Casino - inside view

Domagoj Grgić / Hotel in 13 stories: A pictorial presentation of the hotel and hotel business.

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Author  Domagoj Grgić

14. May 2022.

We bring you a series of columns Hotel in 13 stories author Domagoj Grgić, a hospitality manager who will provide through 13 short stories from his point of view pictorial representation of the hotel and hotel business.

Domagoj Grgić He built his career in tourism at Monart Spa Destination 5 * (ranked among the top 1 percent of hotels in the world by Tripadvisor for 2020), Le Meridien Lav 5 * (Grand Casino Lav and Club Lav), Hotel Martinis - Marchi 5 *, the multi-award winning Marina Frapa Resort Rogoznica and the Hotel Imperial, and currently as an ambitious and experienced manager he is engaged as a Cluster General Manager in the hotel company Jadran Crikvenica dd

After the first eight stories, we bring you a new story: Casino - inside view

Domagoj Grgić / Hotel in 13 stories: Svisualize the hotel and hotel business.

Destination - the key to success

Hotel selection - arranged marriage

Concierge - an escape to wonderland

Hotel in 13 stories: Reception - hotel altar

Food and drink - atomic physics

Household - countdown

Technical service - professional and without unnecessary parade

Spa - a great escape

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First a little theory

The root of the word "gambling" is the term "cube" (psl. Kost-ka) and its original meaning is bone. In ancient social games, bones were thrown, ankle bones instead of dice.

The term "gambling" appears in the period 2300 BC. Kr. in the area of ​​Ancient China, and it is believed that the Great Wall of China was built in part from these revenues. Apart from the Chinese, written records of "gambling" also exist among the Etruscans and later among the Romans. Throughout history, gambling revenues have continued to be used for the needs of citizens, so the most recognized and famous universities in the world, Harvard and Yale, were founded on the basis of gambling revenues.

The ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle and the German philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Karl Marx discussed the need for man to play and gamble, and as a common denominator we could state that "play is a primordial human need".

And now a little practice

The size and importance of the casino industry is evidenced by the fact that in 2016 the casino industry generated annual revenue of $ 450 trillion, and Forbes estimates that more than 150 million people visit the most famous casino destinations a year.

For the best possible introduction to the casino story, I will state the basic division of places where games of chance can legally take place, namely: casinos, slot machine clubs, poker clubs, bookmakers and catering facilities with betting machines.

Kasino includes live games (a game in which croupiers participate), gaming machines (so-called slot machines and electronic roulette), betting machines with the possibility of live betting and catering offer. Slot machine club includes gaming machines (so-called slot machines and electronic roulettes), betting machines with the possibility of live betting and may include catering offer. Poker clubs are places of a more closed type and function more as closed-type associations, and include live games with croupiers. Bookmakers include games of betting on sporting events (there are also bets on participants in various political and other competitions), games on slot machines (numerically regulated and it is a minimum number), and since they are often associated with a catering facility or located right next to a restaurant facility, we can say that they often have a catering offer. restaurant with cladomats as an additional offer they are just passing places for games of chance.

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Photo: Pavel Danilyuk, Pexels.com

The basic premise is that a casino as part of a hotel would function successfully, it is necessary to be complementary to the character of the hotel. Provided that it is luxurious, the hotel must not have the character of, for example, family tourism, because it creates a collision between the character of the hotel and the casino.

Namely, not only is the family guest usually not a casino guest, he does not want to be near the casino guest, while the casino guest is bothered by the screams of children, and as a rule likes to be surrounded by guests of the same preferences. If there is a conflict of character, it is also extremely difficult to appear in the emitting markets because it is practically necessary to "hide" the existence of a casino in case you promote a hotel or a hotel brand in case you promote a casino. As an extremely rare case, I would list Italian guests who went to Medjugorje on a charter and came to the casino on their return.

The casino is certainly the most comprehensive and central place for gambling and in many ways is specific. As a person who has been a casino manager within a luxury hotel, I will try to pictorially show the casino from the inside and everything it takes for a casino to operate successfully.

Casino manager is the person in charge of the operation of the entire casino and, as a rule, reports to the hotel manager or the president of the company's management board, who is also superior to the hotel and casino manager.

