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Volume 13 Issue 109


Editorial: Editor in Chief: Glyn Thomas Mob: +38 976 007 007 Features Editor:

Damien Connelly Associate Editor Asia: Bill Healey

Associate Editor North America David Mckee Special Assignment Correspondent: Jack Bulavsky International Casino & Gaming Correspondent: JJ Woods Technology Correspondent: Rebecca Green

Production: Designer: Stewart Hyde Subscriptions: Helen Holmes

Web & IT: Sudip Banjeree

Publisher: Peter White

Tel: +44 (0) 1892 740869

Mob: +44 (0) 7973 273714

Editor’s page Welcome to Casino Life...

...First off I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Frank Catania from Law Offices Catania & Ehrlich to take time out from a busy schedule and write our Guest Comment this issue. Frank zeroes in on the fate of Atlantic City and in particular the hope that Sports Betting will be allowed in New Jersey – a saving grace for the region that has suffered so much in recent years. More about NJ later too. Jake Waller is first out of the blocks this month as he is interviewed in his role as Managing Director Club Liberté, Seychelles, the newly opened casino and “best in the Indian Ocean” for which I still await an invite Jake? Stacy Papadopoulos, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Industry Services, American Gaming Association chatted to Peter White recently about all manner of gaming issues affecting the industry, from Sports Betting to VR and of course the merits of the forthcoming G2E Las Vegas show. Talking of shows, I caught up with Josephine Lee, Chief Operating Officer of Reed Exhibitions Greater China and we talked about the growth of G2E Asia – not only in size but also in its importance globally. The show is maturing more each year and is now a fixed date on our calendar. Next – the dichotomy of the statement that “If you have to ask yourself how to become a Poker Pro you probably won’t be one” addressed ably by Carl “the Dean” Sampson. If you have a romantic notion of becoming a hot ticket on the poker tourneys then think again as Carl demolishes the common-held views on making the big time. Robert Ambrose is longing for the days of simpler gaming – but also for Sports Betting to become legal in New Jersey. A long time battler for Atlantic City, Robert also extolls the virtues of simpler casino games that engage the players and lead to longer, better engagement... Clive Howard is known to many in the casino industry for his past career but now he’s fast becoming known as golf tournament organizer. We joined him at the Casino Masters held at Maldon in Surrey for a great day’s golf and social gathering. Mark Wayman concludes this issue with sound words of advice about why you probably never got hired despite being absolutely perfect for the job. As someone who has recommended many people for jobs and then not received any acknowledgement once they have climbed into their new position, I sometimes wish it had happened to them ... but Karma always wins. Glyn Thomas Editor in Chief


Contents 3

Editors page

5 Guest Comment Frank Catania Law Offices Catania & Ehrlich, P.C. Catania Gaming Consultants 6 ‘New World Gaming’ Interview with Jake Waller Managing Director Club Liberté, Seychelles By: Bill Healey 15 Suppliers and Buyers Stacy Papadopoulos, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Industry Services, American Gaming Association chats to Peter White 19 Asia’s Must Attend Gaming Industry Show Glyn Thomas catches up with Josephine Lee, Chief Operating Officer of Reed Exhibitions Greater China 23 Can I Make it as a Professional Poker Player? By 12-Year Poker Pro Carl “The Dean” Sampson 26 Longing for the days of Simple Gaming? By: Robert Ambrose 28 Casinos Masters 2017 Casino Life chats to Clive Howard about this new addition to the Casino Golfing Event Calendar 33 The job was perfect; By Mark Wayman, Godfather of Las Vegas Editorial Policy: The views and opinions expressed in Casino Life remain principally the views of contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or publishers. The publishers wish to avoid inaccuracies and, whilst every precaution has been taken to ensure that information contained in this publication is accurate, no liability is accepted by the editor or publishers for errors or omissions, however caused. Unless otherwise stated, articles appearing in this publication remain the copyright of the publishers and may not be reproduced in any form without the publisher’s written consent. Printed in the UK by MPC Ltd.


