Casino Life Volume 19 Issue 159

Page 1


19: Issue 159
The magazine for the owners and management of international casinos


Publisher: Peter White Tel: +44 (0) 1892 740869

Mob: +44 (0) 7973 273714


Editor in Chief : David McKee

Editor EMEA: Damien Connelly

Associate Editor Asia: Bill Healey

Victor H. Royer International Features Editor

Associate Editor EMEA: Aydin Guney aydin.guney@outsourcedigital

International Correspondent: Lyudmyla Kyrychenko lyudmyla.kyrychenko@outsource


Designer: Stewart Hyde

Accounts: Helen Holmes

IT Director: Pasha Kuzminskiy

It’s noxious. It’s antisocial. And it’s unhealthy. It’s cigar and cigarette smoke in casinos. And it’s got to go.

While I can’t speak for Europe and Asia, here in America less than 13 percent of the population smokes. Although these people are in a very small minority of consumers, the casino industry bends over for them as though they were the only players who mattered. Because of them you have to choke on noxious tobacco fumes every time you cross a casino floor. Nor can you ‘vote with your feet’ because neither the casino across the street nor the one in the next town caters to non-smokers.

In the U.S., seemingly the only way to get smoke off a casino floor is for gambling to be legalized in a state that already bans smoking in public places. Even that is no guarantee. In a recent and disgraceful backslide, the city council of Shreveport, Louisiana, decided to reinstate smoking on the city’s casino floors. This was done at the apparent importuning of Boyd Gaming and Bally’s Corp., two companies with a vested interest in beclouding the air, all the better to compete with smoking-rampant gambling halls in nearby Bossier City.

While the City Council went through the motions of taking public testimony, the final vote did not reflect the citizen feedback they received. Their constituents spoke overwhelmingly against bringing smoking back to city casino floors. Completing the profile in cowardice, the mayor let the supine vote go into law without his signature.

As veteran casino executive Richard Schuetz acidly noted, “Understanding that there is a high comorbidity between smoking and problem gambling, the city council … has clearly taken the position that while smoking damages the health of guests and employees, keeping our problem gamblers happy is important.”

Similar observations might be made of Rhode Island, where Ballyfriendly legislators have wailed that the state might lose one-third of its casino revenue were smoking to be banned. Think about it. Thirteen percent of customers accounting for 33 percent of winnings? We’d better look into this comorbidity issue.

Nor is the lack of spine confined to marginal markets. Although a majority of the New Jersey Legislature favors – and cosponsors – bills to extirpate smoking from Atlantic City, it lacks the political will to bring the issue to a vote. That’s how cowed they are by casinos. Meanwhile, dealers and others must cough and bear it as the carcino-genic cost of making a living.

So we continue to observe such poisonous fictions as Las Vegas’ “smoke-free corridors” – as though clouds of carcinogenic tar and nicotine observe arbitrary borders drawn in thin air. It’s Theatre of the Absurd on which the curtain should have fallen years ago.

Editor’s Note 3 Volume 19: Issue 159
David McKee Editor DMcKee
The magazine for the owners and management of international casinos
Published by Outsource Digital Media Ltd


3 Editor's Note Cigar and cigarette smoke in casinos

5 Europe Gets Integrated and Barcelona Calls. By Damien Connelly

6 Customized with Innovation

Michael Boettcher, founder, Storm International speaks with David McKee ahead of the opening of Shangri La Batumi

14 Fowl Play

Vegas vibes in Jamestown meet with family values at the classic Chicken Ranch Casino. By Peter White

22 The Training Game

Damien Connelly chats with Grosvenor Casino Nottingham General Manager

Daren Brain

29 European Dealer Championship 2023 Peter White was present to experience this must-attend industry event organized by the European Casino Association

38 Update Report on Gaming Legislation in Liechtenstein, Moldova, and Bosnia & Herzegovina

40 Shaping Tomorrow's Innovators: The Importance of Entrepreneurship

By Raymond Chan

42 SUZOHAPP To Present Cutting-Edge Sports Betting Ecosystem at SBC Barcelona Summit

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 Severn Print.

40 22

Europe Gets Integrated and Barcelona Calls

The newest addition to Europe’s list of integrated resorts is the over €600M (>US$660M) City of Dreams Mediterranean in Limassol, Cyprus, which Melco opened to the public on 10 July. It held its grand opening party on the 11th, which Republic of Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides attended. Those who know our industry are aware that this is not Europe’s only integrated resort, although it probably is the first IR built from scratch, with the original design incorporating all the facilities of a casino IR. We wish the property and its staff well. If it achieves anywhere near the success of other casino IRs in attracting new international tourists, then it will easily exceed its annual target of 300,000, which is approximately an eight percent uplift for Cyprus – although these might be more biased towards mass than premium mass and VIP, meaning its EBITDA might not match Melco’s Macao properties.

involvement and know that Barcelona can host a global conference and exhibition – MWC is double the size of ICE.

Hard Rock in Barcelona?

Staying with Barcelona, the Catalan government continues to be supportive of an integrated casino resort in either the city of Barcelona or its environs. Ongoing for about 10 years now, the latest plans for a Hard Rock casino IR in/around Barcelona do show progress. However, those who know our industry also know that Spain is a project graveyard for international operators. One of the most important details that might actualize this project from the ether to reality is something the Seminole Tribe of Florida knows a lot about –the equivalent of the Seminole Compact with the Catalonian and Spanish governments. Money talks, as we all know. One day in the future, we might see a guitar hotel in Catalonia.

Secure Your Cyber Presence

Barcelona Douze Points, London Nul Points

It wasn’t quite as calamitous or politically motivated (was it?) as voting in the Eurovision Song Contest, and in truth London did receive a vote, thus ensuring that one of the world’s very few truly global cities didn’t quite score the infamous “nul points” meted out during Eurovision. Now that the decision has been taken to move ICE from London to Barcelona, it’s time to get on with things. London’s loss is Barcelona’s gain, with ICE estimated to bring an economic benefit of €280M to Barcelona. I’ve attended a few MWC’s (Mobile World Congress) given my TMT

Many industries have been reporting hacks, including gaming companies. Given the importance of regulatory compliance to our industry, it’s better to be safe than sorry – especially if your operations are omni-channel and your land-based operations are complemented by online.

