Quality management in any industry is characterised by their ability to:
Þ recognise and exploit marketplace opportunities,
Þ stay in touch with issues concerning both employees and customers,
Þ respond promptly, and decisively, to problems threatening the future of the company,
Þ implement controls that protect company assets and
Þ maintain the objective “to stay one step ahead of the competition.”
The following provides a brief overview of some of my actions in relation to each of the above criteria in my roles as General Manager of Casino Operations at The Adelaide Casino, as Casino Manager at Conrad Jupiters and as Executive General Manager : Table Games Operations and Development, most recently, with Crown. I am currently CEO of PBL Gaming Operations which is a subsidiary of PBL, Crown’s parent company :
- Authored The Adelaide Casino’s three year strategic plan.
- Developed a detailed re-engineering proposal for The Adelaide Casino to refocus on its core local market and adjust its cost structures accordingly.
- Involved in tendering for the Sydney Casino by the ASER group in conjunction with “Mirage Resorts.” This required detailed planning and financial modelling for the project.
- Implemented various mechanisms to measure performance, diagnose change and implement corrective actions where necessary.
- Assisting in the forward planning stages of “G.C. 10”, a $150 million capital enhancement project for Conrad Jupiters on the Gold Coast.
- Authored several submissions to the Victorian Casino and Gaming Authority regarding Internet Gaming, Tax on Commission Based Play and Tax Rates on Domestic Play.
- Conceptualised, planned and implemented a revised loyalty program for Table Games.
Exploit Marketplace Opportunities :
- Constructed effective “Rebate on Loss” programs to cater to high-end Asian play. The programs developed were the first of their type in Australia and comparable to those of the U.S.
- Developed “Commission Agent” programs to assist in penetrating the emerging premium player market of high net-worth individuals.
- Presented a proposition for The Adelaide Casino to act as a “slot route operator” when gaming machines were first introduced into S.A.
- Introduced new product and altered mix in accordance with shifts in demand. Recent examples include Crown Pontoon and Modified Baccarat both of which are now major games on the casino floor with over 80 tables of these game types.
Stay in Touch :
- Developed effective customer and staff comment cards and reporting systems to ensure dynamic feedback and monitoring of changes to the environment of Online Casino Singapore
- Maintain an ”Open Door Policy” and communicate openly, honestly and effectively to promote understanding and encourage feedback.
- Manage by wandering around. Currently work various nights to maintain contact with staff and customers across both day shift and swing shift. Conduct “Face to Face” sessions in the staff canteen every Friday night to provide staff an opportunity to chat.
- Developed a world class team in The Adelaide Casino who became highly sought after executives during the period of rapid casino expansion. A management team which, under guidance, was recognised by Prof. Jim Kilby of UNLV as possessing:.. “…the skills and knowledge … as good as those of any casino management team I have ever encountered.”
- Developed a shared view of; leading by example, the importance of praise, recognition and reward and the need to nurture and develop staff. This shifted a casino paradigm of “dummy up and deal” which had long existed.
- Employ a credo of : Ethos, Pathos, Logos. Is it right? How does it impact people? Is it logical? This credo serves as a reminder during decision making and ensures sound outcomes.
- Share information and knowledge to create synergies and a “oneness” within the team.
- Enthusiastically communicate the future direction and needs of the business.
- Act quickly and decisively when required or alternately consult and contemplate actions.
- Innovate, innovate, innovate. Concepts such as Table Rewards, Rapid Roulette and Crown On Line are examples of innovation.
- Gain a team commitment to implementing positive change by involving the team in the decision making process.
The attached note from a Phillipino staff member on my departure from Adelaide is a testimonial to my leadership skills and is better than anything I could say on this.
Respond to threats :
- Re-engineered The Adelaide Casino by significantly reducing overhead costs.
- Modified internal pricing policies to stimulate visitor volumes and generate incremental revenues.
- Amended premium player programs in line with market shifts.