Guest Comment: Frank Catania


n the immortal words of Yogi Berra: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Despite this, some things may safely be said about the future of the gaming market in Atlantic City. One thing we know for certain is that Atlantic City will never return to its heyday, when gaming revenues there rivaled those of the Las Vegas strip. Competition from neighboring states is probably the greatest single factor that caused the downturn, resulting in the closing of several casinos. Back when Atlantic City had an East-Coast monopoly on casino gambling, players from North Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania willingly made the hours-long trek to Atlantic City. Fleets of buses were parked in the center of the Atlantic City Expressway, where they waited to pick up passengers frequenting the various casinos. But when New York opened Yonkers and Aqueduct, and Pennsylvania opened its casinos much closer than Atlantic City, many players no longer needed to make the long trip to Atlantic City to enjoy legal gaming. Internet gambling has helped the remaining Atlantic City casinos, even though under federal law such gambling is only allowed within New Jersey, with the servers being located in Atlantic City. After a slow start, Internet gaming has caught on and profits are being made. The latest innovation involves online players playing with live dealers located in Atlantic City. The casinos have also been offering online players stays at the casinos, thereby bringing in more people who otherwise would not have considered an Atlantic City casino visit. Another positive for Atlantic City was the defeat last year of a statewide referendum that would have allowed casinos in North Jersey near or at the Meadowlands. This followed the defeat of another referendum in the 1970s, which would have authorized casinos in every part of New Jersey. Although the most recent referendum was defeated by a large margin, rumors persist that yet another try for North Jersey casinos will be made some time in the future.

Frank Catania Law Offices Catania & Ehrlich, P.C. Catania Gaming Consultants

The best chance for an Atlantic City resurgence may come this fall when the United States Supreme Court will take up the issue of whether to allow sports betting in New Jersey. If the Court rules in New Jersey’s favor, it would not only increase patronage at Atlantic City casinos but would also expand New Jersey’s Internet gaming by allowing sports betting online. Will this happen? Yogi’s words are again the best answer. Suffice it to say that many legal experts believe that the Supreme Court’s very acceptance of the sports betting case provides some hope for a ruling in favor of New Jersey. Frank Catania Law Offices Catania & Ehrlich, P.C. Catania Gaming Consultants



Club Liberté, Seychelles The sundrenched island paradise of the Seychelles is a common draw to tourists from Europe, the Middle East and Russia. Roughly 1500 km (930 miles) off the East African coast, the archipelago offers Club Liberté, one of the best casinos in the Indian Ocean. We’re fortunate to catch up with Jake Waller, Managing Director at Club Liberté.


As well as the main gaming room, we offer a self-contained VIP Room with a private entrance for those players who prefer discretion, as well as a smaller privé gaming room.


Could you give us a bit of a background on your role with Club Liberté, and what the responsibilities entail? New World Gaming was first approached by the representatives of the owners several years ago, and then contracted to carry out a feasibility study for the casino. This led to a full business plan in preparation to set up the casino and then to operate it. My role as MD is to define corporate strategy, and give guidance and direction to operational management as well as on-going liaison with the owners’ management company. We are very fortunate with this company as they have been extremely supportive since the beginning and helped in every way to make a success of the casino. You’ve had a lengthy career in the casino industry. Could you give us a bit of a summary of your background? My career initially started with six very formative years with Sun International in Southern Africa, before moving over to Greece’s first privately owned casino, followed by being part of the opening team at the Rodos Casino in Rhodes. After that I spent five years with Xanadu Casinos in Kyrgyzstan and Moldova. A quick year’s contract in Peru and Mexico then led me back to the UK where I was the project manager for the Isle of Capri project in Coventry. After that I started New World Gaming and from there it’s been pretty much non-stop travel and contracts, culminating in the Club Liberté project. Based in the Seychelles, Club Liberté guests are likely mostly international tourists. Where does the casino draw most of its guests from? We draw the majority of our Guests from Europe, the Middle East and Russia, and this is the main focus of our marketing push. The Seychelles is strategically positioned for us, as it is only a 4 hour direct flight from Dubai and Abu Dhabi; the Seychelles being a vacation destination of choice for the Gulf States. We will shortly attack the South African market as Johannesburg is only a 4 hour or so direct flight as well. You could say that South Africans are spoilt for choice with casinos, but we have something that no casino in South Africa can offer – a tropical paradise.


Less significant financially, but equally important to us, are our local players of whom we have a growing and regular attendance. A handicap is the casino not being near the major population centres in the North, but our marketing team are on to this and bringing the locals in. Of course, we have the best casino in the Seychelles, so once the locals visit, they come back. How is Club Liberté placed within the Seychelles casino market? Again, the Club Liberté is the best casino in the Seychelles; the owners ensuring this with their investment in the building which is in a Colonial mansion house style and with only the best being good enough where the equipment is concerned. Of


course, just having expensive equipment is no good if the customer service is not up to standard, and we take every effort to ensure that we have the best product to offer the customers. As well as the main gaming room, we offer a self-contained VIP Room with a private entrance for those players who prefer discretion, as well as a smaller privé gaming room. We offer a stylish bar and a small restaurant that opens till very late and is designed to quell the players’ late hunger pangs, as we are not in the business of competing with the resort hotels and other restaurants. We prefer our players to dine first and then come and visit us. That said, we do offer fresh sushi at our Sushi Bar, probably the best sushi in the Seychelles, prepared to order by our specialist chef. We even have a



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The numbers of Slot players are gradually increasing – especially our local players - we have some good players who visit us 3 to 4 times a week.

