ADVICE TO GROW YOUR CASINO BUSINESS
This advice is for the casino
Chief Executive Officer and the Board of Directors. Why? Because
there are many incompetent casino General Managers being employed who are
ignorant and uneducated when it boils down to customer satisfaction.
These ignorant managers will drive a casino to its knees with lost
sales and potential and many casinos have gone out of business by sowing
these seeds of destruction. Don't let it be your business! Get
Most all casinos have a
restaurant so click on our free article, "Free
Advice to Grow Your Restaurant Business." Print it out and use it.
Give it to your accountable restaurant manager and your General
Manager and make sure you see results, not lip service!
"Management is so
busy running a broken machine to make a profit instead of fixing the machine
automatically hum all the way to the bank."
Many of these suggestions are
basic and common sense, but common sense is no longer common in management.
Management has fallen to intolerable levels of gross mismanagement and
incompetence to a hellish degree. They don't even care about their
customers. One by one you will see more casinos go out of business
because they are not accommodating their customer's desires, but somebody
else will win their votes, those who know how to please the casino player.
to lose money in a casino, but they dislike casinos that are hostile to
Out of Balance Casino - You may be
surprised to hear of this term, but many casinos are totally out of balance.
What does this mean? It means the ambient noise level is intolerable
or set to insane thresholds that drives your customers away.
Automated Music Volume - This is an
ambient noise measuring system that is set at a minimal level and as the
noise level rises in the casino the music volume increases to catch up.
The problem is this. The system does not work. It upsets
players, gives them a headache and they leave. Loud music is the best
way to drive customers out of your casino. It can actually make them
ill and force them to their hotel room for the night. Keep in mind,
that people come to play the games, not listen to music. It the
machines and tables that make money, not the disk jockey. You run a
casino, not a concert. Do not lose this prime focus. It is
amazing how many have! Set the music volume level to soft levels, not
Quiet Zones - Here you can
dedicate a portion of your loud casino to a quiet zone. Why should the
entire casino be an intolerable noise-pit? Section off some areas
that do not have loud music or zero music. See what happens. Put
up signs "quiet zone" to promote the environment.
Splash Over - Make sure casino
noise does not invade your restaurants. People do not want to hear
other people winning when they have lost their shirt. It is also a
noise they are trying to escape from for a little peace and quiet to dine in
a relaxed atmosphere.
They need to eat and rest. Keep bombarding them with noise and they
will have to leave the casino to escape. Noise punishes the brain,
even music will do it if the volume is loud and it often always is too loud. No human is exempt.
Employees will also become irritable and not know why. That is why
there are industrial noise standards. The casino that violates these
standards is its own worse enemy... they are punishing their customers for
coming into their establishment and upsetting their employees) with ongoing
noise pollution induced stress. That is insanity to make customers
irritable and force them to leave.
Balance the Sound System - Each
area of your casino, depending on size and construction, retains unique
acoustics. Marble floors and mirrored walls will "echo" sound while
floor and wall carpets will absorb sound. If the speakers are not
properly wired for ohms and voltage one volume for all zones will fail to
work. One section will be normal, the other section will be
nauseatingly loud. It is easy to make these correction with a rheostat
type of device to be wired ahead of each bank of speakers to adjust and
balance the system. An unbalanced system just makes your casino a hell
hole of gross noise. The music can't be heard as it echoes and bounces
and it just makes a bunch of noise that wears down your players... fast!
"There will be
a very high price to pay if you employ incompetent management. "
Throwing Money Away - You can
throw as much money as you want toward marketing, but it makes no sense to
have an environment that is abusive to the players. This only makes
them leave your casino to go play somewhere else. Cheating machines
with inferior payoffs insult and rob your customer of his money. Poor
seating makes your customer have to get up and leave. You must
take full notice of your environment. Throwing money at attracting
more and new customers is tossing money down the rat hole if you can not
"retain" your customer. Do a retention study/survey to find out where
your customers, once they have arrived, migrate. This is money better
spent, especially if you fix the problems when you discover them.