Due to legal regulations (avoiding the entry of minors, "dirty money", "money laundering"), every guest is required to register at reception casinos where he is greeted receptionist which correspond front desk manager. Guest registration remains in the system and in addition to serving as a legal obligation, the casino is a great tool to monitor the spending and behavior of each guest. Namely, in some casinos it is impossible to play the game if you have not submitted a membership card, regardless of whether it was a live game or a game on machines.

Security guards official security houses as external employees are always in front of the reception and are in charge of order inside and directly in front of the casino. They suit the casino manager, but also their manager.

Shuttle service is in charge of bringing and taking away all guests who do not have direct transport to the casino, and the front desk manager is also responsible for the functioning of this service.

Video surveillance technicians Popularly called CCTV services are in charge of monitoring all parts of the casino starting from the reception, live game tables to the box office. The video surveillance rooms are mostly staffed by experienced casino staff to detect any type of fraud.

Cashier is responsible for the functioning of the cash register, while cashiers are persons who accept money as a stake and pay out the money when the guest earns it.

Slot manager is the person responsible for the operation of slot machines and electronic roulettes, and slot operators are persons who are the link between the device and the player.

Live game manager (punto banco, american roulette, blackjack, russian poker, oasis poker, extreme texas poker) is the person in charge of the functioning of all games involving croupiers (dealers). There may also be separate rooms where the cash game takes place and a poker room where poker tournaments are held. Croupiers (dealers) are people who deal cards (card games) and place chips on the numbers (roulette), and change every certain time so as not to lose concentration and to break the winning streak of players. Pit bosses are people who are superior to croupiers, and are in charge of the functioning of a certain number of tables for live play, and depending on the size of the casino, they can be the leaders of the entire shift of live play.

When we talk about catering part, the casino can offer drinks and food and is FnB manager the person we designate as the head of that department. Fnb supervisor as a rule, he is responsible for the operation of one shift. If the casino has a food offer, it is mostly a buffet food offer within the casino or food is delivered from the hotel restaurant.

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Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

Since most of the food is narrower, it is suitable for occasional food consumption, kitchen hierarchy is very simple ("head chef"), "sous chef", "kitchen porter" who is also a "dishwasher") as well as the hierarchy of the bar (bartenders (mixologists) and waiters).

Household service is very simple and consists of cleaners, the technical service consists of one or two home builders while the IT service usually has one IT specialist.

Head of Finance, Legal Services and Human Resources is the person in charge of the functioning of these three departments, and the operational tasks are performed by the clerks. Depending on the connection to the hotel, it is possible that these services are part of a joint hotel service.

Sales and Marketing Manager is in charge of designing the "product" and its promotion and sale, assisted by sales and marketing officers and a graphic designer. This service can also be part of the hotel's sales and marketing service, but due to the specifics of the casino market, they are very often separated.

Promotional activities we can divide it into digital promotion through social networks, website and google advertising and off-line outdoor advertising on spanners, billboards, bigboards, wallscape, as well as advertising in print, radio and TV media.

When we talk about performing and selling in casino markets, we can divide it into local market and foreign market.

If we are talking about the local market (within the Republic of Croatia), I would like to state a few facts.

The first fact is that we are still talking about most players of slot machines and electronic roulette because they are usually smaller stakes, and are attracted by various actions (dice at the entrance to the casino, tournaments on slot machines, collecting prize points, birthday vouchers, vouchers when the guest brings another guest, prize games in which mobile phones, laptops, motorcycles, cars are awarded).

Another fact is the importance of shuttle transport for the successful functioning of the local market to bring guests out of the nightlife and to take them home after time spent in the casino.

The third fact refers to the holding of events within the casino (fashion shows, concerts, boxing events), ie it is important to know that the real guests of the casino are gamblers at heart and only the game in the casino is important to them so that events within the casino we target, while casino earnings do not necessarily increase during events. Sometimes it is reduced because casino guests do not like to be seen, let alone photographed during the event.

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Photo by Kaysha on Unsplash

The fourth fact says that events outside the casino serve to attract guests to the casino, and here we are talking about promotions in nightclubs, popular day cafes, sports matches and similar events.