smoking patio where guests who feel the need can partake of a pleasant Shish pipe. This is very popular with our Middle Eastern guests. Are locals encouraged to visit the casino? The casino was designed and built by the owners as an attraction for the Seychelles and the Seychellois people, in which tourists are a bonus. So yes, local players – and non-players - are made most welcome. The casino has a Seychellois music offering and frequently there are special evening


events with Creole music and cuisine. What type of table games are provided at Club Liberté? What are the most common? The casino has English Roulette, Blackjack, Poker (Russian, Three Card and Caribbean Stud) and Punto Banco. Roulette is by far the most popular game and, funnily enough, Blackjack is the second game, going against the current trend of more and more Poker. How significant are slot machines in the overall

Jake Waller, Managing Director at Club Liberté

gaming mix within the casino? Table games bring in around 75% of our gaming revenue with the rest coming from Slots. We have a number of the latest machine offers from the big suppliers, but slots are a difficult market in the Seychelles, especially with us being away from the population centres. The numbers of Slot players are gradually increasing – especially our local players we have some good players who visit us 3 to 4 times a week. Club Liberté also provides Private Gaming. How

many guests does this accommodate, and what benefits are provided to the guests? The private VIP Room has one roulette table and two card tables. We can, however, increase or decrease the number of tables as to the demand and can quite comfortably accommodate 20 or so players if necessary. What type of casino management software is in use to manage the facilities? What key issues does it manage?


We are using the Ace CMS supplied by Osiros; the main focus is the management of the slot machines, with a strong concentration on the jackpots and marketing, additionally the cash desk. The use of an approved management system is required by law. How does social media play into Club Liberté’s marketing mix? We rely heavily on social media as a means to market the casino both locally and internationally. This is our marketing media of choice due to our market being fragmented over so many geographical regions. Of course, social media has now taken over from many traditional means of marketing. Locally, of course, social media marketing is excellent for us as it gives us instant


access to our local players and enables them to be in touch with us and see what is happening at the casino. How do the casino’s entertainment offerings impact visits to the casino? We have regular events throughout the year and strive to hold at least one important event each month. We have live music as well on the weekends and find it’s a great way to make the casino more relaxed and inviting for our customers, especially the overseas customers who get a chance to have some real Seychelles entertainment.

Casino Life would like to thank Jake Waller for his contribution and introduction to Club Liberté, a gaming gem in the Seychelles.

Stacy Papadopoulos, General Counsel and Senior VP of Industry Services, American Gaming Association

Suppliers and Buyers Stacy Papadopoulos, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Industry Services, American Gaming Association chats to Peter White There seem to be hundreds of conferences and events for the gaming industry world wide. What aspects of the G2E Las Vegas Show do you think single it out from the rest? The three things that make Global Gaming Expo stand out from the rest are: • Location: Las Vegas is the epicentre of the casino gaming industry and as one of the most mature casino markets in the world; it’s where new products are launched, innovations debut and emerging business practices are shared. • Offerings: G2E is an action-packed show that provides a robust business marketplace for you to

source new products and technologies and expand your industry knowledge through insights into current and emerging trends like skill-based games, eSports and sports betting. • Networking: With nearly 30,000 attendees to the expo, G2E offers outstanding opportunities to reconnect with peers and build new relationships. What do you believe are the core values of the American Gaming Association? The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $240 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.7 million jobs in 40 states. AGA members include commercial and tribal


Geoff Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer American Gaming Association

casino operators, suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to be the single most effective champion of the industry, relentlessly protecting against harmful and often misinformed public policies, and paving a path for growth, innovation and reinvestment. Research show that legalizing sports betting in the U.S. could support more than 150,000 jobs, which should command mainstream support from local and National Government. However, there are a lot of vested interests. Interest and demand for a legal, regulated sports betting market has never been higher. Recent research by Oxford Economics shows that sports betting could create up to 150,000 jobs, create an estimated $26 billion in economic output and generate up to $5.3 billion in tax revenue. Recently, the AGA launched the American Sports Betting Coalition (ASBC) to overturn the failing federal ban on sports betting. The ASBC will lead an all-inclusive advocacy campaign focused on ending the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which bans sports betting outside Nevada. All of this comes as the Supreme Court is getting ready to hear New Jersey’s appeal to the sports betting ban. What are the key benefits of the partnership the AGA have with Reed Exhibitions?

