data.

I'd recommend going for it. Even at its worst, it's nowhere near as disreputable as, let's say, being on the development team for MS Access.

Questionable Opportunities (1)

CherniyVolk (513591) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725943)

You are on the very edge of controversy with such a job. While people in Las Vegas might not think bad, try getting a job in Salt Lake City afterwards.

OK, suppose Playboy wanted to hire you? Would you go? Playboy being somewhat respected, how about Hustler? They all need IT gurus too. The fact is, they get them, and some of them stay in those industries forever. I also know VCs who will fund "pornographic" businesses, but they don't want as little public connection as possible. It's the whole image of an industry, that people will see in you and this is the issue. It's sorta like having a neck tattoo; only being associated with gambling maybe you can word your resume as far from fact as possible. (If I had a job at Playboy, I probably wouldn't say "Playboy" on my generic resume, but "Major Entertainment Company" and outline the technicalities of my job. At an interview, where they can read my personality and body expression, then I would mention Playboy, in hopes it doesn't sour my image. On the other hand, none of my work at Hustler would be on my generic resume, unless I was hoping to move to another adult entertainment company like Vivid or MetArt. You can get locked in quick.

Gambling is nowhere near as bad as adult entertainment. I personally wouldn't worry about it. The head IT guy at the Bellagio in Vegas is probably well respected by most he runs into; and he most certainly has that on his generic resume.

While a job at Playboy would have every male co-worker at your new job thinking you can get them inside the Playboy mansion. Having worked on code for slot machines would have every low-life gambler at your new job begging for information on some mysterious backdoor trick to rob Vegas with. This will probably be your biggest headache having such a job. Best not tell anyone.

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