- Reduced labour hours, without impinging on service to customers, in the face of wage increases by implementing sound variable volume rostering principles.
- Refurbished and redeveloped The Adelaide Casino prior to the broad introduction of gaming machines into the State.
- Sought reduced government tax rates on high-end and domestic play.
- Implemented detailed succession planning and appropriate training for staff within gaming and surveillance operations.
- Risk assessed work practices, identified training needs and implemented corrective action.
- Authored detailed rules, procedures and internal control manual documents.
- Analysed premium player programs, junket programs and table betting limits to ensure financial viability.
- Set specific and measurable key objectives and measure against the achievement of these. Implemented Team Targets and Objectives within Crown’s surveillance operation while in charge of Gaming Risk Management.
Staying ahead :
- Developed new games such as Dollar Sevens, Quick Draw Poker, Crown Pontoon, Crown Aces and Double Exposure Blackjack.
- Introduced new product such as Royal Ascot, Modified Baccarat and Caribbean Stud.
- Created a climate of service excellence by conducting seminars on “Building Extraordinary Casino Customer Service.”
- Trained and developed highly skilled gaming and surveillance staff.
- Set up a Statistical Intelligence Unit within The Adelaide Casino to report on results, monitor and predict future trends, and be innovative and creative.
- Implemented a Service Empowerment Code to empower staff to resolve disputes immediately and make commercial decisions on the spot. This accountable process was the first of its type in casinos in Australia.
- Introduced a high limit pit concept on the main gaming floor to better service local higher betting limit players. This was based on the concept of “Business Class” as it generally applies to airlines.
- Assisted in the development of a unique vision for the Adelaide Casino. A vision which saw the integration of the casino into the surrounding precinct to create this entire area as the social hub of Adelaide.
The above initiatives all produced varying yet discernable positive results in line with the initial objectives set at the various junctures of implementation.
Effective management must also know :
Þ how the revenue is generated,
Þ where the revenue is generated,
Þ how much revenue is generated per market segment,
Þ the cost effectiveness of the marketing efforts,
Þ the operational cost associated with capturing the revenue and
Þ pinpoint opportunities for increasing revenues or decreasing costs.
The backbone of effective casino management is a compendium of meaningful management reports that allow the quick identification of problem areas. Professor of Gaming at UNLV; Jim Kilby offered the following assessment in a report to the Adelaide Casino’s Board. “… the reports being generated are superb. I can think of no management data collected anywhere that is more comprehensive…”
The Casino business, like any other, is founded on the profitable provision of customer satisfaction. It is also, however, built on the laws of probability and statistics. My ability to work through complex issues and deliver sound outcomes is well documented. Papers that I have written and presented on subjects such as “Evaluating rebate on loss programs” and “The cost of promotional chips and tokens” are utilised by both the Universities of Nevada; Reno and Las Vegas in their Executive Development Programs and Gaming Management courses.
Analysis in the casino industry is a critical success factor whether it relates to, game design or development, junket program analysis, game risk and volatility assessments, cost control, measurement of return on promotional expenditure or the introduction of new wagering opportunities. Many casinos, both major and minor, have foundered as a consequence of a lack of understanding of the mathematics of the initiatives they introduce. What seem like “good gaming ideas” may be exploitable by the knowledgable customer, which can lead to significant and embarrassing losses being incurred. It is critical therefore not only to understand these issues, but also to know the right questions to be asked and whom to ask them of.
Furthermore, when dealing with high net-worth customers it is also important to understand their psyche and how they will react to offers made or rejected in light of the above.
In addition to all of the aforementioned areas, I believe, this key analytical attribute significantly enhances and complements my demonstrated leadership and management skills and abilities. My book “The Theory and Mathematics of Casino Gaming” is highly sought after by gaming management worldwide. My web site http://urbino.net attracts visits and interest from casino professionals world wide and I also act as co-moderator of the University of Nevada Reno’s Executive Development Program along with Professor Bill Eadington.