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  #1  
Old 21st January 2003
Brian Brian is offline
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Question What makes for a successful slot operation?

The Slot Manager: in many places bringing in more than half the win but still not getting the recognition he deserves.

Do the machines do all the work or should this guy be getting a little more respect?
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  #2  
Old 22nd January 2003
dangandalan dangandalan is offline
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The future is coming...

At the moment, British clubs have very few machines and so no need for a slots manager. But what happens when we suddenly get the go-ahead to install 20, or even 50 machines? Where would we get this slot manager from? Would clubs introduce a seperate slots cash desk, or just pile the work onto the poor cashier already overburdened shoulders?

I currently start work 3 hours before the casino opens in order to do one slot machine count. ONE! This has to be done before the club opens to the public. What time will I be starting if we have to do 8 machines a day??? I certainly wouldn't like to do the 7am to 11 am shift!!

Operators must be rubbing their hands at the prospect of so many machines making so much money, but I hope they take a moment to think of the other implications now, rather than reacting once these problems hit them.

I'll be putting my name forward for the position of slot manager, but I think I need some work experience, about 6 months, say in Vegas, or Australia.....and there's lots of slots in the Caribbean, I hear. I'm sure Head Office will go for that!
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  #3  
Old 22nd January 2003
Brian Brian is offline
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3 hours for one machine count?

Why? Are you counting the coins manually?

In one casino where I worked they did the slot (about 400 machines) count every day in roughly 7 hours.

"Where would we get this slot manager from?"

Slotford University?

"Would clubs introduce a seperate slots cash desk, or just pile the work onto the poor cashier already overburdened shoulders?"

There should be a separate slot bank but building one into existing premises would, of course, take up valuable slot machine space.

Who else is involved in your slot machine count?
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  #4  
Old 23rd January 2003
dangandalan dangandalan is offline
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I once worked on a ship out in Asia with over 100 slots and the hard count took less than 2 hours, but that had a production line system: one person took the readings, three carried the coins to the coin counter, one counted each bucket and called out the figures to the boss with the computer. With our club everything is done with security in mind, so the manager and I issue the keys and sign for them, then we along with 2 dealers open the machine, remove the drop and count it. While 2 stay with this money 2 more dump the hopper, then take the cash to the desk, issue a fill to top up the hopper, enter the cash taken and the meter readings, etc. etc. Yes, it could take 2 of us 5 minutes, but what's the fun in that?

I think the only clubs able to set up a separate slots cage would be those moving to purpose-built premises who could incorporate it as part of the new design. Adding a new cage in a position which could house 3 or 4 machines would not be seen as viable by some companies.

And yes, we do count the coins by hand. We have a machine but it's rubbish.
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  #5  
Old 23rd January 2003
Newview Newview is offline
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Mac,

I can't believe you count slot takings by hand. I just can't !!

I remember when I worked for your company we did, but that was years ago with only two machines (plus a spare).

And Brian, does the system you refer to approximate Mac's ship system ?

As for getting work experience in Australia / Vegas, if anyone's going I'll be shouting the Head Office case....
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  #6  
Old 24th January 2003
SCSLOTS SCSLOTS is offline
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Wink slots management

Hi Brian,

I would say a slots manager getting recognition and respect depends on who he / she is working for and how good a working relation they have. You can have a million good ideas but at the end of the day it's not your money paying for these ideas. A slots budget is a big factor. If you can make a big difference with a limited budget then I would say you're half way to becoming a good slots manager because let's face it how many Casino have the spending power of say the MGM Mirage group.

As for do the machines do all the work by themselves, maybe if you are the only Casino in a country!!! If competition is involved then you better get you thinking cap on because even a simple machine position change can make a world of difference.

As for doing the slots drop still by hand, isn't that a bit far off the subject? and we're not all cashless /smart card casino's yet anyway!
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  #7  
Old 24th January 2003
Brian Brian is offline
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Newview,

That hard count involved around 6 individuals who only counted the drop bucket contents. As the slot operation never closed, the hoppers were only seeded once, at the outset. The basic system was the same as described by dangandalan. Collect, count, bag, deliver to slot bank. Accounts took the meter readings.