AGA’s deep understanding of the gaming industry and Reed Exhibitions’ expertise in event organization combine to create the world’s premier international gaming trade show. Do you think the presence of non-gaming facilities will continue to grow in Casinos? As consumer demands have shifted over time, the casino gaming industry has continued to take a fresh look at customers’ wants and needs. Casino resorts today offer a wide array of entertainment options like fine dining, premier shopping, world-class fitness and health centers, and live entertainment all differentiated from other forms of entertainment and hospitality through our unique gaming products. Skill based Gaming, Virtual Reality and Social Gaming are amongst the current hot areas of game development. How is the AGA catering for these new markets? Many of AGA’s members are at the forefront of skill-based gaming, virtual reality, social gaming and other never-before-seen or imagined technological advancements to gaming. This year’s G2E will highlight new and exciting industry trends. Over recent years the innovation in Game content and display technology has advanced. How do you see the AGA addressing these areas of development?


One of the ways that the AGA and our trade show partner Reed Expo have worked together to advance and best address gaming industry innovation at G2E is through the creation of the Innovation Lab. The AGA’s Innovation Lab at G2E debuted last year as a first-ever hub on the expo floor that encourages networking among attendees and informs innovation relevant to the gaming industry. UNLV’s International Gaming Institute Center for Gaming Innovation and Hospitality Lab as well as The Innovation Group’s “Emerging Leaders” program and G2E’s top suppliers, including Scientific Games, will highlight innovative programs, products and opportunities for the industry’s continued advancement. Centrally located on the show floor, the Innovation Lab delivers bite-size education content with 15-minute presentations, demonstrations and interactive discussions. What are the hottest topics that will be headlining the conference programme at this year’s G2E Show? While the casino gaming industry has a number of incredibly bright and talented experts, this year’s show will include an increase in non-endemic speakers who will surely expand the visitor’s professional and business acumen and challenge the status quo. What will be the key topics under discussion at this year’s G2E Las Vegas? The show will feature the next generation of casino innovations with debuts of new games and technology from innovators around the globe, as well as the latest advancements in security, and the future of sports


betting, eSports and skill-based slot machines. Following expansion of membership in 2015 that added nine members, including Seminole Hard Rock Gaming, can visitors expect a further increase in the profile of Tribal Gaming at G2E 2017? The casino gaming industry is strongest when we work together. We are pleased that many Tribal casino gaming properties have chosen to support the AGA and remain dedicated allies with NIGA and other trade groups such as AGEM, IAGA and more, as we work collectively to advance broad industry interests and help our industry grow. The Global Gaming Expo website is promoting Price packages. Can you provide readers details of the offer? Price packages include special conference discounts for AGA members. What are the main aims of, and ambitions for, the AGA at this year’s Global Gaming Expo? G2E is the world’s premier international gaming trade show and conference. The show addresses critical topics with engaging programs by the nation’s top experts to prepare attendees for the rapidly growing casino-gaming landscape. Executives, buyers, developers, suppliers and more from around the globe come to G2E to see the latest innovations in casino products and services before they hit the gaming floor.

Casino Life would like to thank Stacy Papadopoulos for her time and contribution.

Josephine Lee, Chief Operating Officer of Reed Exhibitions Greater China

Asia’s Must Attend Gaming Industry Show Glyn Thomas catches up with Josephine Lee, Chief Operating Officer of Reed Exhibitions Greater China


GO 2 ENGAGE Oct. 3–5, 2017 / Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas





From an attending delegate standpoint, do you have any statistics on G2E Asia visitors that you can share? The total number of visitors increased 28% from last year, with close to 14,000 visitors from 84 countries and regions visiting G2E Asia 2017. The attendees included over 1,650 VIPs and top-quality buyers, producing a remarkable growth of 75% from 2016. Now that the event has come to an end, what do you think of G2E Asia 2017 attendance? Despite the gaming industry in Macau’s tumultuous global and economic factors, we continue to see the evolution of gaming in Asia, with Macau as the ultimate regional hub. G2E Asia set new records this year in the number of visitors attending, exhibition space and diversity of representation at the event. The show spanned 28,000sqm of exhibition space, a 27% increase over last year, with first-time exhibitors making up nearly a third of the 180 exhibitors. These factors all benefit G2E Asia and the Asian gaming industry as a whole. Having attended several of the conferences, I could see how popular they were with the delegates. How important is the conference program to Reed Exhibitions and the G2E Asia event as a whole? Conference is a very important part of G2E Asia; we strive to provide insights covering the latest market trends, regulations, opportunities, and challenges to stay informed about the industry and ahead of the competition.

