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The Question of Hosts

4 June 2004

The casinos are a land of many jobs. From the moment you drive up to a property to the moment you leave a property, you will run shoulders, talk to, perhaps argue with, and be serviced by a host of people from valet parkers, to bellhops, to cashiers, security guards, maids, dealers, floorpeople, pit bosses, shift managers and on and on the job descriptions go and where they'll stop…is probably at the word "host."

One of the most important jobs in the casinos, from a player's point of view, is that of host. Here is a job description of host found on the web site www.JobMonkey.com:

This job may technically be a function of the marketing and sales department, but since employees spend a considerable amount of time on the casino floor with VIP customers, we've included it under the casino floor positions. Hosts really are more like "goodwill ambassadors" than anything else. Their primary function is to make high rollers and other special customers feel welcomed into the casino and answer basic questions regarding their stay. Issuing comps in the form of free accommodations, entry to the floorshows, or other various perks and freebies is also generally handled by the casino host, although the casino manager and other higher-level employees also present valued customers with comps. Good computer and communication skills are required, with applicants having an overall understanding of casino operations. Pay usually does not include tips directly from customers, but bonuses and sales commissions might be available, depending on the casino.

Most players reading this will see the reference to "high rollers" and figure that their action would not merit the notice of a host, but that is not the case anymore. In this day of intense competition for player dollars, the old view of a host as strictly someone who caters to the whims of the black- and purple-chip set has gone the way of the dodo. In fact, most table-game players could benefit from making contact and establishing a relationship with a host at the casinos where they play.

Here's a concept that many players, us included, take time to grasp - it never hurts to ask! Go up to the hosts' desk at your favorite casinos and ask to speak to one of the hosts. Have the host look up your play and then ask him/her if it would be possible to call them the next time you wish to stay. The worst the host would ever say is, "You must be joking, peasant!"

In fact, just about all hosts will say that you can call them and they will try to help you out.

And how can they help?

Hosts are great ways to get rooms, especially on the weekends when rooms can be tough to get. A $25 player might find that he can't get a room if he calls the reservation desk, but a call to a host will usually get him not only a room but a casino rate as well. Hosts can get you reservations at gourmet restaurants, even if you have to pay for the meal; because many gourmet rooms will reserve a hefty percentage of their tables for "preferred customers." Using a host can make you a preferred, albeit paying, customer.

When certain shows have not sold out, the general public usually doesn't know this, but your host will. You can expect a call to tell you that you can have a free or heavily discounted ticket to the show. By the curtain time, the theatre might just be filled - with guests of their hosts and you among them!

Now, when you are host hunting, a few simple rules of thumb can go a long way to matching you up with a host who can deliver the goods for you. If you are a $100 RFB player, chances are any casino host can give you just about anything that you want within reason. However, in the comp nether world of red and green-chip players, Arman "Pit Boss" Pirim, a savvy player and a frequent contributor to www.thecrapsclub.com website, has made host hunting his sport of choice. He recommends the following:

  1. Look for a host who is tenured, people that have been in the business the longest amount of time. They will generally have a little bit more leeway in what they can offer you, as opposed to a less seasoned host who has to quote you what the upstairs suits and the computer screen tell him.
  2. I also recommend that you never give up and don't take no as an answer. No need to be obnoxious, but we are players. We are giving them something and trying to get something in return. If one host tells you they can't do it, call back on another shift and speak to a different host. Tell them if you have several friends that are joining you, groups, even of low rollers are valuable to a casino. If they still say no, ask them for recommendations to other hotels. Do they know any other hosts at other hotels? Sometimes they will bring you in just so you won't go somewhere else.
  3. Another very strong convincer is to open a credit line. While you have the host on the line, ask them to send you a credit application. Fill it out right away and call the host back and fax it to them immediately. This will show them that you are a player, and if you are borderline comp, he can justify the comp to the suits. But be careful with credit lines. I have not had to pay on too many markers lately, but if I do lose, I will either pay it off that same weekend or call them on Monday morning and let them know that the check has been mailed even before a statement comes out. There is a company that keeps track of these things. They are the credit reports for the casinos, and you won't want to get on the deadbeat list of that company.

Having a host can save you a host of problems and give you a host of benefits. We recommend that you start host hunting right away!

Recent Articles
Best of Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

Baccarat Battle Book

> More Books By Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete