Podcast 70: Interview with a Casino Host

Podcast 70, 6/10/12 … Jason and Tony interview executive casino host Carl Pankowski of CJPGaming.com and OnTilt Radio about Vegas hospitality, casino hosts, comp strategy and more. Podcast was recorded from Tony’s suite at the Bellagio. Good info!

Click >> HERE << to download the MP3. [41.3 MB, 96 kbps, 58:51]

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3 thoughts on “Podcast 70: Interview with a Casino Host

  1. AccessVegas Reply

    Great interview, and he hit so many things right on the head. Anyone over 30 still wants some personal contact. Someone watching out for them, someone asking how things went.

    Attracting the hipsters is not the way to financial success. Groups of 20-somethings split the cost of a hotel room four ways, and spend their days at the pool or boozing on The Strip (stocking their room with their own booze if they are a drive-in customer). Then they go to the club at night and even though they pay $30 to get in and buy a couple $12 drinks, that is a drop in the bucket compared to the 45 year old guy who brings his wife and comes here with a $300-500 a day gambling budget, takes in a show, dines at a celeb chef restaurant.

    Cosmopolitan is a glaring example of this. Great… so you build the most hip hotel on The Strip. How’s that bottom line working out for you?. Disclaimer: They snubbed us regarding an opening night invite, which was the first time in a LONG time a new property has done such. I had 47k+ newsletter subscribers at the time, and instead they wanted bloggers and tweeters with a reach that doesn’t come near that, but they felt attracted the hip audience. So let’s just say I’m highly amused at how it is working out for them. (They still have had no outreach to us except to send us press releases).

    Speaking of, no property has ever approached us and wanted to advertise their gaming benefits. Whether it be better odds, players club benefits, or to help us wrangle more bodies for their casino hosts. Or wrangle then away from the property they usually play at. It is like gaming has fallen off the radar of the current crop of executives.

    The book Whale Hunt In The Desert by famed casino host Steve Cyr is a must read for those further interested in the life of a casino host. It is slightly dated, but the reality is that gaming and hosting hasn’t changed much.

  2. Coisty Reply

    Excellent podcast guys.  Full of good information.  As usual, good show.

  3. j9gillik Reply

    Thanks guys!

    Ted, you are spot-on about Cosmo. Even the player’s club card pretty much sucks. On my cab ride from Caesar’s to El Cortez, I heard the lament from my driver (who had been driving in the city since the late 1950s) about the transition from gaming to entertainment. I think Cosmo is beautiful — although I suspect the décor is over-the-top enough that in five years people will think it’s dated — but they can’t sell me on why I should bring my dollars there. It’s not enough to want to associate with skinny jeans.

    The continuing decline in Clark County revenues related to gaming operations boggles the mind. That the casino is now bringing in less than half the revenue on the Strip is suggestive. One would think that at least one of the operators would figure out that better pay tables and more attentive drink service on the floor would bring in more serious “mass gamblers” who would add o the margin. If anywhere on the Strip offered close to full pay on VP, Tony and I would be there in a heartbeat.

    The fun part of this podcast was the off-camera insight from Carl about how the system really works in terms of offers, comps, etc. That said, it’s also interesting that I ran through almost $15k in one day at Bally’s and so far have had bupkis in acknowledgements or even teaser offers.

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