Fifth fact he says that a domestic casino guest should never be underestimated at the expense of his appearance since he is only interested in playing in a casino and spends all his money on it so that very often he looks very modest, inconspicuous and exhausted. The suit does not adorn the real domestic guest of the casino and it is very often people who do jobs for which they receive a part of the salary or a tip in cash and regularly leave that money in the casino. The social assistance that guests receive often ends here.

Sixth fact is how there are people who practically live in a casino and that from casino guests or from casinos. Namely, these are long-time casino visitors who have the power to convince the casino guest that they bring him happiness, and the guest always gives them a certain amount of winnings due to superstition. Such people can also be hired by the casino to persuade casino guests to spend more, and as a rule they are rewarded with vouchers for the game.

When we talk about the foreign market, I want to mention a few facts.

The first fact is that in summer air transport is very cheap and accommodation very expensive (opportunity cost) while in winter accommodation is very cheap and air transport is very expensive which leads to a very high cost of bringing guests.

Another fact is making political decisions that are extremely harmful, and the worst decision for the casino industry was the introduction of visas for Russian guests, which led to Russian players mostly moving to the Montenegrin market.

The third fact is that casinos in Istria (especially along the border with Italy) have a great comparative advantage over casinos in other parts of Croatia because they are suitable as a weekend destination accessible by car or bus. It was always interesting to me when a bus full of old women from Italy came to play slot machines and electronic roulettes with incredible passion.

The fourth fact are a distinct specificity of each market, so the Italians trust only Italian agents who are called "porters" and it is almost impossible to bring them without the mediation of those already mentioned.

Fifth fact is that there are different packages when bringing foreign guests, so there is a possibility to cover the cost of arrival, accommodation and food, but to agree to the obligation of a minimum daily stake. It is also possible to arrange for the guest to be given a certain daily or the entire agreed amount for the game, and that he must invest as much or twice as much of his money.

Sixth fact is how important it is for the casino staff to speak the language spoken by the guest and for the casino to have a shuttle service to connect the guest to the destination where they live, to the airport or to take them on arranged excursions.

Seventh fact is how groups that focus on playing on slot machines and electronic roulettes are called junket groups.

I would single out poker tournaments that take place in poker rooms within casinos and can be local, international and combined. Depending on the price of entry to the tournament and the size of the prizes, the number and nationality of the participants also depends. Generally, the casino has a percentage of the money raised, while it indirectly benefits from the money that tournament guests spend on playing in the casino during a poker tournament.

As additional interesting facts, I would like to point out that there are no clocks or windows in the casino and that deaf rooms are being installed more and more often in casinos. Namely, when a casino guest wants to deceive someone who calls him on his mobile phone, he enters a deaf room and turns on the background sound of the airport, market or playground.

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Photo by Carl Raw on Unsplash

The superstition of casino guests is a special topic and it can often be seen that guests always ask for the same number of machines, always want the same croupier to hand out tickets, light a cigarette from the 6th time, skip all kinds of lines inside the casino, wear happy clothes and shoes. the loss regularly causes the curse of one of the other guests or employees.

It is important to say that the casino is a very interesting way of having fun while consuming in normal amounts, but when it becomes addictive, it becomes a serious problem for the casino guest and his family. Banning casinos would only strengthen the black gambling market with all the negativity it brings.

As far as finances are concerned, the casino has a relatively high number of employees and large contributions to the state, which we divide into monthly (percentage of money from live game tables, percentage of money put into slot machines, percentage of cash games and percentage of poker tournaments) and annual (500 concession) HRK 000 for online casinos) and only with significant efforts in the local and foreign markets can it function successfully.

In conclusion, the casino as a primary hotel offer (casino hotel) or as an additional hotel offer can be a double-edged sword. If the casino makes a profit, we are talking about an enormous profit, but if the casino brings a minus, we often talk about an enormous minus. Only specialized casino management can successfully navigate the turbulent casino waters.

Author Domagoj Grgić / Cover photo: Anna Shvets, Pexels.com

Author  Domagoj Grgić

14. May 2022.