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  #1  
Old 1st February 2009
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ian ian is offline
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Lightbulb 30 years ago - Casino closures in Persia

It's interesting that two major historical events on the world stage and also in the casino business have their anniversaries in January and February, albeit 20 years apart.

On another thread we have the events in Cuba 50 years ago on 1st January, 1959.

Viva La Revolucion !
http://www.gamingfloor.biz/forum/showthread.php?t=3261

On 11th February, 2009 there's the 30th anniversary of the toppling of the Shah of Persia and the establishment of an Islamic Republic in Iran.

Both resulted in the closure of the countries casinos.

Do we have any forum members who worked in Iran pre-revolution ?
In 1980 I briefly worked at the Palm Beach and I know several of the staff then had recently returned from the country.

Your recollections of events, and how they changed your life would be of interest.


Ian
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  #2  
Old 3rd February 2009
Honest Al Honest Al is offline
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Skyvision,

Do I know you? I was at the Varian from January 78 - August 78. That's where I got my name, 'Honest Al' (staff bookmaker!).
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  #3  
Old 4th February 2009
steveyb steveyb is offline
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days and hair that are long gone

I worked in Ramsar for a couple of years before they went crazy, like the others it was one of the best jobs i have ever had. Perhaps being young free and single with a full head of hair is clouding my memory.
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  #4  
Old 5th February 2009
Charlie Chester Charlie Chester is offline
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wish i had been there

I have traveled a bit in my time and my inspirations and motivations came from hearing recounts of episodes in Gaming such as the one above. I love it.

I did hear of tip dropping being rife in Iran. On the count one night, one table that had no game all night had a stack of chips in the tip box which forced the tipping procedure to change.
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  #5  
Old 6th February 2009
Patsy Patsy is offline
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Nice story

Hi Skyvision,
Really nice and truthful account of how things were back then. However (please don't take offence at this) things were a lot easier then. Money came in so easily you simply could not fail. 1/2 an hour on and 1/2 an hour off but only serve the customers that bought in for the bigger amounts; Why did you not do longer on the tables and open a few more to cater for all the players??? I remember when it was that easy, but that did not teach me to operate profitable and successful casinos, that came much later for me.
I hope you don't take offence at this, I just think it was all so much easier 30 years ago
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  #6  
Old 6th February 2009
Honest Al Honest Al is offline
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Patsy,

I will answer your question intended for Skyvision: The Varian Casino was totally over-staffed for 5 days a week and we only had one day off very 14 days. We also worked one double shift per fortnight.

For 5 days a week we usually did 30 mins on and up to 2 hours off. Come the weekend, or their weekend, (Thursday/Friday) we did the reverse, 2 hours on/30 mins off.
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  #7  
Old 6th February 2009
steveyb steveyb is offline
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Patsy,
Let me get this straight, casino's were successful back in the day because life was easier and there is nothing to learn from this business model, you chose to learn from later business practices and the industry is where today? Perhaps a return to good old fashioned service orientated casinos where the staff are trained to a very proffesional standard might save the doors from being closed on yet another British casino..
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  #8  
Old 6th February 2009
Patsy Patsy is offline
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No No No

Hi SteveyB,
Forgive me, my profile is years out of date, I do not work in the U.K. and have no desire to return there to work. Also I agree that staff were so much more professional and knowledgeable 30 years ago. I also agree that there was nothing wrong with the business model then, because it fitted then. Try it now, you will soon go skint believe me.
I did not think life was easier then, because it was not, it is certainly easier now. However I really believe it was easier to make money in casinos 30 years ago.
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  #9  
Old 8th February 2009
Concerned Concerned is offline
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Easier or not - The business model

I am somewhat in agreement with Patsy, and not that life was easier then than now. What I tend to lean towards is the fact that in the 70's casinos were the buzz for wealthy people. That was their entertainment and they had established themselves as wealthy without a good education and the like.

Unfortunately, their children got an education and shiftedthe family wealth into various types of businesses and did not see gambling as a form of entertainment. They see other forms of entertainment such as horses, boat raising, flying planes, collecting expensive cars etc. Perhaps some of the proof of this is the average age of high roller players, especially from the middle east.

Their is a new high roler that "was" going to Vegas, the south east asian and chinese players, never known to come to the UK, they are now being swollowed up by Macao.

So, is it easier, yes and no, do we have a wider audience to cater to due to rule changes in the UK, yes, but most importantly, must the business model change, yes. Those businesses that have not changed the business model will shut their doors. But finally, where I must agree with all those who have pointed out, the level of customer service and prfessionalism that currently exists has to chnage. In teh "good old days" the customer was king, and they felt like that. Maybe the change there has also contributed to players not getting value for money.

Just an opinion.
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  #10  
Old 9th February 2009
steveyb steveyb is offline
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oh the stories i could tell!!

Those mountains were dangerous, I did the airport run a few times and am sure i got my first grey hair coming over the mountains.. you talk about brining umbrellas in, we had to smuggle casino equipment in. When you came back from holiday you had to report to head office where you would be given something to take back. These items ranged from a kitchen sink to a dirty raincoat that had lots of pockets on the inside that were filled with chips. Talk about clunk, click every trip!!!
you youngsters out there missed the best years of this busines, let me think i am sure it was pre bean counter...
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  #11  
Old 9th February 2009
steveyb steveyb is offline
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The owner, or at least that one that would admit to it was Noel Souter of pair of shoes in london fame. Great guy to work for a real gentleman.
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  #12  
Old 9th February 2009
steveyb steveyb is offline
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After a quick exit from iran, I heard he went back to Oz, then a few years ago there was talk of him opening in one of the eastern block countries not sure which one and if anything came of it.
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  #13  
Old 9th February 2009
steveyb steveyb is offline
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i was just reading your bit about hitting a local with your car, they used to send the oldest member of the family out to sit on the side of the road and wait for a foriegner then they would spring out with amazing dexterity and hey presto you had adopted a whole family.
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  #14  
Old 9th February 2009
mcfly68 mcfly68 is offline
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Iran / Czech Republic

After having a break from the business, in 1994 he opened up a couple of casinos in the Czech Republic close to the German border. A great guy to work for, a true Gentleman.
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  #15  
Old 9th February 2009
Richgon Richgon is offline
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Thumbs up Iran

Hi guys, I was in Iran at the time and worked at Karaj, Charloos and Ramsar. I was dealing private games to Princess Ashraf when the revolution happened. I was given 24 hours to leave and got on a plane to Holland where I worked until 2000. I will never forget the wonderful experience in Iran with great employers (MD and SD, the manager was PT). also in Ramsar under British ownership we had a fabulous time.
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  #16  
Old 9th February 2009
steveyb steveyb is offline
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The Black widow princess

I had forgotten about her, did you have to remind me... i dealt to her a couple of times then asked not to as i might get my head chopped off as a few times I was close to saying something to the cheating b......
She wanted a team of dealers from ramsar to deal to her at her villa outside of ramsar. management asked for volenteers and not a one could be found.
We had 48hrs to leave no probs, i was on the first plane out.
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  #17  
Old 13th February 2009
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Arrow Viva La Revolucion !

For those who have not seen it the thread that SV is referring to is...

Viva La Revolucion !
http://gamingfloor.biz/forum/showthread.php?t=3261

I comment that anyone who's spent any time in the casino industry will almost certainly have had their life indirectly affected by events 50 years ago in Cuba.



Also we have another thread for you history buffs (and I include myself among them )


Digitized LIFE photo archive - casino images
http://gamingfloor.biz/forum/showthread.php?t=3286

Using the keyword searches for Gambling or Casino you get a cornucopia of material from Cuba, George Raft, Marrakech, California Casino boats, London etc...

http://images.google.com/images?q=ga...=source%3Alife
http://images.google.com/images?hl=e...+source%3Alife


The LIFE archive has to be the best quality collection of historical images freely available on the web at the moment.

Ian


PS. In the YouTube clip with Errol Flynn in Havana he mentions that George Raft wasn't at the Capri Casino when he visited. "Doing something in Hollywood with Marilyn Monroe".
Perhaps because he was filming scenes for Some Like it Hot ?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053291/

http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV...450_SY376_.jpg
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  #18  
Old 15th February 2009
steveyb steveyb is offline
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Thanks i think!!

Thanks SV for those clips, makes me feel really old... looking through some of them i came across a clip about NamakAbroud, I remember being bussed down there to help out during the season. A weekend with JC was always something to look forward to!
Kish island was the year before i arrived and i heard many a tale about the beauty of the place.
It was estimated that when the casino closed in Ramsar, there was circa 20 million $ left just in fixtures and fittings, wonder what happened to it all.
Strange that the Pair of shoes comes up again!!
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  #19  
Old 22nd February 2009
steveyb steveyb is offline
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Cool speedy

If varian was anything like ramsar and by the sounds of it, it was then there will be a few people out there willing to spend a pretty penny to buy the master copy of your DVD! When i think of the staff christmas performance of caberet and all those big butch welshmen in black stockings, how much would that be worth today!!
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  #20  
Old 23rd February 2009
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CCC-Ramsar CCC-Ramsar is offline
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Caspian Casino Club

Hi Steveyb,

Were you at the club in '77 and '78? I was the asst. hotel manager with AP and TH.

Last edited by CCC-Ramsar; 23rd February 2009 at 12:25 PM.
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  #21  
Old 23rd February 2009
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ian ian is offline
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Maybe you chaps should have a reunion

Neil Glander's site Casino Reunions has Bahamas, Playboy & South Africa perhaps there are enough for an Iran group ?

http://www.casinoreunions.com

Might be worth contacting him. More the merrier at the get togethers.


Pictures from January at the Price of Tek are now live.
I'm not really mad - just look it

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8464884@N02
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8464884...7613298674560/


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  #22  
Old 24th February 2009
steveyb steveyb is offline
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Sounds good to me, lets see what can be done and how many of us are still alive!!
CCC-Ramsar did you get my mail?
let's show em how to party..
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  #23  
Old 24th February 2009
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CCC-Ramsar CCC-Ramsar is offline
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Steveyb - Thanks I just read it and will reply shortly. The reunion site sounds interesting. Mind you I was more on the "hotel" side of things.

Steve - got a chuckle reading your take on experiences in the Salon Prive :-)
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  #24  
Old 26th February 2009
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CCC-Ramsar CCC-Ramsar is offline
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Nice Videos

Nice stuff SpeedyPete!

Loved seeing Dizin again. Remember coaxing my poor Jyan (Citroen 2CV) up there, which was a heck of an adventure. Those mountain roads were something else in winter! Our hotel manager got buried in an avalanche up there once. Poor guy was in his tiny brand new Renault Le Car :-(
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  #25  
Old 26th February 2009
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Mr. N.S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcfly68 View Post
After having a break from the business, in 1994 he opened up a couple of casinos in the Czech Republic close to the German border. A great guy to work for, a true Gentleman.
I'll second that for sure. Never ever had a boss like him. Did get peeved with me once though for falling asleep in my office during night shift. (We were going through some bad times and were told to be extra vigilant and I dozed off!)
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