SCSLOTS,

What difference can you make, good or bad, in moving a machine? What factors tell you that you should move a machine. Is the new positioning based on trial and error or are you following some kind of formula? How long does it take before you know a machine is not located correctly? Is there an, "if it ain't broke" figure that would preclude any further experimental movements? Do slot players ask for innovations or do they vote with their feet when such are not forthcoming or is the need for constant change an illusion that is mostly supplier-driven.
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  #8  
Old 25th January 2003
SCSLOTS SCSLOTS is offline
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Post machine move

Hi Brian,

two examples:

1. Popular machies you can move almost anywhere on the slots floor and they will be played because punters know what they like and are prepared to walk that extra few yards.

2. New machines need exposure so you need them in a higher than average movement area.

I had some New Bally's in a low movement area and figures were poor, when we swopped them around with some popular slots near the bar, figures improved while customers did't mind walking the extra distance to get to their favourite machines whose figures remained constant. We even had some regular's come up and say it was a good thing as they felt more comfortable in the low movement area.

Basically the move made the casino more money and kept the customers happy, a difference was made....
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  #9  
Old 25th January 2003
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ian ian is offline
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Thumbs up Slot managers make a huge difference

Just coming back from ICE it was noticeable how several persons I know that are active in purchasing & installations were actively walking around playing the machines.

Obviously they are not just taking the manufacturers word that their newest model will be a success.

The less efficient being stuck at the bar, often with the word consultant on their badge.

In an operation with 2,000 slots the difference between a win of $150 a day and $160 is $7.3 million a year.

I am not exactly sure if Slot managers do get the respect they deserve but if I were an owner I would certainly not want to lose a good one to the competition.

Ian
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  #10  
Old 27th January 2003
Brian Brian is offline
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So, if the new machines were placed in the low traffic area and the customers couldn't be bothered to walk over to them, where would they play instead? Would they play? Can play levels alone prove a machine's actual popularity? If slot machine movements are based, at least in part, on the player laziness factor, doesn't that imply that the players, once inside your casino, would play whatever is handiest and would hardly ever consider leaving to visit the competition?

Ian,

Whee don nee no steenkin badges!
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  #11  
Old 27th January 2003
SCSLOTS SCSLOTS is offline
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Cool exposure

Hi Brian,

I don't think it's about the laziness factor, it's more about exposure and volume of foot traffic , e.g. If you don't know it's there then you ain't going to play it, no matter how good a machine it is! A casino needs to show off and promote it's new products and the machines position is one way of doing just that.

As for play proving a machines popularity, if any one machine is getting played more than the one next to it then yes I would say it is definately more popular. However there are other factors involved....
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  #12  
Old 28th January 2003
Brian Brian is offline
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I knew that popularity question could be taken two ways. What I meant was the fact that one machine gets played more than another may have nothing whatsoever to do with the actual machine. It could be all about location and if they were swapped around the other machine might then receive all the play.

My view is that lots of change is never customer driven. People are generally happy with what they have until it is changed for them. As a slots person can you say that you introduce new machines based more on customer complaints or sales pressure?
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  #13  
Old 31st January 2003
reachdon reachdon is offline
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Bottom Line.

The bottom line IS the bottom line. New machines have to be promoted-give the customer a reason to try it out. Your staff must know your machines so they can introduce players to the games and answer any questions that are asked. Management involves not only bottom line but also all employee issues, keeping a happy and well trained staff is critical. Establishing policy and procedures to comply with reglatory agencies as well as internal controls and policies. There are so many other small details to consider for a slot manager that it is nearly immpossible to write it all down. A successful slot manager is one that is very competent at paying attention to detail. In reality that's the real bottom line.
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  #14  
Old 1st February 2003
SCSLOTS SCSLOTS is offline
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Cool numbers tell all?

Hi Brian,

When you place new slots on the floor (when replacing)
the slots report tells you what you need to replace (the ones below floor average) what type of machine you will put on the floor depends on slots figures, local trends and what you can do to out run the competition.

Customer's do have a valued opinion and do give some good ideas as to what they would like to see in your particular casino (mostly because the place next door has it) Complaints can help, it's having the common sense to take note of the valid complaints /ideas that makes the difference because how many times have you heard customers saying "these machines don't pay, get rid of them?"

If we introduce extra machines on the floor it is because floor averages show it to be a viable option.

Slots managers are there to make money for the Casino and as much as possible which is part of (as Reachdon put it) "the bottom line.
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