This year, the conference program addressed: • Status and projections for the Asian market • Integrated Resort products and technology solutions • iGaming potential • Best practices to mitigate the risk of fraud and other security threats in the gaming sphere Recent Years have seen the show getting bigger and better, not only by the increase of the audience but also by the square meters of space you are using in the venue. Why do you believe G2E Asia’s growth has been sustained? G2E Asia is the marketplace for the Asia gaming industry which provides the tools they need to make smart business decisions. We design the exhibition and conference content by listening to the industry, understanding their business needs, and providing value to the industry professionals who attend the event. It has become the must-attend event in Asia where they can hear the latest market trends and industry insights, make quality business connections and source for innovative products and services for the lucrative Asian market. How is G2E Asia developing with regards to accommodating the expansion in the region that involves the likes of Japan and South Korea along with more established countries like Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, as well as with Russia and its Gaming Zone, Vladivostok? Across the continent, G2E Asia is renowned as a key gaming and entertainment business hub. Every


Mr. Francis Lui Deputy Chairman Galaxy Entertainment Group

year, over 95% of Asian casino operators attend the event. It’s truly a regional gaming event with over 80% of the attendance coming from outside Macau. We will continue to attract visitors and buyers from new developing countries and regions to ensure G2E Asia is a “can’t-miss” event in the region. Have you found any emerging trends in the region from those attending this year’s G2E Asia? What is your view on gaming industry and innovation? Product suppliers and solutions providers are launching more and more new innovations to help operators keep up with the industry evolution and stay ahead of the competition. In order for buyers to easily navigate and source for the latest innovations, Product Hot Hits was introduced at G2E Asia 2017. Hot Hit boards were installed in conspicuous spaces around the halls to display the top ten products that were scanned the most by visitors through the show’s mobile app. The exciting visuals and product highlights generated additional buzz across the show floor. What were some of the highlights of this year’s G2E Asia show? This edition of G2E Asia was a milestone in terms of its effectiveness in bringing people together to exchange views and explore co-operative


opportunities that drive development in Asian gaming. The Parts & Components Pavilion highlighted the most advanced parts and components in the industry – with participation of more than 100 R&D engineers, product designers, buyers, and technical designers. Companies at the Integrated Resorts Technology and Business Zone showcased hospitality integrated solutions, security systems, big data analytics, as well as a broad spectrum of solutions that can improve patrons’ experience and boost operational efficiency. The Gaming Regulatory Briefing and Networking Luncheon, together with Future Technology Leaders’ Get-Together, brought over 80 gaming regulators and technology executives from integrated resorts, gaming suppliers and government to exchange views, share updates, and explore opportunities to cooperate in driving the development of Asian gaming. G2E Asia is an event-packed three days – what’s the best way to keep informed of what’s going on? Subscribe to G2E Asia’s newsletter www.g2easia. com/en/Subscribe-Unsubscribe/Subscribe/ or logon to

Can I Make it as a Professional Poker Player?


By 12-Year Poker Pro Carl “The Dean” Sampson

have played poker professionally off and on (currently on) since 2002. So you could be mistaken for thinking that I of all people would be quick to say that the answer to the question in the title would be a resounding yes! Many people swamp into poker in the belief that they can turn pro and many do. The facts are damning! Only around 10% of all players make money from poker for a combination of reasons. In fact the real lifetime statistic could be chronically shorter than that. If you think you can buck these sorts of stats easily then you are seriously deluded….sorry if that’s harsh! All of the players that I know personally who play poker full time did so under certain conditions. My path was easy simply because at the time I turned pro (2002), I had no job and no dependants. I also had some savings behind me too and very low personal expenses. I was in the perfect place to turn pro. If you have a good job, a family, mortgage and all the rest of it and you wanted to pack in your

career to turn “poker pro” then I would advise you to see a doctor immediately.

So what are the Obstacles?

This article isn’t big enough to do credit to the subject but if you are searching for a condensed “fly-by” of what to do and what not to do in order to give yourself a chance then I will try my very best to get you to first base very quickly (forget romantic notions of hitting the home run). There are FIVE big things to avoid if you want to turn pro quickly. • Don’t play poker tournaments • Don’t play too high too soon • Don’t begin by being unprepared • Don’t play poker under-funded • Don’t pack in your day job I could think of a lot more but these five are vital. I see budding “poker pros” all the time who can’t wait to “turn pro” and then jump straight into the


brutally luck orientated world of tournaments. For every “tournament pro” there are a hundred cash game pros. The adage is “tournaments for show, cash games for dough”. Remember that and remember it well. If you don’t have a record of beating a particular type of poker game then you need to be very careful. The term “horses for courses” is relevant here. Beating your friends in your home game will not prepare you for an online game at the $100 levels. Beating the players at your local casino will not cut it at the online $200 levels and so on. All poker games are different.

Where do you want to play poker?

