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The Question of Hosts4 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:
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!
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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