Please join our LinkedIn Group and engage with our high-quality, industry-relevant community.

Foreword: Damien Connelly Volume 19: Issue 159 5
Editor EMEA Damien Connelly Damien Connelly, Editor EMEA

Customized with Innovation 6 Feature: Shangri
La Batumi
Michael Boettcher, founder, Storm International speaks with David McKee ahead of the opening of Shangri La Batumi

Storm International, a casino company with a quarter-century of experience, is bringing its brand to Batumi. Visit the Ramada Plaza Hotel by Wyndham Batumi and you will find Casino Shangri La Batumi, the latest jewel in the Storm International crown. Having gone live on August 2 of this year, Shangri La Batumi offers 130 slot machines and 28 table games of varying genres. To get a look behind the scenes, Casino Life Publisher Peter White spoke with the men at the eye of Storm International, Michael Boettcher and Darren Keen. The following interview has been edited for clarity.

What plans and aspirations do you have for Storm International?

My plans are first of all to consolidate our existing business following the disaster of the Covid times, something we are successfully doing. Secondly, we are looking to grow in areas where it is possible to do so, with help for business rather than interference from government.

What would you like to see in the future? Are there any dream collaborations, projects or ideas that haven’t come to life as yet?

We are actively pursuing online gaming licenses, again, in jurisdictions that do not persecute the gaming industry, most notably in the EU which does not help business at all. We are also looking at any realistic casino possibilities around the world and will continue to do so. My dream is to have a proper casino resort that I would build from the ground up.

Can you provide readers a little insight into the phases involved in the construction of Shangri La Batumi?

Batumi is our next project, where we are planning to open in late July of this year. Construction is nearing completion and we are on track to install our equipment as soon as we are able to do so. We are now conducting training schools in our Shangri La casino in Tbilisi and have high hopes for the evergrowing market in Batumi.

Based on your expertise in this area, what will make this project stand out?

We have an outstanding Israeli partner and believe that we will attract many potential visitors to our facility, where we will also be targeting the Israeli market.

How important is design and architecture when developing a new project?

It is always important and one of the reasons for our continuing success. So many operators simply copy others, specifically Las Vegas and I suppose they are right to do so as Las Vegas is, after all, the leading gaming hub on the planet. You can clearly see this from the casinos around the world where Macao, the Philippines and Singapore all have elements of design from Nevada properties. There is nothing wrong with that. What we have done is to use many of the same elements but also introduce design that is unique to us. We believe that is why we have also been copied by many of our competitors. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so we are quite happy for others to try and copy us. But the success of any casino is not in design alone and, once again, that is where we excel.

Have you noticed any particular trends in casino design and layouts?

The design and layout largely remain the same as it

7 Volume 19: Issue 159 Feature: Shangri La Batumi
Michael Boettcher, founder, Storm International

has always been. Only the constant upgrading of slot machines has been significant, whereas table games have largely remained the same – except that there are now many more poker table games where it used to be blackjack tables, of which there are now notably less.

What do you consider to be your biggest success so far?

Our biggest success is that we have survived what many would have thought were insurmountable odds. Because of our great team and ongoing philosophy we have stayed in the game, and hope to do so for the foreseeable future.

What’s one unexpected shift you’ve seen in guest expectations or demands post-pandemic?

The pandemic did not result in any changes to player retention but the most significant (and detrimental to all) shift has been payback to players when they lose, first introduced in Northern Cyprus in the 2000s. This has resulted in a dramatic decrease in casino profits and the rise of those agents who in fact steal players with whom they became familiar with when working in a casino. They then try to take them to other casinos, effectively 'selling' them to the casinos that are prepared to give the biggest paybacks. These agents are known in the industry as 'bottom feeders' and are the scourge of the industry. We cannot blame

the players but owners and agents are making a terrible mistake with this idea. It simply reduces overall profitability and has taken all the joy out of running a successful casino business with players becoming more and more demanding. As a result, many more casinos are opening (and then closing) than ever before. 8 Feature: Shangri La

What have been your primary responsibilities and objectives in your role with Shangri La Casino?

We are the project managers for the property and therefore responsible for all aspects of building the casino part of the complex. This includes the hiring of all casino-related staff and eventually the operation of our next Shangri La.

Why Batumi? What aspects of the city did you consider most suitable for this latest new casino?

Batumi is an interesting site. I first came here 12 years ago and wondered why anyone would want to build a casino there. It seemed to me to be just a tourist resort. Tourists are not good value to casino operators because they are usually families and the focus is on enjoying a family holiday, which would not include any real casino visits. However, that is now changing to include visitors who are specifically visiting Batumi as casino patrons, thus making the city a potentially viable option to all other gaming destinations in the region. Its proximity to Turkey, Israel and to the Middle East makes it an easy flight and there are many flights from those countries, especially in the summer. So we are optimistic about the future, although the airport needs to be expanded if the city wants more visitors. While there are, as far as we know, no plans to do so, it is something the city authorities need to think about if they do indeed want more visitors.

Are you planning to bring in staff from other casinos during the early months?

As an international company, especially in this part of the world, we have always offered staff in other countries the opportunity to live and work in other countries. So we will certainly be bringing those staff to Batumi to help manage and train local staff before moving to other destinations. The same opportunity

9 Volume 19: Issue 159 Feature: Shangri La Batumi

Shangri La Batumi

will be given to Batumi staff once they have gained the experience and have the desire to work in other countries.

Where is Batumi is the casino situated and is it easy to get too?

The casino is located in a prime position and will very easy to access, plus we will have transport available from the airport for all our visitors.

What is the dress code for the casino and are patrons required to provide valid ID?

ID is always required and the dress code should always be acceptable. Although it would be nice if everyone came in in tuxedos and evening dresses after eleven, those days are long gone. We do like to have a dress code for those special casino nights and big holidays.

Batumi is known as Las Vegas on the Black Sea, with it being such a well-established casino scene. Has recruitment been relatively straightforward? Recruitment has been relatively easy in spite of the 10 Feature:
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number of casinos that are open and that are planning to open. This is largely as a result of our excellent human resources department and the reputation that we have built over 30-plus years as good and conscientious employers. Many employees who left for one reason or another, especially during Covid

times, have happily joined us again, and we have an ongoing training school to meet the needs of our existing and future projects.

Are most guests at the casino Georgian and Turkish, or do you expect a fair amount of tourist and business travelers?

As previously noted, there are a diverse group of players from in and around the region. Many new players are now visiting from Israel as well as many more from the CIS countries.

What is the choice of table games at the casino and how many tables do you have?

We have not yet decided on the total number of tables yet but we will certainly be providing our guests with more than enough tables and state-of-the-art slot machines to make them happy. Food and beverage will be of the highest international standards.

Have you anything else you would like to add?

What we need more than anything to work successfully is to have the cooperation and understanding of local government. We are excited at having the opportunity to discuss the future of the gaming business in conjunction with the city officials, hopefully being able to give our input into what we believe really can be the Las Vegas of Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia Minor.

13 Volume 19: Issue 159 Feature: Shangri La Batumi

“There will be a pool complete with DJs and club vibes, a casino on the second floor overlooking thousands of acres of lush California landscape, a high-end sports bar with breakout rooms for draft parties, bachelor parties or guests that want a personal space to get a little rowdy, a rooftop restaurant (1,500-2,500 feet up in the air), rooftop event space for weddings and parties, convention spaces, and a spa and wellness center. There will be an entire floor for the casino, four different locations with tables and a high-limit area." 14 Feature:
Chicken Ranch Casino

Feature: Chicken Ranch Casino

Fowl Play

Vegas vibes in Jamestown meet with family values at the classic Chicken Ranch Casino. By Peter White

15 Volume 19: Issue 159

Feature: Chicken Ranch Casino

Lloyd Mathiesen has served multiple terms as chairman of the Chicken Ranch Rancheria Tribal Council. During his first term, he spearheaded the complete renovation of the Chicken Ranch Casino, transforming it from a small bingo hall with slot machines and a concession stand to a fully integrated casino with a gaming area and full-service restaurant. He also coordinated the construction of the tribal office and the development of roads, parking lots and other projects that addressed the tribe’s growing infrastructural needs.

Since his re-election, additional renovations of the casino have been completed under his leadership, including a new event hall, an expanded table games area, a new state-of-the-art kitchen for the onsite restaurant and a coffee shop. Other developments include further acquisition of ancestral lands, infrastructure development, establishing a tribal cultural program, and various community government and economic development endeavors. Chairman Mathiesen is passionate about issues pertaining to tribal sovereignty and the ongoing success of Native American Tribes across the county. His leadership has provided the tribe with exceptional vision and guidance for the future.

What led Mr. Mathiesen to get into casinos and gaming?

Chicken Ranch Casino is a family tradition and business at its core. Casinos and gaming for Lloyd go back to his first job at 12 years old, building swamp coolers – air conditioner alternatives that use moisture to cool the air – with his cousin behind the scenes. Things are a little bit different at tribal casinos.

Lloyd worked at the casino every weekend and summer until he was 18, when he began working in construction and in the local labor union. At one point he was injured and had surgery on his knee, making him unable to return to construction. Lloyd decided it was time to get involved in tribal matters, so he went to the tribal office and found it was time for a change. Things took off from there. He started as the tribal council’s sergeant of arms at age 24 and has been involved ever since. His goal then and will always be to support the ongoing success of Native American tribes across the country.

For Native American tribes with casinos, not all tribal chairmen or chiefs are closely involved

in a tribe’s casino efforts. For the Chicken Ranch Rancheria Me-Wuk Indians of California, Chicken Ranch Casino is personal, family oriented and a crucial part of the ongoing success of their tribe. The Rancheria Me-Wuk Indians of California are a midsized tribe located in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Tuolumne County, just outside of Yosemite National Park. The tribe’s vast original territory, where it once hunted and gathered, was reduced to a meager threeacre parcel due to mining and logging operations, along with Western settlers confiscating the land, lending the Rancheria Me-Wuk Indians of California a necessary resiliency.

What is his position and what responsibilities does it involve?

As tribal chairman, Lloyd runs all day-to-day operations and oversees the gaming commission, Chicken Ranch Casino General Manager Dirk Whitebreast, and Assistant General Manager Eric Barbaro. He is very heavily involved because Chicken Ranch Casino is the “blood” of the government. He works daily to ensure that casino and tribal goals are aligned. Employees at Chicken Ranch Casino are called “team members” and everyone, no matter 16
Lloyd Mathiesen chairman of the Chicken Ranch Rancheria Tribal Council

their position, is treated with respect. Lloyd believes businesses flourish when the owners are involved, and often when they go public or get a board, all great aspects disappear. Though this results in more work for himself, he feels it is necessary to be involved.

All top executives at Chicken Ranch Casino come from high-end casino backgrounds, so Lloyd works with them to uphold the family values that go back to ancient tribal traditions. In the 1600s, tribes welcomed everyone with open arms. Lloyd works to keep the same mindset of being good stewards and good people. Lloyd also oversees all of the construction and new building currently underway. He reviews finances, investments, economic development and other business ventures, including the tribe’s soon-to-open marijuana dispensary and Mathiesen Memorial Health Clinic. The latter is a tribally owned, nonprofit clinic that aims to provide compassionate and high-quality medical care to the local community, not exclusively tribe members or Native Americans.

What are some of the significant changes in the property post-pandemic and will some of those be employed at the new resort casino?

The biggest change was eliminating smoking, which everyone loved, so it will stay that way! The new casino will also be non-smoking. However, there will

be alcohol served. This is a new addition not available at the current casino.

The casino also changed policies regarding how to deal with team members getting sick. Today, the casino is more mindful of others, more compassionate toward their health and their personal situations. This goes back to our core values.

What are some of the unique challenges, based on your beautiful location, and how are they be addressed?

With the addition of the new casino and resort, Chicken Ranch Casino will soon need about 1,000 team members under the tribal umbrella. They are looking at this as an opportunity. Currently, the casino is fully staffed, which is unique as other casinos in the area continue to be challenged with hiring. Chicken Ranch Casino attributes this to its reputation, and to what we do as a tribe and council in the community. People in the area want to work for Chicken Ranch Casino because they are treated as valued individuals, not numbers.

Chicken Ranch Casino values and rewards hard work and takes pride in giving back to their team members. When people do their job above and beyond the call of duty, they have the opportunity to rise to the top. At Chicken Ranch Casino there is

17 Volume 19: Issue 159 Feature: Chicken Ranch Casino

room to grow and truly have a career. With the need for more employees, they are looking into offering staff shuttles from surrounding areas to make commuting to the property more attractive. Each month, Lloyd sits down with a representative from each department to discuss wages, policies, and procedures, the good and the bad. As a family business, each member's opinion is valued and listened to.

Can you explain to readers the new Chicken Ranch Casino currently under construction?

The new casino will be different from any other casino in the area and offer amenities that cannot be found in nearby locations. The front of the casino is entirely made from glass, overlooking thousands of acres of beautiful California landscape. The tribe’s goal is to help Tuolumne County as a whole thrive. Visitors might come for the casino but they will be met with an endless variety of activities that the Gold Country location has to offer. Just two hours from San Francisco International Airport at the gateway to Yosemite – with the views to prove it – Chicken Ranch Casino Resort will be the premier destination for leisurely escape and team-building events in Northern California, with over 190 rooms and a 9,600-squarefoot convention center.

Visitors will find they no longer need to go to

Las Vegas for quality gambling, restaurants and entertainment. Chicken Ranch Casino is looking at its new resort as an opportunity to incorporate as many amenities as possible within the casino, including a rooftop restaurant and event space, a spa and wellness center, conference spaces, restaurants and of course high-end gambling and gaming fun.

How is the excitement and anticipation of staff and patrons as the new resort casino as it transitions towards completion?

Both patrons and employees are excited. Chicken Ranch Casino has been planting Easter eggs, teasing updates to keep up the excitement, maintaining awareness in everyone’s mind.

What are some of the most exciting new features of the new resort casino?

There will be a pool complete with DJs and club vibes, a casino on the second floor overlooking thousands of acres of lush California landscape, a high-end sports bar with breakout rooms for draft parties, bachelor parties or guests that want a personal space to get a little rowdy, a rooftop restaurant (1,500-2,500 feet up in the air), rooftop event space for weddings and parties, convention spaces, and a spa and wellness center. There will be an entire floor for the casino, four 18 Feature: Chicken Ranch

different locations with tables and a high-limit area.

Are non-gaming activities a draw to the property?

The tribe has plans to launch a marijuana dispensary on the property, opening soon. We think after a day of exploring the Gold Country, guests will enjoy the services of the spa and wellness center.

The tribe and casino team want their entire community to thrive. We are excited for all local businesses to be positively impacted by the new wave of visitors Chicken Ranch Casino Resort will welcome to the area. Besides nearby Yosemite, Gold Country offers ski resorts, and thousands of acres of landscape for mountain and dirt bike enthusiasts. There are multiple lakes within 30 minutes; whatever visitors want there is something for everyone! The tribe is working with the rest of the county so that people are coming to Tuolumne County not just for the casino.

How many – and what kind – of table games does the current casino offer and can you give any insights into any additions with the new Chicken Ranch Casino?

The current casino has nine tables: blackjack, Spanish 21, three- and four-card poker, plus Pai Gow poker. At the new casino and resort it is to be determined,

based on what guests want. We will listen to the people. Currently we are catering to locals but the new Chicken Ranch Casino Resort will open the casino floor to all types of people, so it will be a whole new world. At the current casino and bingo hall there is currently no alcohol allowed. The new resort will have bars and serve alcohol.

What about electronic table games and slot machines?

Currently, the casino has nine tables and 575 slot machines which will be increasing to 24 or 30 tables, and 1,049 machines, in honor of the San Francisco 49ers.

How many bars and restaurants will the new Chicken Ranch Casino offer and what will be the mix of cuisine provided by them?

There will be five different locations with bars, with an additional bar offered inside one of the restaurants. There will be five places to eat, including a coffee shop, a burger restaurant, and a restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. The sports bar will offer well-loved eating options like brick-oven pizza and open-face sandwiches.

Chicken Ranch Casino Resort restaurants will focus on flavor with fresh and healthy ingredients.

19 Volume 19: Issue 159 Feature:
Chicken Ranch Casino

We support family values and clean living, which for Chicken Ranch Casino Resort will mean avoiding foods with pesticides, and sourcing locally grown beef and vegetables using quality products to create meals. We know it is hard to be different when everyone in the area uses the same products. To guarantee unique offerings, we will use clean and delicious products, outsourcing where necessary. To ensure fresh and flavorful ingredients while aiding in sustainability efforts, the tribe grows their own spices and herbs on the reservation, which will expand into homegrown tomatoes and lettuce to be used in the restaurants. The specific menu for the rooftop restaurant is yet to be determined, but will be farm-to-table, high-end and healthy. The new Chicken Ranch Casino Resort will be a five-star experience, with restaurants and food to support that.

Are the guests predominantly locals or is there a sizable draw from outside the community?

Currently, predominantly locals. Future guests will visit from all over the Bay Area.

What do you think is the most important trend in gaming at the moment?

Everyone is going with sports books right now. In some places in America people are trying to go into electronic gambling. We feel gambling should be a fun, social activity; it’s entertainment! The isolation electronic gambling can offer may have negative implications.

What is Chicken Ranch Casino’s responsible gaming policy?

We want people to come and have fun. That’s why people come to Chicken Ranch Casino, not to lose jobs or houses. Casinos and gaming should be an experience, not a lifestyle.

The casino and amenities are smoke-free. However, does the casino provide an outside terrace for smokers? Yes

Some say a managing director’s desk can convey a lot about their management style. For some, it's organized chaos. What’s on your desk and what will it say about your management?