Where you play poker has a big impact on how well you do. On a level by level basis, live games are much weaker than online games. I play a lot of live poker and making £100 to £200 per session is relatively easy (assuming you have the necessary skill and experience). Just because it is easy for me doesn’t mean that it will be easy for everybody else. So I would advise cash games above tournaments and live games above online. Sure you can play more tables online and play more hands per hour but the edges are much thinner and are often non-existent. If you have the option to play live cash games (many people don’t due to geographical location) then I advise you to pursue this option. I am fortunate being in Sheffield that I have ample cash game action in my own city as well as in nearby cities like Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and Bradford. The following point is important and any long term poker professional will tell you the same thing because we have all seen countless wannabe pros…..if you have to ask the question of how to become a poker pro then you are almost certainly not ready to be one. The world is full of poker players that jumped in too soon too hard and too fast only to discover how brutal the poker world is. Don’t be lured by the hype because the poker economy feeds off its


players and it needs fresh blood to keep it alive. I would advise anyone to spend an intensive six month period of education to better their game and their mindset. A strong mindset is fundamental to success because of the losses that you will incur (which hurt many times more when your living depends on it). If you take no more advice from this article than what I am about to say next then the read will have been worth it…..DON’T PACK UP YOUR JOB! I apologise for that being IN BOLD but I really had to overstate the point. The wisest and smartest thing to do is to hedge your bets by playing part-time for at least six months. Then and only then should you even consider turning professional!

The Big Caveat

Even if (and it’s a big if), you had a successful trial period of six months, there are still countless problems ahead. Firstly, professional full time poker carries with it no paid leave, no pension, no sick pay, no insurance, no guaranteed earnings and no long term job security. Are you really sure that you want to buy into this life? If your goal is to turn pro because you really like the thought of being one then you are already starting out on the wrong foot. You clearly have an ego and a romantic notion in your head of imagining boasting to people about what it is that you do. Sorry to disillusion you but even if you succeed in becoming a pro, the majority of people will still see you as a “gambler” who will finally get his comeuppance. They will view your “career” as not being a career at all and do you know what, apart from a very small percentage of poker players, they are right! If you really want to quantum leap your chances of making it, get yourself tagged up with an industry pro with many years’ experience of knowing exactly what is entailed and then you have a great chance of pulling it off and changing your life. Carl “The Dean” Sampson can also be seen on his poker blog at

Robert Ambrose

Longing for the days of Simple Gaming? A DFS “like” game was recently introduced by Resorts Casino in NJ. A simpler game of Player Pick Against the House called FastPick. Keeping it simple does attract it’s on niche market. It brings back the memories of my simplistic Pin-Ball-Wizard days! By Bob Ambrose



recently came into possession of two great Bally and Williams pin ball games from the late 60s. Ah the simplicity of it all. The games are just pure raw science. You hit a ball and it travels downward striking a series of obstacles sending off a loud “ping” or a “bong” at each point of contact. The key to the game for those of you that never played is to keep your eye on the ball in order to keep the game in play. It sounds a lot like the business world doesn’t it? Now that I have had my nostalgic baby-boomer moment I want to comment on a positive and timely move by Resorts Hotel Casino in Atlantic City and their new gaming product produced by FastPick (FSB.) Partnered with Sport Analytics and FSB technology it delivers a simplified DFS model to the virtual casino experience. Remember New Jersey is one of only 3 states in the US where on-line gaming is legal. In the game the customers choose 3-10 players in a head to head match up. Customers win cash if they beat the casino’s selected grouping of players. The simplification of the platform allows for more general player involvement offering them a broad range of options in terms of match-ups. The scoring is based on the standard DFS concepts. It’s simple. Bet against the casino not the other players. The simple parameters of the game allow for all levels of player skill. With the Resorts launch of their new game on their on-line platform; the company, the city and the state benefit; adding another revenue stream and marketing interest. This is also another way that an on-line gaming segment can connect with the physical presence of their host casino. So what does this mean? It is about expanding the customer experience. It is creativity at its best by a casino property engaged in open and honest competition looking to fill niche markets within their customer base and beyond. For years I have stated that in order for Atlantic City to move forward, it had to overcome the lack of local competition among the casino operators. As long as there were just a few owners of multiple casinos in the resort community the Atlantic City market will be stifled in competitive growth. If you look at how far Atlantic City has come compared to just few short years ago it is clear they are on a path to a new beginning. It is in part based on the presence of different and additional casino operators and the creative competition this can produce. It is also reflective of a working partnership within the regulatory environment to

allow supervised experimentation. And you see how simple it can be! Since I am on the topic Legalized Sports Bet is still on the table so-to-speak since New Jersey waits as the current battle sits with the Supreme Court for this term. A win here will open the gate for full legalized sports betting and the days of the single casino-driver with its typical casino game menu will be gone. Today’s brick and mortar casino floor has been reinvented with major design changes to include, in some cases, a smaller footprint. New technology has assisted with this re-design and thanks to on-line applications in legalized markets like New Jersey it has given the market place unlimited opportunities to be more competitive with game offerings such as the new Resort Casino “FastPick” game. It also widens that virtual door for a casino operator to not be so dependent on the physical presence of their customers to contribute to the bottom line.