Glitter Attraction - Sure, a
casino with lots of exterior glitter lighting is super advertising and a
powerful attractant, but beware of interior glitter lighting. This
lighting flickers and flashes into your customer's eyes and soon they can't
focus and they feel uncomfortable. Their brain is rejecting this
relentless lighting assault. They get up and leave and you lose.
Rest Area - Many large casinos
have quiet zones with a couch or tables so guests can escape the noise and
rest without having to return to their hotel rooms or worse, go to some
other casino who is more sensitive to their need for some peace and quiet.
Accommodate! Noise will drive people out of your casino long
before they would have left.
Machine Noise Levels - There is
nothing worse to be sitting at a machine and hear nothing. The sound
has been totally cut off. You can't hear the cards flip on video
poker. You can't hear the "ping" hits when playing video keno.
Then all you hear is loud music from the sound system or the machine next to
you blasting loud. All machines must have their volume set to the same
volume. Invest in a decibel meter and have your slot mechanics use
them to match and balance the machines. Everyone should hear their own
machine without undue noise intrusion from neighboring machines.
Machine Lighting - Harsh
spot-lighting is a serous problem. It reflects as a ball of bright
light into the video screens of your machines. This spotlight will
absolutely hurt the eyes of your player and they will quit playing and not
even know why they don't feel like playing anymore! You need to shield
your lighting with a soft plastic lens that removes the solar-bright ball of
fire spot-light. Go ahead and locate such a machine and you will see
how it shines into your eyes and wears your mind dead tired causing you to
quit playing. A great way to make your customers miserable.
advertise millions of dollars to get people to come, then they make them
uncomfortable and miserable. Go figure!"
Seat Height - Want to see a casino
killer? Set your machines so high or your seats so low that your customer,
when sitting down playing, must elevate the arm to reach the controls.
In ten minutes or less you will feel a seriously painful muscle strain in
the arm. Again, your customer is now uncomfortable and will stop
playing and likely leave your casino. Often, the customer does not
even know why, but now you do and so should your General Manager and slot
personnel. The arm must be level to the machine at the least and
preferably above the machine controls. Try it and you will see what I
am talking about.
Seat Stools - Never cut cost by
inserting stools. I have seen small and very respectable and large
casinos in Nevada go out of business after they installed stools for
seating. Why? Discomfort. Most people who gamble are elderly and
have bad backs or weak muscles. A stool aggravates their pain.
Invest in comfortable chairs with good back support with adjustable height
features. A player will play for hours if he/she is comfortable.
The moment you make them uncomfortable by loud pounding music, improper
seating and harsh lighting you will force your customer to go elsewhere.
Comfort is king. Make your customers comfortable and they will play,
and play and play. Many casinos do the opposite due to ignorant
General Managers who is totally out of touch with the customer. What
sort of comfortable chair does the General Manager sit in? Shouldn't the paying
customer have comfort also? They deserve better.
Tips on Seating
- Sit in a chair while playing and cross your leg. You will instantly
feel pain if the seat back is too short as the edge will dig into your
spine. People need to shift position when they sit for long periods.
Never purchase seats until the sales person has supplied samples for
testing purposes by customers, then ask the customers which seats they like
the best with a written survey. Get professional opinions by the end user! Also have
your employees test them and give you feedback. Try to get seats
that adjust in height by the end user and will swivel. This is a wise investment
because an uncomfortable player will quit playing way too soon. The
also needs to sit in the chair and play the machines so he/she can instantly
feel any painful pinching or just plain discomfort. Does the chair
pitch forward making you slowly slide out of your seat? Casinos have a
comfort problem. You are dealing with customers sitting down to play.
Do not skimp on seating. A cheap chair will cost you more money than
you realize... it can drive you right out of business. Try putting
painful chairs at your 21 tables and see what happens. So why do that
to your slot customers? Invest in high quality chairs. Cloth
chairs tend to remain cool and are easier to repair than leather or
synthetic coverings. Set up an array of different chairs on a bank of
machines and let the customers decide which they like best. They will
move them around just to sit in the most comfortable chair. If you see
customers playing musical chairs it is a strong sign you have painful seats
that need to be replaced.
Management Involvement - When was
the last time you saw the General Manager found sitting down and playing the
machines the customers must play? Never? That needs to change.
He will find broken and wobbly chairs. Chairs that have short back
supports with an iron metal brace that painfully digs into the spine.
Chairs that cut off the circulation below the knees. He will find the
music and the sound volume of other machines so loud he can't hear the
machine he is playing and this equals no fun! You need to get those
General Manager's out of their plush office suites and get them into the "real world"
where the customer resides. He may even have to eat the slop the cooks
are producing in your own casino restaurant. Upper level managers need
to get involved at the grass roots level so they can feel the pain and anger
customers feel. Only then will changes be made to enhance the gaming
experience and enhance customer service and satisfaction. Most players
will not bother to complain as they know managers will not listen to them.
Employment Hostility - Anger boils
downward from upper managers to the floor employee. We can sense it in
the air. Customers know when employees are being mistreated and are
hated. The employee is never happy and it shows. You can't blame
them, they are human with feelings too, but this employee abuse has a long
standing in casinos. The cycle needs to be broken as it upsets the
customer when they are in turn mistreated by disgruntled employees.
Morale is a management responsibility, not a privilege to abuse to feed their
Foster the Locals - Do whatever
you can do to get the locals back into your casino. You need to learn
why they don't like your casino. That's right, we want to know the
problems so they can be fixed. Use the questionnaire below and make
sure the actual results are read by the Board of Directors. Do
not let General Manager's hoodwink you with statistic results. Read the
respondent questionnaires yourself then make the changes!
are in tune with customer desires will promote absolute customer
satisfaction... and that is the key to success!"
- There are many players who don't give a hoot about comps. What they
really want is an enjoyable experience. Give us some peace and quiet
so we can "concentrate on the game" we are playing. Give us a
comfortable chair to sit in. Just make us comfortable and we will be
happy. Comps are useless if the player won't play due to being
uncomfortable. All it does is cost the casino money while the player
always seeks out his favorite casino to play where he is made comfortable.
- Make sure the gaming tables and machines are free of sticky soda syrup,
fingerprint grease, ashes, etc. Players hate touching filthy things.
Loud is Not In
- Many casinos are loud because "incompetent" managers think louder is
better, but they are sadly mistaken. Any medical doctor can tell you
what will happen when a person is bombarded with loud music or other loud
noises like a excessively loud slot machine. When the brain tires the
player quits and no comp and nothing you offer them will stop them from
leaving. You have insulted and assaulted them with your loud noise and
they will go play elsewhere. If sales are going down, cut the music
volume and balance the casino's noise levels. The moment you do you
will see player retention rates increase. Noise will drive them right
out of your casino, but you General Manager likely does not understand these proven and
factual things. Educate them. If they don't comply, replace
them! Prolonged noise pollution will kill any business. It is
only a matter of time. Casinos where not always loud. They
became loud due to ignorant managers being hired and now they copy each
other to see who can have the most awfully loud casino on the strip.
It is out of control.
Safety - Now loud music is played in the parking lots and this raises a
red flag to your customers, especially the women. They know if they
are attacked their screams for help will not be heard.
Criminals know this too, so it attracts them to your casino! Nobody
can hear the glass break when they break into your customer's vehicles. This loud
music pollution is out of control and it needs to be controlled.
Locals avoid this abuse and they don't feel safe at these noisy casinos, so
you are driving customers away with your music. Loud music in a
parking lot is an atmosphere of risk and jeopardy, but your General Manager is
incompetently ignorant of this danger to your customers and to your bottom
- Turn off the "attract mode" feature on all of your slot and video
machines. There is nothing worse than to be comfortable playing and
suddenly hear a machine begin making noise to break your concentration and
ruin your fun. It is a nasty irritant that will drive customers away.
They simply get upset, cash out and they leave. It is another good way
to say goodbye to a valued customer.
Mechanic - This bad guy or incompetent slot supervisor can create
powerful damage to the bottom line by driving away your local business
customers "the locals." How? Easy. Just take the fun out
of playing the game. The local people demand that they can hear the
machine they play, so the mechanic turns off the machine's volume or turns
it up so loud it annoys the player. The local player also wants to be
able to set the speed of play of the machine, especially with video keno and
poker machines. If the mechanic sets the speed lightening-fast it will
give players a headache from eye-stress and they will quit playing and they
will go elsewhere to play, permanently! The mechanic can also put
nearby machines into "loud attract mode" and set the activation frequency
once each five minutes and that will drive your customers away.
