Saturday, February 26, 2011

Singapore Casinos Post Solid 1st Year Numbers

AsiaOne News reports that for the first year of operation, the two licensed casinos in Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands have done quite well. Although specific casino revenue isn't directly reported by the Sentosa resort, estimates for combined casino revenue likely exceed $2 billion US dollars. This is a very nice result for just the first year of operation.

From the article, "PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted that Singapore would overtake South Korea and Australia this year to become the second-largest Asia-Pacific casino market behind traditional leader Macau." If accurate, Singapore is becoming a big Asia-Pacific casino player at breakneck speed.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to see how Singapore casino revenue compares to Nevada. I reference an article in the Las Vegas Sun, which states that Nevada gaming revenue to recover to pre-recession levels by 2014. From the numbers in the article, Nevada gaming revenues for 2010 are likely in the $10 billion to $11 billion range. Singapore, with just two properties, is already about one-fifth of Nevada's gaming revenue. Singapore has done quite well.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Should Dealers Keep Their Tips? Yes!

Casino Enterprise Management is a good trade magazine. It is one I read cover to cover each issue. One of the regular contributors is Bill Zender, a gaming consultant and former Nevada Gaming Control agent.

He penned a recent article making the case that casinos should allow dealers to keep their tips. As of now, the vast majority of properties do not do this, but have dealers pool their tips. Of the casinos that do allow dealers to keep their own tips, Native American casinos are the trendsetters.

The article has a list of pros and cons. They are:

  1. Increases levels of customer service, which keeps the customer playing longer and motivates the players to return in the future. Also decreases the effect of player desertion based on gambling loss.
  2. Increases game pace which increases decisions and revenue.
  3. Gives dealer a sense of ownership. Ownership increases morale, attendance, job longevity and positive work conduct.
  4. Helps to retain and attract better employees.
  5. Allows the operator to increase each dealer's time on table which lowers payroll expense.
  1. Increases the possibility for theft and illicit dealer help.
  2. Increases the chance dealers might deviate from procedures with players who tip well.
  3. May result in money layoff between the dealers and the person responsible for doing the scheduling.
  4. If the tips aren't reported by the dealer accurately, this failure to report could result in a number of employees getting into serious trouble with the IRS.
  5. If under the present tip pooling agreement the dealers receive vacation tips, allow adequate time for vacations before rolling into the new tip procedure." [1]
I don't have a beef with any of the pros. With regard to the cons, I think there are ameliorating factors that can lessen the impact or probability. As casino security and accounting measures have improved (CCTV cameras, RFID cheques, etc.), the risk to dealers of being quickly detected if stealing tokens or assisting players is much higher. If a fair and formulaic staffing procedure is implemented, that will help eliminate the ability for dealers to "tip" a staffing supervisor.

The last two con arguments are still valid. However, those cons still apply regardless of tip scheme. All of us need to accurately report income. With regard to vacation tips, implementing a bit of a runway before changing the tip procedure should take care of that issue.

Overall, Mr. Zender's argument is sound. With the increasing popularity of online gambling, brick and mortar casinos need to sell the experience. Great dealers are part of that experience.


[1] Zender, B., (2010, December), Motivating Your Dealers: Letting Them Keep Their Own Tips, Casino Enterprise Management, 103.


Zender, B., (2010, December), Motivating Your Dealers: Letting Them Keep Their Own Tips, Casino Enterprise Management, 100-103.

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hawaii Again Considers Gambling

KITV reports that the Hawaii legislature is considering legal gambling. Specifically, the current proposal is to allow slot machines and video poker machines in hotel and resort properties. It is a good start, but not really the best. Hawaii should allow full casino gambling in their hotel properties. Slot machines and video poker will generate good revenue to be sure, but the addition of table games would be the attractant to pull the full measure of gambling visitors, particularly Asian patrons, who enjoy Baccarat.

I posted about this topic last year, which you can read here. Casino gambling is a great fit for resort properties. The patrons will enjoy outdoor activities during the day, and enjoy gaming during the evening. The property will garner great revenues both day and night.

The time for this has come. Hawaii, you have the chance to become THE gaming/resort destination in the US. If you added top-notch entertainment, you may beat Las Vegas at its own game. I don't think Las Vegas would want you legalizing gambling. If they don't, does that tell you something?

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