Maximizing your slots performance…

Maximizing your slots performance…

Management strategies that will take yous slots performance from good to great…


(Article published on Casino Life Magazine Dec .2019)

Once upon a not so long-ago slot machines were considered an after though for the ‘real’ gamblers who would never dare risk their reputation by even being seen paused at a slot machine while in polite conversation. Accidentally touching one of these metal boxes with reels could spell total disaster to a gambler’s credibility, respectability, honor and integrity. Slot machines were considered tourist traps for the meandering and non-gambling tourist who sometimes would stumble inside the gambling establishment by accident or sometimes just to escape the hot desert sun. At the end of the day, everybody was happy, and the casino was making enough money to buy, replace and repair these sometimes very heavy amenities called slot machines in order to keep the ‘gamblers’ happy and playing on the tables. The slots staff were often frowned upon like some alien life form and were quite often spotted walking the floor with dirt under their fingernails (much to the horror of the table games staff). The slots manager most likely would have worked himself up the ladder from a slot tech or slot attendant with no real academic background but armed with a wealth of experience learned from colleagues, mentors and many nights walking the floor. However, times have changed.

Slot machines have evolved, life changing jackpot are now a common occurrence, bonus rounds and free games are rampant, competition is stronger, and the invention of social media has driven customer service expectations to levels that no slot manager had ever previously thought possible. Loyalty is anemic, and customers will leave for the competition for the promise of more free play or the wrong drink being delivered by a waitress on a busy Friday night. Corporations demand more revenues; employees demand flexible schedules and there is now more information available to be managed than ever before. So, what does it take to manage the slots operation of today and to keep afloat in an ocean of change? It’s a big question with many opinions and schools of thought available, but let me take a gamble and make a few simple suggestions that will hopefully help you along the rocky road from good to great slots management:

LEADERSHIP – A slots manager may be able to build a casino by themselves, but the word manage implies delegating part or all the responsibilities to other people. Leaders need to manage their team effectively, trust them to do their job and hold them accountable for results. Employees respond well to exceptional leaders and become more productive when they are shown respect, recognized for a job well done and given both the tools and the opportunities to grow. A great leader inspires others toward greatness so if you want a happy customer make sure your employees are even happier.

KNOWLEDGE OF GAMING OPERATIONS – Knowledge of the latest and greatest slot machine, systems and analytical technology is an essential part of successful slots management as is being able to work within a regulatory framework. Every Casino is different so it’s essential that management adapt to their circumstances and provide their unique customer base with the appropriate marketing strategy, gaming products, layout and payback percentages that they demand. Competition is tough in all jurisdictions so having in in depth knowledge of operations is an essential part of success

COMMUNICATIONS – Being able to communicate at all levels is essential and that’s not just about sending reports or emailing out a list of conversions for approval. Effective communications require being able to spread the message of the brand to your staff and customers in order to increase product buy-in and make everyone involved feel like part of something greater than just another, sometimes clueless, player’s club. It’s about listening, understanding and having the ability to respond to both customer and operational needs in an effective and efficient way.

ORGANISATION – No casino or casino project can be successful without a plan. Organization enables the plan to be executed effectively on time, within budget, scope and specified quality. In project management roles and responsibilities are made clear before a project is fully commissioned and authority is delegated through the management by exception principle within specific pre-determined tolerances. When lines of authority are clear, and roles and responsibilities are well defined then the odds of the forklift truck you need to offload your new slots arriving on time and with a driver will significantly increase.

CUSTOMER SERVICE EXPECTATIONS – In the age of social media and increased competition it’s of the upmost importance that staff are properly trained and consistent in their delivery of personalized customer service experiences. Part of achieving consistency requires that service levels are monitored and tested via different channels such as mystery shoppers, trip advisor, market matrix, surveys and the use of inhouse evaluation techniques. Customers arrive with a perceived value of their experience and if you don’t meet and exceed it then your once ‘good’ slots operation could spiral into a vicious cycle of mistrust, accusations and your good staff abandoning ship.

The perfect slots operation doesn’t exist due to the nature of the beast and maintaining consistency is an ongoing challenge that great managers see an opportunity to make continuous improvement part of the organizational structure where idea factories are incentivized, learning and development are encouraged and where the good to great leaders of tomorrow are forged.

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