Attract mode should never be used as it interferes with a players
concentration. Casinos have gone into serious financial trouble just
from the "get even tactics" of disgruntled slot mechanics with a chip on
their shoulder. Your slot supervisor should be checking these
machines, or else!
run casino cheats its playing customers. The General Manager and Board
Members don't even realize it."
- Make sure no bright lights near or above the machines (marquee) are flashing into
the screens of your video machines and slots. Flickering lights look
nice, but they can make it very hard on the players eyes as "eye-strain"
creates a silent tension headache. The player does not realize what is
happening, but they just feel ill and need to stop playing and leave. Make sure the
machine's play button lights are not bright. This is a trend
that seriously and adversely affects the player's eye focus. It really
is a game killer and your mechanics need to place some opaque plastic or a
thin layer of paint on the switch undersides, so they will softly glow
without casting a bright "flashlight effect" into your customer's eyes (or
change the bulbs to a lower wattage if not LED's). Go ahead and play one of these
machines and see how long you will last. Not long at all.
Now ask yourself why your General Manager does not know or even care about these things?
It is time to hire professionals with hands-on "real world" experience.
- Don't cheat your customers. Once they catch on (and they will) you
will lose thousands of dollars from tens of thousands of people as they will
not ever return your casino again. You can even go out of business (it
happens). Example: On video poker a full house should pay 40 to 45
coins, not 30. A three of kind pays 3 coins, not one or two. Get
rid of all games that employ these cheating payoffs. Once a customer
is cheated he will despise your casino and tell everyone to badmouth and to
stay away. Do a serious survey to locate these machines. Also,
get rid of those machines that pay nothing of value when a player gets a
four of a kind, like paying 125 or 250 coins for the high aces or the 2,3
and 4's. These machines tells everyone not to play at your casino.
You may profit from the tourist fools who are not savvy, but in the end it
will catch up to you in a very bad way.
Flush - These machines are attractive to locals and the serious player,
but do not compensate by reducing the sub-pays for a chance to win a rare
jackpot. Players know better and will avoid the machine and your
casino for cheating them. Also, have your slot mechanics (or other
employees who play, test and inspect these machines on a routine basis)
examine payoff equity. This is called a denominational drifting
payoff. Example: a nickel denomination with ten coins in (fifty
cent play) should pay equal to a dime denomination selection with five coins
in (fifty cent play). The game is the same and the cost is the same,
but more and more casinos are cheating their customer and instead of paying
2,000 coins on four aces will pay only 1,400 coins on the nickel machine.
Not just the aces. The lower payouts are across the board down to the
full house on video poker. Players do see these things and they start
to hate your casino for attempting to cheat them and other innocent people.
It is cheating!
- Get rid of those old machines nobody likes to play anymore. Do not
waste your floor space. Divest in those dollar slots few people want
to play. It is better to have a bank of nickel and dime slots and
video machines packed with players than to have an entire bank of dollar
slots nobody is playing. Do the math. Find out what your
customers want and then give it to them. The locals like double-double
bonus poker machines in nickel and dime denominations, so oblige them.
They will pack the area solid with players.
prideful managers will not stoop to consider customer satisfaction pays his
Management - If management is rotating in and out too much the casino is
in trouble and they think it is their management when all along a loss of
business is a clear sign the players don't like what you have to offer.
It is common to see these seeds of destruction printed here in this list and
yet management is blinded to them.
Denomination - Multi-denomination machines should be truly
multi-denominational. It is a waste of floor space to have machines that
will not take nickel, dime, quarter and dollar denominational selection
choices. Not everyone wants to play quarters and dollars so why limit
your machines? Many machines have all the denominations.
Menus - There are machines that the main menu will not operate unless
money is inserted. This is like trying to sell a best selling book
wrapped in sealed plastic so nobody can browse the pages. It is not
good at all. Locate and fix these machines.