My desk is clean, thanks to delegation. I thrive in 20
Feature: Chicken Ranch Casino

chaos and have been that way since he I was young, always finding calm in the storm. I know where our strengths and weaknesses are, which is why it is so important to have the right team. I believe in hiring people who are 10 times smarter than me!

What role does Chicken Ranch Casino play in the community?

Chicken Ranch Casino plays a massive role in the community, which means that our traditional family values are disseminated throughout the county. The tribal council wants the community to continue to grow to keep Tuolumne County thriving. The tribe regularly sponsors events and local initiatives in the area. It is a local tradition for visitors from all over the county to attend their holiday dinner, where each guest is given a free holiday meal no matter their station or status. This tradition continued even during Covid, when the tribe offered take-home meals to everyone in the area.

The Chicken Ranch Rancheria Me-Wuk Indians of California believe that looking after the land includes caring for the people who inhabit it. It is fundamentally important to the tribe that its local communities thrive. It is honored to contribute to multiple organizations that are committed to progress. Whether it’s providing meals for the hungry, donating to a youth sports foundation or helping end the cycle of homelessness, the tribe pledges to continue supporting the causes it’s passionate about in every way that it can.

Our tribal-community sponsorships include Resiliency Village, the Flores-Fundora versus Mendoza fight, a fruit yard concert venue in Modesto, Toscano Boxing, the Wounded Warrior Project, the Gathering of Nations Powwow, Central Valley Community Resource, The Resource Connection/San Andreas Food Ban, Madera County Food Bank, LeeAnn Hatton

- Food for Disaster Preparedness Training, ATCAA

- Food Banks, Boys and Girls Club of Manteca, Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center, and Tuolumne County Library.

Is there anything new coming out of Chicken Ranch at the current casino?

Yes! We are happy to announce the very first sportsbetting phone app, exclusive to Chicken Ranch Casino and the Rancheria Me-Wuk Indians of California. The Playbawk app can be downloaded anywhere but transactions must happen within

the boundaries of the reservation (the devices are geolocated). Instead of being loyal to specific teams, sports fans are now loyal to specific players. The same way a fan can choose a player in fantasy sports, the bettor can choose his or her player on the app. This is attractive to more casual sports bettors as opposed to the high-tech sports bettor. This is going to be fun! By focusing on specific players there are actually more opportunities for the bettor to place bets.

Employees are currently testing the app and we’re looking at adding our Chicken Ranch Casino Players Club group toward the end of the month to get their feedback. The specific launch date is undecided but will most likely be tied to the start of the NFL season. We are planning to cover all live sports eventually, both men’s and women’s.

. Why did you create a sports betting app?

People no longer gamble the way our grandparents did. We want to mix fantasy sports with gambling and the app parlays that desire into a system where people can root for players, not teams. We are excited that we are the very first tribe and the very first casino to introduce this technology.

21 Volume 19: Issue 159 Feature: Chicken Ranch Casino

The Training Game

Feature: Nottingham Casino 22
Damien Connelly chats with Grosvenor Casino Nottingham General Manager, Daren Brain

The last three years have been extremely challenging for the service sectors. Having endured the pandemic they are hit with recruitment challenges, followed by the massive increases in costs due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. What has been Grosvenor Casino’s approach to recruitment and retention?

We have a few programs going on now. We have our career pathway, ‘Raising Your Game.’

This is a full-scale career pathway which breaks down every role we have in the business, from cleaner all the way up to a general manager. Raising Your Game is designed for everyone to be able to look into the details and accountabilities of their role, develop in-venue on the accountabilities they are missing, test themselves, get signed off, and move on to learning the next role above them. Each role is broken down into Our Customer, Our People, Our Results, Our Operations and Our Responsibility. This gives each individual structured learning, as well as a comprehensive guide, so if they are looking to progress they are able to get themselves ready and prepared for the next role.

We took ‘Raising Your Game’ a step further with our ‘Rising Star’ casino-manager-development program, a six-month, 10-module, face-to-face program. We started with the key areas within Our People, Our Results, Our Operations and Our Responsibility, and then designed workshops to address these areas through a combination of well-known and tested models, and experiential learning with a focus on leadership, operations and commerciality.

Models such as Simon Sinek’s Start With Why, Steven Covey’s Time Management Matrix, Kim Scott’s Radical Candor and more were followed up with hands-on operation foci such as investigations and disciplines training, and a deep dive into our trading accounts, and venue-based profit and loss.

Following the success of the Rising Star Casino Manager Development Program we will be launching our ‘Shooting Star’ operations-manager-development program, aimed at our top-talent OMs. They will be taking the three core-focus areas of leadership, operations and commerciality even deeper. Designed to close the gap in knowledge, skills and behaviors, this will set them up to be successful general managers and progress their careers further. After returning from Covid we have focused on rolling

out a truly blended approach to learning. Offering on-demand, remote learning through the Webbased Raising Your Game accountabilities, we are supplementing that with on-the-job learning supported by a mentor in every venue and face-to-face classroom learning, with time set aside for plenty of group work, thereby allowing some truly golden peerto peer-learning too.

Retention is a challenge. What initiatives is Grosvenor taking to improve retention levels with the Gen Z generation? Do you think the service industry is doing enough in general, both in training and retention initiatives, from an employment aspect as well as engaging with them and attracting them into their restaurants, bars, casinos, etc.?

We have very informal interviews and use our existing employees to be part of the process. We have found Gen Z and Millennials are not attracted

23 Volume 19: Issue 159 Feature: Nottingham Casino

to a formal, structured interview by an old guy in a suit. We have tried roulette calculators to take away the fear element of having to be able to add up. We have found that within two months from finishing the training academies, the team does not need to use the

calculators. We find these groups are very comfortable around technology, unlike previous generations. We have a range of activities within the casino to engage our teams: external events, prize draws, poker/quiz nights and more.

How is the Gaming Academy being promoted?

