Ethics in Casino Management

An Australian viewpoint – by Sunlark Associate, Shannon Knapp,
I’m not typically interested in Nine Network sensationalist reporting style, but tonight the Australian edition of 60 Minutes had a story on casino hotel operators, focusing specifically on Crown staff that piqued my interest. Perhaps not “must see tv”, but I watched it with interest nonetheless.
The story included former Crown employees speaking about their ordeal being abandoned during and after the crisis of being arrested while doing what they were employed to do. Fairly damaging chapter for casino operators in general. Anyone who has experienced that environment from the inside will see nothing shocking, but I suspect many in the public might be surprised at how grotty it actually is.
I had a very lucrative (and indeed educational) consulting gig in a hospitality gaming organisation for more than a year. I kept my conscience clean as I was only working in the hotels’ contact centre, accommodation, and dining components of the business. Even the math gave me the creeps in casino hospitality; I mean, theoretical win rate is as sinister as it gets. Toxic in fact. It preys on vulnerabilities of people. I caught myself getting good at the politics of the environment, and admittedly really enjoying the income. So I quit while I was ahead.
Before that consulting experience I had not understood the epic activities undertaken in luring whales to luxury hotels which – oh by the way – happen to have high roller gaming rooms attached to them. Have you ever actually watched someone drop a few million bucks in a few minutes for fun? It happens. And btw Crown hasn’t been doing anything different to other gaming hospitality operators; they’re just the one who got caught and it is more interesting due to the Packer factor with that juicy chapter on his engagement to Mariah.
It has always made me giggle and cringe all at once that the guests in casino hotels who show off the most are those who are “given” buckets of caviar and magnums of Champagne in their “free” penthouse.  “I am such an important big shot here!”.  Uhm, yes, because, you are literally the biggest loser.  Fun fact: Casinos never have mirrors. This is so that punters can retain their mental image of themselves looking like James Bond instead of being forced to see how they truthfully appear – which is downtrodden, addicted, being taken advantage of for profit.
Equally heartbreaking to me is the volume of quality hard working hospitality professionals who continue to do terrific work in hotels and hotel contact centres that are now part of organisations with widely tainted reputations. These people deserve respect for their resilience, dedication to delivering service, and have earned themselves a well paid highly-regarded job. If you know one, hire one.
~ If you must play,
decide upon three things at the start:
the rules of the game,
the stakes,
and the quitting time.
~ The only sure thing about luck is
that it will change.

Chinese Proverbs

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