Selection - Be careful that your machines are well stacked with internal
games. It is frustrating for a customer to play video poker then only
to discover 4-card keno is not on the machine. Pack the machine with
games. Stop crippling sales by limited player choices. The
customer needs variety and will search the main menu screen for a choice.
Make sure there are choices available. Often the machine is crippled
in some manner. Another frustration is to change monetary
denominations only to find the same game has been deleted. The
player wanted to bet more and now can't do so. That is not conductive
to accommodating the player's desires. All the machines on a
bank should have the same menu game selections.
Station - Consider installing a few self-serve soda and coffee stations.
This way your paying customer does not need to wait forever for a drink on a
hot day in your crowded casino. This takes the pressure off the
waitresses so they can better serve the table players with less stress and
more tender-loving care. Everybody is happy.
- Go out of your way to make customers feel welcome. If you must, get
someone to do the welcome to our casino greeting. Casinos have slipped
here and by bringing back customer satisfaction everyone is happy.
Tell your employees to smile more. Too many appear glum, grim and
appear to be rude or will not give a player the time of day. Remember,
Walmart does this for good reason, because other stores don't and Walmart
gains market share by customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Beware of the
OEM - You would think the OEM who makes the gaming machines would make
the best product for the player, but they are often grossly wrong.
They have created cheating games with grossly low paying payoffs. They
have made machines with fixed seating that you can't even cross your leg or
move about in the chair to gain comfort. They have seats that are
terribly painful to sit in that protrude into the spine. There even
have machines with sharp razor-like metal edges that cut/scrape fingers when
playing (something your slot dept needs to address, but they too are
oblivious to the problems players face). They ship machines with the
volume leveling chip disabled so now you are stuck with a machine you can't
lower the volume. Beware of the OEM. Make sure your buyer and
slot dept inspects the machines by playing them to insure comfort, sound
level, smooth operation.
Fix the Beat-up
Machines - Don't leave a video machine with a worn out fuzzy and hard to
see blurry image on the television tube. Nobody is going to play it
and it says, "We don't care to fix our machines for your enjoyment."
Fix or get rid of them and install a new machine. The machines are the
money makers. Casinos will spend more money on visual things that look
pretty or by investing in useless loud sound systems instead of focusing on
gaming... the core of the business. Gaming generates income.
needs to be educated to all phases of customer satisfaction and harmful
Control - Activate the speed control on your video machines. Many
players hate to play at fast speed. It is also bad for business as
fast play only works against the casino and the player as mental fatigue
sets in rather quickly and the player tires and quits playing. Both
the player and the casino lose. Find those machines with disabled
speed controls and fix them. Don't let lazy and uncaring slot
mechanics cripple and destroy your machines unintentionally (or by
retaliation for mistreatment, etc.).
- Be ever more vigilant not to give too much alcohol to players. It is
a good way to kill your own customers. Your walking floor managers
need to be more aware of the drink status of players with input from the
waitresses. Make sure nobody leaves drunk or impaired to drive their
vehicle out of your parking lot. Be a good neighbor to your community
by being more responsible. Consider drink limits per player per hour.
Hard liquor should even be removed from the casino. It is a trend that
needs to begin. It is bad enough with beer and wine, but to load up
hard liquor on a player is unethical and most responsible players will
- Don't turn your casino into a loud industrial assembly plant. Keep
the public address intercom volume down so it is not "shouting" so loud to
grossly disturb your players. Some casinos do this and it really upsets
customers. It is unnecessary and it needs to be addressed.
Satisfaction - Consider employing, on a rotating basis, employees who
for a month will roam the casino and randomly walk and play machines, to
blend in with the players with open ears. Also, to talk and coax the
person to speak about the casino experience they are having. Here
you will discover what players like or hate about your casino. Your
employees are now becoming more aware of what the player is experiencing and
they are also learning how to identify environmental intrusions that upset
customers. They will discover that some machine volumes need to be
raised and other lowered. The air conditioning vent may need to be
adjusted as it is freezing/overheating customers so an entire bank of
machines remain idle. All sorts of things can be found if you are
willing to go look for them. If you have a bank of machines not being
played, then sit down and play and see what is wrong. It just may be
the payoffs are so bad the customer just will not play the machine or it may
be uncomfortable seating. This will pay big for the casino who
takes environmental satisfaction seriously.
Big Board Keno - Many players that
used to play no longer bother. Keno halls used to be packed, but now
most are just empty seat theaters. People in the restaurant look at
your keno deals and just stuff the junk back into the literature display.
They have lost interest because there is no sense of reward, but a great
sense of a low payout. The odds are with the house, yet the keno scams
continue. Give people the chance to win and they will play. Too
many casinos are copying other casinos programs and the game has died on the
vine. Bring back the old games with the low prices. Get rid of
those $5 per game tickets. Let people play for $1 (and ten cent way
tickets) all the way up to the 20 spot game. The way it is now the
keno games are a rip off with no fun for the player. Who wants to play
when to win break even you must hit four out of six numbers? Or worse,
six out of six to even win anything, which happens to be the jackpot on an
all-or-nothing rip off game at the players expense. These creative
games have killed keno and it seems to be getting worse, and worse and
worse. Remember, low price + high payoffs = More Volume Play instead
of No Play.
no excuse. Train your managers to please the repeat-paying customer or
you will comp the connivers."
There is much more to be revealed,
but what is on this page will certainly get you on the right tract to
increase customer satisfaction, retention and profit. I write this not
to promote gambling, but to provide an industry that is out of control and
is cheating and upsetting their customers and employees due to ignorant
managers in the casino industry. It is they who are ruining the gaming
experience and cheating the players and ultimately cheating the principal
investors. I have seen many large casinos go out of business due
to managerial incompetence. The employees lose their jobs and the city
suffers tax loss as a result. This is my effort, free of charge, to
create a more equitable system that will be fair and enjoyable to all.
What did you feel when you first walked into our casino?
Was the music volume too loud? _______________________________.
Was the table where you played comfortable to your liking?
How was the comfort of your seat? _______________________________.
Was the table or machine you played clean? _________________________.
Was the experience of our casino fun for you?
Were you greeted in a friendly manner and did you feel welcome?
Please name the employee you believe deserves recognition for a job well
Was the restrooms clean and well supplied? __________________________.
Did you enjoy the variety of our gaming tables and machines? _____________________________.
did you stop playing or leave our casino?
Will you come back to our casino again in the future?
Will you recommend others to play here?
Did you see or notice anything that made you uncomfortable in our casino?
Did you find any of our gaming machines uncomfortable to play?
Did our restaurant meet your needs? ________________________________.
Are you satisfied with our room service?
Did you feel you had to stop playing just to get some rest for your second
Was our air conditioning or heating system working adequately for your
If noise was a problem for you, what would that have been to cause a problem
for you? _____________________________.
did you select our casino to play?
Were you at any time bothered by cigarette smoke?
Were you at any time bothered by cigar or pipe smoke?
Tell us why you do not play keno?
_____________________________. (use other side for your explanation).
Tell us why you do not play craps?
_____________________________. (use other side for your explanation).
Tell us why you do not play Black Jack (21)?
_____________________________. (use other side for your explanation).
Tell us why you do not play keno?
_____________________________. (use other side for your explanation).
What is your favorite video poker machine?
Tell us in your own words what we need to do to make your playing experience
Optional: Write your Name,
Address, Phone, E-mail if you want us to contact you.
Note: If you want to entice
customers to submit your survey you could offer a free buffet or hotel room
night if they mail in the
questionnaire. Of course you can add items to your questionnaire, but
will it enhance customer comfort and satisfaction? Keep it simple,
get a handle on this survey first before you attempt deeper surveys in the
future. You will be surprised to see the results of this survey.
Your customers know your business more than you do.
PUBLISHING RIGHTS - the
article is copyrighted December 1, 2004, but you are granted the right to
publish the article herein titled "Free Advice to Grow Your Casino Business" in perpetuity. You must include the entire article as is,
with no changes of wording. That includes the commentary section by
James Russell. We do request you give full credits to James Russell
Publishing and to post an active Website link to James Russell Publishing
Website. This publishing right may also be arbitrarily rejected and
withdrawn if the article is misused or employed into an obscene or an
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