Is this a challenge to PASPA Nation-Wide?

If NJ wins the decision, The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, (PASPA) which went into effect here in the US in 1993 will continue to be debated as a form of discrimination in other states. DFS is not mentioned in PASPA and NJ has been attempting to move forward with legalized sports betting for some time. I will comment more on this topic in the future. Remember states in the US have a vested tax interest in this model and legalization could send millions to the state coffers with the addition of sports wagering. So a well done to the folks in New Jersey as resort operators and regulators take a simple peak outside of the box and look to the future. Simplicity sometimes is the best form of entertainment. Having worked the slot floor for many years I have seen a little too much thought go into some of the games, leaving the player that just wants to “click the flipper” (pin ball term) or mindlessly press the spin button out in the cold. Remember it is about the experience, escape and maybe some challenge. (Does not include the poker strategist.) Maybe at times the simplicity has been missed and requiring customers to spend too much time on a strategic study of the game when their only desire was to use their “crazy flipper fingers!” Keeping it simple does attract it’s on niche market. “He sure plays a mean pin ball…” P.Townshend the Who.


Images courtesy of Terry Irwin (Bunny Odette) an accreditation Winner of the Bill Gerhauser Casino Masters Trophy 2017 Clive Howard (R) receiving his trophy from Daniel Charles (L)

Casino Masters 2017 Casino Life chats to Clive Howard about this new addition to the Casino Golfing Event Calendar Where did the idea for the Casino Masters come from? The idea was mainly born out of a desire to bring casino golfers together once a year; to bring together the industry as one body, and to see old friends who have retired to various corners of the country and also overseas. Kate O Malley (Playboy), our only lady golfer, had wanted to recreate the Playboy Golf Society but there was not enough response on the internet, so I went for a wider audience. To my knowledge a golf tournament for


“employees� incorporating more than one casino group had not been tried before. The title of Casino Masters seemed appropriate for this reason. Why the Malden Golf Club, Surrey? I asked some casino golfers who I knew to be members of golf clubs to quote me for the tournament. I wanted to keep the cost down for the inaugural tournament so as not to put people off and Eddie Petty, ex-PR of Playboy, was a member of Malden golf club and he gave me his blessing to approach them. Other contenders were Hendon,

L-R Max Smith, Tony Stewart, Phil Nicholls, John Scanlon, Daniel Charles

L-R John Irwin, Kate O’Malley, Tony Evans, Cindy Lowe, John Barton, Greg Artus

Ealing and Welwyn Garden City. Why was the original date of the event changed? The event was originally supposed to take place on the 8th June but I postponed until the 6th July due to a poor weather forecast, that week. This was unfortunate as I lost a few players but later made the numbers back up. Which Casinos were involved this year and were you lucky with the weather? We had participants from Playboy, Aspers, The Vic, and the Park Tower and one whose last casino was Paradise Island in the Bahamas, but who lives in the UK now. The weather was very good – sunny and quite hot; the course was in excellent condition and enjoyed by all. The course measures 6,295 yds par 71.

L-R John Gilmore, Edward Petty, John Lan, Sean Donohoe

Who were the winners? Everyone was a winner! But, the results on the day were: - 5th Eddie Petty (Playboy) 34pts, 4th Sean Donohoe (The Vic) 36pts, 3rd John Gilmore (Claremont/Playboy) 37pts, 2nd Daniel Charles (Park Tower) 38pts, winner of The Michael Herridge Bowl. In 1st place was Clive Howard (Playboy) with 38pts - winner of The “Bill Gerhauser” Trophy, Casino Masters Golfer of the Year. Michael Herridge was a casino golfer who played for Playboy and Grosvenor Clubs casino down the years, he died in 2012 and I wanted to name a trophy in memory of a good friend to me and other casino golfers. The winner’s trophy was partly donated by Bill Gerhauser. Bill Gerhauser was a former senior executive of The Playboy Club, Park Lane, and a big supporter of the Playboy Golf Society. Bill was 86 this year and hopes to play in next year’s event and present the prizes - health permitting. We had a Casino Masters raffle and everyone was given the name of a top professional golfer and a name was pulled out , the winner was Paul Casey belonging to Kevin Hyland, who received champagne flutes – and of course some champagne. I also interviewed Sergio Garcia (aka Tony Stewart, Playboy) as the current US masters champion, and asked him how he enjoyed the day, and what he thought his chances were of winning the Open at Birkdale. Also, did he “play a round” with his new partner Angela Akins very often. It was just a bit of fun, tongue in cheek to add to the prize giving and went down very well.


