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What is it like to be a casino manager in Las Vegas?

1. On the job

My role encompasses tables, slots and poker operations at The Venetian and The Palazzo properties, as well as domestic marketing, CRM and loyalty, casino credit and casino administration, so it’s fairly broad in its scope. A large part of what I do is to help shape the business and people strategies for the casino division and then make sure each business unit is aligned in its thinking and able to capitalise on opportunities for us to improve or grow.

2. Management style

I really enjoy the people side of this business, so I always try to spend part of my day walking the floor talking to the front-line team members and managers about what is going on. They will always tell you what is working and, more importantly, what isn’t – it’s a great temperature test. I find that Australian managers are much more direct in what they say and how they interact in meetings, and so it took me a little time to get used to a different way of getting things done.

3. Greatest challenge

It took me time to learn the market here. The scale of the properties in Las Vegas is enormous and so alignment, communication and simply making sure that you’re not working at cross-purposes with someone else in the building is a constant challenge. Virtually everyone who visits a Las Vegas casino is a tourist so it’s a very different commercial mindset to Australian casinos, where customers are primarily local and repeat visitors. As a big part of people’s wages are tip based, we try to make sure that the decisions we make don’t impact the team.

4. First job

I studied economics and politics at university with the vague idea that I wanted to be in banking. I got a casual job at Adelaide Casino as a cellarman just to earn some spending money and kind of fell into the industry from there.

5. Secret weapon

Laughter! You spend so much time with your colleagues that the ability to turn off for a moment, have a genuine laugh or a bit of fun, and then refocus, I think is critical.

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