Don’t Bet on Privacy

WHEELING — Information about scars, tattoos, an ex-spouse’s current address and what their current mother-in-law does for a living — along with much more — is being required of potential casino managers in West Virginia.

Those hoping to be dealers, meanwhile, must also provide past tax returns and disclose bank accounts numbers with the employment applications they return to the State Lottery Commission.

Jobseekers looking to new table gambling positions open at three of the state’s four racetracks indicate they are having some pause when it comes to disclosing such personal information as part of the employment process.

But James Toney, deputy director for Finance and Administration for the State Lottery Commission, said the application is the same as those used in other states.

“It’s been developed by many jurisdictions based on their experiences with the industry,” he said.

“They have felt these are the questions germane to an individual operating within the gaming industries in their states.”

Toney added that since table gambling hiring is a new process in West Virginia, it is possible that those seeking dealer positions are being asked to fill out the more extensive application required of management.

“Obviously, we’re interested in those who control the table gambling operations,” Toney said. “The information we rely on is sometimes quite extensive.”

“That is why we rely on forms.”

Those seeking jobs as chief financial officers, chief executive officers and managers over the cage area must fill out the 67-page “Level 1 Multi-Jurisdictional Application.” It asks the job seeker to provide information regarding the following:

? If they have any scars, tattoos or other distinguishing marks.

? If they have been issued a passport, and to what countries they’ve traveled and when.

? Where he or she has lived for the past 15 years –or since age 18, whichever is less.

? Information pertaining to present spouse, as well as any past marriages. The present address of the former spouse is asked for, as are details pertaining to any court actions in the case.

? Names, residences, dates of birth and most recent occupations of parents, parents-in-law, former parents-in law and legal guardians, whether they are living or deceased.

? Names, dates of birth and home addresses for any siblings and their spouses.

? Any offices or organizations with whom the applicant may have been associated.

? If the applicant, their spouse or any of their children have ever been charged with any crime.

? If the applicant has ever filed for bankruptcy or had property repossessed by a financial company.

? If the applicant — or their spouse or children — has given away or received gifts totalling $10,000 within a one-year period.

Extensive information pertaining to net worth, cash in the bank, securities and notes payable also is requested.

The Level 2 Occupational License Application filled out by potential dealers, meanwhile, is less extensive at 15 pages. Still, it asks the applicant to list all residences within the last 10 years, all employment within the last 10 years and all criminal records including those expunged.

It also asks the potential dealer to submit “true and accurate copies of your federal or West Virginia income tax returns for the last three years.”

At least one applicant expressed some concern with a section of the Level 2 application that absolves the West Virginia Lottery Commission from damages occurring if the information is disclosed and someone’s identity is stolen.

At the same time, the application asks the potential employee to sign their consent to release information, materials and documents enclosed “to all courts, probation departments, selective service boards, employers, educational institutions, banks, financial and other such institutions both foreign and domestic.”

The same release provides consent for the commission to release the information to anyone who identifies themselves as an employee of the West Virginia Lottery Commission.

“We are very sensitive to the protection of personal information,” Toney said. “It is guarded by our licensing division, our finance division and our security divisions.

“It is kept in locked cabinets.

He added that those seeking management positions and who fill out the Level 1 application most often are those more experienced — and they realize the need for such information.

“They have no problem with the application because they’ve been in the industry,” Toney said. “They understand the nature of the industry.

Toney acknowledges that the employment forms are among the most extensive any jobseeker might complete, surpassing those for some high-level government jobs.

“There are many sensitivities in the gaming industry that are not present in other industries,” he said. “Maybe in the governmental world, for those jobs where people handle top secret information. They have to make sure they maintain some high degree of integrity.”