We’re currently using the successes of our previous gaming academies, such as Emily in Nottingham, to promote the academies across the rest of the UK. By showcasing Emily’s success in her local media and on social media, will hopefully in turn encourage others to enter the gaming academies and consider a career in the industry. Grosvenor Casinos is such a supportive environment for people to forge careers as dealers, and in other roles, so we really wanted to showcase this through the Gaming Academy.

How long does the Gaming Academy Course run for recruits and what do they learn?

The Gaming Academy runs for four weeks, and the recruits are taught everything they’ll need to be fully equipped as a casino dealer. This can vary from learning the most popular card games, such as blackjack and poker, to such casino terminology as the difference between ‘odds’ and ‘payouts.’ 24 Feature: Nottingham Casino

Do other members of staff interact and assist students during the four-week course and is four weeks enough?

Yes, the staff are such passionate experts and very hands-on in providing additional support alongside their individual mentors. We believe four weeks is a good amount of time to be able to provide the necessary information, as well as the experience in a casino setting to set them up as the best casino dealers, and help them forge careers in the industry.

During the training are students trained in safeguarding, ensuring all guests always play responsibly?

Yes, we have online learning for all team members at all levels, updated at regular intervals.

What has been the feedback from students and is the Gaming Academy being rolled out to other Grosvenor Casinos?

The feedback has been extremely positive. One of the standouts from the recent Nottingham Gaming Academy, Emily, has said the experience was ‘the most fun I’ve ever had in a job, and I enjoyed the training and support I received.’ As a fully equipped casino dealer

she’s told us how she’s excited to start her career as a dealer and hopes to take her skills abroad. It’s really rewarding hearing the academy has been able to make a difference and be instrumental in causing positive change in someone’s life.

What advice would you give to recent new entrants? Work hard, have fun, enjoy the journey.

Looking back over three decades what are some of your most memorable experiences from your time in casinos?

You meet amazing people from all backgrounds, creating amazing relationships with a diverse mix of people.

What was your first big break in the industry? I achieved a postgraduate in gambling industry management. As a result, I secured my first general manager role 20 years ago and I have not looked back since

Did you decide this was your what you wanted to do for your career when you started work at your first casino?

25 Volume 19: Issue 159 Feature: Nottingham Casino

When I first started as a croupier, I thought I could do this job until another job came along, I loved it so much that 40 years later I am still in the business and still loving it.

What are the big future challenges for the business and the sector as a whole?

We need to keep in touch with current and future technologies, in order to attract our future employees and customers. We need to understand the mindset of Gen Z and Millennials because they are our current and future employees – and customers.

Turning our attention to the Grosvenor Casino Nottingham, what have been amongst the most notable innovations at the venue in recent years from a gaming perspective?

We trial most new products in the market. We constantly strive to find a way to enhance the customer experience. Also we are the only company that broadcasts a live roulette wheel from our casino to our online customers, so our customers can play on a local casino table with a local team member from home. We currently have four sites where this is available.

What has been the approach in developing the appeal of the food and beverages to the regional casinos?

We offer a 24-hour menu, our restaurant is open 6 p.m.

to 1 a.m., Sunday to Thursday, and 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday and Saturday. We offer a wide range of choices on our menus at great value.

On behalf of Casino Life Magazine and Outsource Digital Media, I would like to thank you, Daren, for sharing your time with us and our readers worldwide. 26 Feature: Nottingham Casino




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European Dealer Championship 2023

Peter White was present to experience this must-attend industry event organized by the European Casino Association

The crème de la crème of our European industry’s croupiers battled it out recently in Brussels. Casino Life continued its involvement with the European Dealer Championship by being present to witness this essential industry event – we’ve been attending the European Casino Association’s EDC now for 10 years, and like a good whisky or cognac, the EDC is getting better with age.

The European Dealer Championship is an essential event because the casino industry provides great careers for people from across life’s spectrum. It’s also great to witness how past winners of the EDC have enhanced their careers following their win, including Tamas Adam whom we featured in our May 2019 front cover and main feature.

2023’s EDC setting was Grand Casino Brussels VIAGE, a property operated by Casinos Austria International. The VIAGE team did an amazing job hosting this year’s European Dealer Championship, organized by the European Casino Association. The ECA Tournament Organising Committee acquitted themselves with exceptional aplomb in delivering a flawless competition against very challenging project deadlines: Jaana Ruolamo, Veikkaus; Murat Salih, The Hippodrome Casino; Wouter Smid, Holland Casino; Joanna Petit, Monte-

29 Volume 19: Issue 159
Issue 129
Feature: European Dealer Championship
The Winning Deal

Feature: European Dealer Championship


… but let’s applaud and recognise all 36 exceptional participants who came to Grand Casino Brussels VIAGE from 20 European countries in their ambitions to be recognised by the industry as being at the pinnacle of their profession. Grand Casino Brussels VIAGE welcomed over 300 enthusiastic spectators who gathered for this thrilling two-day event, which culminated in the crowning of Europe's best dealers:

The European Dealer Champion 2023: Alessandro Mesina, UK, Les Ambassadeurs Casino

Runner-up: William Gosnold, UK, Metropolitan Gaming

2nd Runner-up: Katarzyna Bielawska, Sweden, Casino Cosmopol

The Dealer Skill Challenges winners were:

Best in Pushing Stacks: William Gosnold, UK, Metropolitan Gaming

Best Chipper: Antonis Spyrou, Cyprus, City of Dreams Mediterranean

Best Cutting Chips: William Gosnold, UK, Metropolitan Gaming

Best Card Handler: Fernando Ivanoff Gomes, Finland, Veikkaus

Best Mathematician: Agata Litwinienko, Poland, Casino Poland

Carlo Société des Bains de Mer; assisted by the Secretary General of the ECA, Hermann Pamminger. Ladies and gentlemen of the Tournament Organizing Committee and of the ECA, please take a bow of appreciative recognition from Casino Life for your work in creating and continuing to arrange the annual European Dealer Championship. It has become without doubt, a foundation stone of our European industry.

The prestigious ECA European Dealer Championship, Europe's foremost and longeststanding competition of its kind, brings together croupiers handpicked at the national level. These exceptional professionals engage in a knock-out tournament that tests their technical prowess, game control, hospitality acumen and nerves. Since its

debut in 2007, the European Dealer Championship has been hosted in 14 countries, garnering the participation of over 450 contestants and captivating more than 2,500 spectators from Europe and beyond.