Cindy Lowe (Bunny Amber), Kate O’Malley (Playboy Club), Terry Irwin (Bunny Odette)

Are you planning for the 2018 Casino Masters to be held again in the month of June and will it be at the Malden Golf Club? Next year the venue will probably move north of the Thames to make it fair for all concerned, but no definite decision as yet. I think I will be considering late May/June 2018. What are your long term ambitions for the Casino Masters? I expect to see the tournament grow and I have had inquiries from Casino Managers in Cardiff, Liverpool and Birmingham for next year. Unfortunately, news got to them a little too late this year via the internet and rotas are paramount in being able to attend. It would be nice to add a charity element to the event next year and also a sponsor(s).

What is the cost of this event per person and is there a group discount? The cost of the day was £52 per person; as I previously stated it was kept low for the inaugural event. Next year this will probably reach £60-65, depending on the venue and catering provided.

How can anyone find out more about the Casinos Masters 2018? Anyone wishing to attend/play next year should email myself with subject “Casino Masters 2018” to Thank you.

Totally Gaming Summit | 2017 31 October - 2 November Tallinn, Estonia

The latest gaming floor trends, technologies, and cutting edge game development







What’s your idea of Paradice?

The job was perfect; you crushed the interview – why didn’t they hire you?


y name is Mark Wayman, and for the last twelve years I have owned an Executive Recruiting firm focused on gaming and high tech. Compensation starts at $100,000; last year I placed eight executives north of a million dollars. One of the most common questions I get is, “I was perfect for that job and crushed the interview – why didn’t they hire me.” This article gives a few of the reasons a candidate is not hired. Some are you; some have nothing to do with you. Overall, my advice would be: don’t take it personally and move on. Obsessing and fretting about the “why” changes nothing. Maybe God just has a bigger plan for you. Culture/Chemistry Mismatch – This is the #1 reason candidates are not selected. Although you may be 100% technically qualified, there was not a strong match with the culture of the company. Or possibly you did not have chemistry with the hiring manager. Nothing you can do about it. Not the right fit. Move on. Relationships Trump Talent – The #2 reason candidates are not hired: the boss hired one of his friends. If I have learned nothing else in my

Mark Wayman

12 years as an Executive Recruiter, I know that relationships trump talent. Executives with a history of failure continue find work. Talented executives are challenged to find work. Life is not fair, but it’s always worth living. The Job Was NOT Perfect For You – My #3 pick, and the one most executives struggle with the most: you were not senior enough. Recently worked on a “C” level role and submitted an executive that was a 90% match. In her mind she was a 110% match. After multiple interviews the feedback was “she is just not senior enough.” She had to eat some humble pie. Executives really struggle with this one; the disconnect between their opinion of themselves, and the reality of not being qualified for a job. You Came Across as Bitter/Angry – This one is YOUR fault. Don’t interview unless your head is in the right spot. The worst candidate I ever represented had been laid off after 20+ years with his employer. He came across as bitter in the interviews and I had to drop him from consideration. Companies hire happy smiley people.


You Came Across as Arrogant – This one is also YOUR fault. No one likes a narcissistic megalomaniac. Humble and genuine is attractive. Never try to be the smartest guy in the room. As my Dad used to say, “You can be right or you can be President.” You Did NOT Crush the Interview – You may think you did…but you did not. Some executives are highly competent, but just don’t interview well. There are plenty of books on this, but in general, keep your answers short and concise, and give concrete examples of how you can fill the role. Don’t overwhelm the interviewer with your brilliance. You got Submarined – Burning bridges is a terrible career strategy. Eventually it comes back to haunt you. When you leave a job, shake hands and part friends. Don’t leave on bad terms with the company, your boss or your peers. Most companies check around for references, and in my industry (casinos/ gaming) everyone knows everyone. Recently saw a “C” level executive that was expecting a job offer get “submarined” during the background check. His resume was great, but when they called his peers it was unanimous that he was difficult to deal with.

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You Were Great: They Went Internal – Best recruiting strategy ever. Executives that are already on payroll know the company culture and have the internal relationships. If a company can promote internally, they will. Another big reason? For a VP job that should pay $200,000, they can promote a Director that is $125,000 and pay him/her $150,000. You Were Great: Someone Else Was Better – Sometimes you hit a home run and someone else hits a grand slam. Rats! Depending on the required skill set, there may be a dozen highly qualified executives in the competition. And make no mistake, interviewing is a competition. Personally, if I can find the talent, I like to submit three highly qualified executives for my searches. There Was a Background/Compliance Issue – This one is ugly. If you can’t pass the drug screen and background check, you are going to be challenged to get a senior level job. At the “C”/VP/Director level, companies want to hire people with a history of good decisions. Bankruptcies, DUIs, and criminal records can be a deal breaker. In 700 placements, I only had two of these. A CFO that failed the drug screen, and a VP that failed to disclose an issue in his background. Was not a deal breaker, but failure to disclose…is.

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Casino Life Issue 109 Volume 13