I am under the impression that the term, Player Development, originated in sports? Baseball?  I don’t know, I’m not a sports guy. However, the story goes, a scout sees a young kid throwing balls across home plate in a sand lot somewhere in Nebraska. The kid is not the best the scout has seen by any means but he sees the potential and the desire in him to become a great pitcher in the big leagues. So he DEVELOPS the athlete to become something great.

I had a realization the other day, an epiphany, an IPPhany if you will. That the term Player Development has really gotten convoluted over the years in the casino industry. I’m not sure those with that title and those handing them out, have sat back and really thought about what those words truly mean. Player-Development. The Development of Players. Right?

As I travel to so many Casinos across the world and work with the casino marketing staff, training and coaching the hosts on every level, I find myself speaking and preaching “Player Development” much more to the Casino Hosts than to the PD Executives.

The majority of Player Development execs have their 20 or so loyal, known, predictable, verified, true “High Rollers” that make up their 10 to 20 million annual productivity. The PD execs do a hell of a job maintaining and retaining this business by performing stellar relationship skills. But that’s not Player Development. Is it? That’s Executive Casino Host.

So my IPPhany is, that we have the titles crossed!

I teach hosts that they have two silos, if you will, to their job; Making telemarketing calls and being on the floor. I impress upon the Casino Hosts the importance of being highly visible on the casino floor – ever prepared and available for those valued floor opportunities. GO TO THE CALL! (Is my war cry).

This is their opportunity to … develop the player.

Large or small, flea or whale, the gambler inside your casino is valuable, low hanging fruit, with the fever and the propensity to GAMBLE!!

The Casino Hosts are the ones in the trenches; constantly meeting new guests, handing out the business cards, signing up slot players, cutting into the unknown and refused table player, developing that .25 Cent slot player into a $1 or $5 slot player, educating that $25 table player the benefits of being a $100 to $500 bettor, responding to the calls from the front desk, PBX, slot attendants and pit managers. Working the VIP check-in, monitoring the players club, checking hot player lists and floor maps, scrolling through play activity, researching their gaming history, making quick on the spot comp decisions … the Casino Floor belongs to them.

“You got the prospects coming in. You think they came in to get outta the rain? A man don’t walk on the lot lest he wants to buy. They’re sitting out there waiting to give you their money! Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it?” – Blake | Glenngarry Glen Ross

Maybe if I ever get the opportunity again to open a casino or start a casino marketing team from scratch, I will reverse these titles and set a new standard in the industry. Or maybe I’ll just go to Nebraska and watch a baseball game in a sand lot : )

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