EDC victors need to showcase astute decisionmaking and lightning-fast reflexes, alongside a seamless ability to balance chip management, mathematics and engaging social interactions. They are meticulously evaluated by an esteemed panel of international judges who themselves have been top dealers at some point in their careers. The European Dealer Championship owes its prestige to these esteemed jurors, all of whom are dedicated to maintaining high standards in the gaming industry. Each juror plays a vital role in evaluating participants’ performance, thoroughly examining 30

dealers' game control and technical skills, as well as their communication capabilities. Such rigorous assessment guarantees a fair and transparent competition, whilst also providing invaluable feedback for participants so they can hone their abilities in order for each of them to thrive in their future careers.

As said by Erwin van Lambaart, chairman of the European Casino Association, “we gather in the heart of Europe where the European Casino Association collaborates with stakeholders and politicians to enhance the European casino sector and bolster our industry's reputation for a sustainable future. Through the EDC, we aim to honour the art of gaming alongside friends and colleagues from the European land-based industry. EDC 2023 offers a platform for the world to observe the passion, professionalism and hospitality extended to guests on European gaming floors. Celebrating this remarkable skill and talent has always been the core focus of the EDC and we are proud to host this year's edition in the European capital.”

Tournament Director Jaana Ruokamo, stated that, “This event highlights our dealers' achievements and dedication on Europe's grandest stage. As judges, we’ll evaluate technical skills, precision and craftsman/

women-ship. Above all, we’ll celebrate the social bonds, enjoyment and entertainment unique to landbased gaming.”

Let Me Entertain You

There’s not much point being in the casino business if you’re not going to entertain … even if it is a competition where nerves abound. How good a job did Grand Casino Brussels VIAGE do of entertaining our industry’s premier representatives? Incroyable! Ongelooflijk! It did an incredible job.

31 Volume 19: Issue 159 Feature: European

Grand Casino Brussels VIAGE is Belgium’s biggest casino and entertainment venue. It delivers a unique experience in the very heart of Brussels via its range of facilities. The casino features over 400 slot machines, 39 gaming tables, as well as a World Poker Tour (WPT) Poker Room for up to 100 players. The property also hosts several bars and restaurants serving exquisite meals and accompanying liquid refreshments. Additionally, the venue includes an exhibition center, a grand theater and a variety of meeting rooms, to complement its MICE offering to allow VIAGE to cater for business parties and meetings.

The prestigious ECA European Dealer Championship, Europe's foremost and longest-standing competition of its kind, brings together croupiers handpicked at the national level. These exceptional professionals engage in a knock-out tournament that tests their technical prowess, game control, hospitality acumen and nerves."

During EDC, all visitors were very complimentary of the excellent hospitality, levels of service, quality of food and beverages, and the exquisite live entertainment. As with previous EDCs, there was a dinner for all guests to attend that allowed stakeholders to mingle and network – the food was worthy of a Michelin star, in the humble opinion of Casino Life. In and around the dinner was a cabaret and live entertainment acts worthy of Le Théâtre des Folies Bergère.

Alessandro Sasha Mesina excelled at being in complete control of the ‘art of dealing.’ Alessandro, 32 Feature: European Dealer Championship

Feature: European Dealer Championship

from Les Ambassadeurs in the UK, outperformed William Gosnold and Katarzyna Bielawska, who placed second and third respectively. Sasha won

a thrilling final to rightfully be named this year’s European Dealer Champion. William Gosnold is from the UK’s Metropolitan Gaming and Katarzyna Bielawska is from Sweden’s Casino Cosmopol.

The 15th edition of the ECA’s European Dealer Championship welcomed a record number of participants, jury members and a crowd of hundreds of spectators who witnessed Europe’s finest croupiers in action. At the prestigious 2023 European Dealer Championship, the champion claimed the title of European Dealer Champion 2023 and received a grand prize of €5,000. The 2nd and 3rd place finishers were awarded €3,000 and €1,500 respectively. In addition to the main prizes, the five Skill Challenges each offered a prize of €500 for the winners.

The prizes for this year’s event were sponsored by leading industry suppliers. The second-runner-up prize was sponsored by CLS Casino Locking Systems. The runner-up prize was sponsored by TCS John Huxley, 34

and the main prize for the EDC champion 2023 was sponsored by Light & Wonder. This year’s Skill Challenge prizes were sponsored by Matsui Gaming, Cammegh and Marton Gaming. The ECA would like Casino Life to gratefully acknowledge the support of each sponsor of the European Dealer Championship 2023: Abbiati Casino Equipment; AGEM; Aristocrat Gaming; Cammegh; Casino Helsinki and Tampere; Clarion Events; Casino Locking Systems; CTC Holdings; Dallmeier; Galaxy Gaming; Hippodrome Casino; Holland Casino; ICSE; International Game Technology; Le Casino Monte-Carlo; Light & Wonder; Marton Gaming; Matsui Europe; Smart Rota; Tangam Systems; TCS John Huxley; JD Supplies; and Grand Casino Brussels VIAGE.

ECA Chairman Erwin van Lambaart commented: “The European Dealer Championship continues to serve as a platform for broadcasting the fact that our industry fosters the finest talent, builds

35 Volume 19: Issue 159
Feature: European Dealer Championship
Get Into Casino Life & Sports Betting Operator TV and gain insights from Presidents, CEO’s, Owners and Senior Management at the World’s Leading Resort Casino and Sports Book Operators along with latest developments from manufactures and Suppliers along with Gaming Equipment and Systems providers from Senior representatives at select number of leading organisations in the Global Gaming Industry. Subscribe today via YouTube 7,435 MEMBERS 4,330 MEMBERS Join people that count. Join the Casino Life Group The magazine for operators of International casinos and gaming equipment manufacturers 36

lasting connections and inspires future generations of professionals to dream big on the greatest of stages – the gaming floors of our European casino members. Every year the EDC reveals the incredible diversity of talent nurtured by the land-based gaming industry, which employs over 60,000 people in Europe. Congratulations to Alessandro Mesina for rising to the top of an outstanding field of competitors.”

Reflecting on his performance, Mesina noted that he “can’t explain how happy and excited I am after winning this championship. It was my first time participating in both the UK Dealer Championship and the European Dealer Championship, and to win them both is an ecstatic feeling – adrenaline at 1,000 percent. Constant suspense. I slept probably three

hours in the last four days but it was all worth it!”

The European Dealer Championship is not just about crowning a champion; it is a platform for camaraderie, networking and skill-sharing. Dealers from different countries come together to exchange ideas, learn from one another and forge lifelong connections. It is an event that fosters a sense of community among industry professionals, and highlights the importance of teamwork and collaboration. The European Dealer Championship will return in 2024 at Casino Venlo and will be hosted by Holland Casino.

37 Volume 19: Issue 159
Feature: European Dealer Championship
There’s not much point being in the casino business if you’re not going to entertain … even if it is a competition where nerves abound.
How good a job did Grand Casino
Brussels VIAGE do of entertaining our industry’s premier representatives?
Incroyable! Ongelooflijk! It did an incredible job.

Update Report on Gaming Legislation in Liechtenstein, Moldova, and Bosnia & Herzegovina


Gambling has been legal in Moldova until 1918 and then again once the country gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Currently the main piece of legislation regulating games of chance is the Law of the Republic of Moldova: On the organization and execution of gambling activities (2016). As of 2011, all gambling activities in the country—lottery, gambling, betting, and slot machines—except land-based casinos, are under the state monopoly exercised through the national lottery.

The competent authority for licensing and supervision is the Ministry of Finance. The license for casino-maintenance activity is valid for five years from the date of issue, with the possibility of extending it. According to the applicable law, participation in gambling activities (except the lottery) is prohibited for persons under 21 years of age, as well as for persons under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other substances.

Most of the casinos are in the state capital, Chisinau, but the most popular gambling sites in the country are still the small slot halls. Land-based casinos must be erected as stand-alone buildings or within four-star hotels, and must be located remotely from educational and health institutions. Casinos in rural areas must have a minimum of 10 real-money slot machines and four gaming tables, with at least one of the latter dedicated to roulette. Urban casinos need at least 20 slots as well as six gaming tables, with at least one dedicated to roulette.

As of 2019, the government introduced a new public-private partnership system for operators wherein the private partner can hold a maximum of 49 percent of shares in the local operator. Currently there are two private partner companies from the EU operating in the territory with 15-year contracts in place.

In Moldova, any advertising of gambling establishments and the services offered by them is prohibited. Even though the last amendments to the Gambling Law in 2017 allowed online gambling, no actual legal framework was created and thus only the national lottery offers online gambling activities. There are no active measures against foreign online operators, so players from the territory can participate in gambling on those sites without risking any kind of penalization. 38 Feature: Legislation Report

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Gambling is legal and highly popular in BiH, and thus the existing legal framework can be viewed as quite modern and progressive. Some research shows that over half a million people in the territory (with a total population of 3.8 million) regularly participate in games of chance, mostly sports betting for smaller amounts. The legal age for gambling is 18 years.

Bearing in mind the specific internal organization of the country, being divided into two separate entities (Federation of BiH and the Republika Srpska) with an additional independent district (district Brčko), there is no nationwide legal framework but a separate one for each entity.

The main gambling act in the Federation of BiH is the Law on Games of Chance from 2015 and, in Republika Srpska, the Law on Games of Chance from 2019. The competent authority for licensing and supervision in both entities is the respective Ministry of Finance and separate organizational units within the same.

Online gambling is legal in both the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, but only for companies that also have land-based operations. Currently, there are no licensed online operators in the territory of Federation of BiH. The first online license in Republika Srpska was awarded to Williams, a local, land-based sportsbook, in 2011. As of


Gambling in Liechtenstein was not legal until 2010 and the introduction of country’s Gambling Act was the main enabling legislation. Prior to this, only a lottery was allowed in the territory.

The competent authority for games of chance is the gambling department within the Office of Economy, which is in charge of licensing and supervision of the market. The gambling market developed once the initially envisaged concession system was replaced with a licensing one. The legal age for gambling is, as in most European countries, 18 years of age.

Currently, there are five land-based casinos in the territory, which offer a variety of games of chance to the players. Online gambling is permitted under the Gambling Act. However, no online gambling licenses have been issued so far. In addition, there is an

2019, online gambling regulation in Republika Srpska also encompasses video-lottery and virtual electronic games.

In general, licenses are granted for a five-year term and may be extended. There are currently 13 licensed operators in Federation of BiH with more than 2,000 betting places and 12 licensed operators in Republika Srpska.

In 2013, the Federation of BiH tried to regulate online gambling by prohibiting players from joining online casinos registered abroad and by blocking foreign gambling websites. However the ban was lifted after public pressure, and players can currently freely participate and use unlicensed foreign gambling sites.

administrative ban on issuance of online gambling licenses, which will be in force until the end of 2023. Players from the territory can freely gamble on other EU online platforms.

39 Volume 19: Issue 159
Feature: Legislation Report
DISCLAIMER: Law Firm Anđelović, Siketić & Tomić d.o.o. wish to avoid inaccuracies and, whilst every precaution has been taken to ensure that information contained in this report is accurate, no liability is accepted for errors or omissions, however caused.

Shaping Tomorrow's Innovators: The Importance of Entrepreneurship

The term "entrepreneur" has its roots in the French language, making its first appearance in the Dictionnaire Universel de Commerce, a French dictionary compiled by Jacques des Bruslons and published in 1723. In Britain, the word "adventurer" was often used to convey a similar meaning. The concept of entrepreneurship has since evolved to encompass the creation or extraction of economic value.

In the aftermath of supply-side economics, entrepreneurship was believed to have the potential to stimulate economic growth. As a result, the 21st century saw governments across the globe promoting entrepreneurship, and fostering an enterprise culture in the hopes of driving economic growth and competition. Entrepreneurship is commonly regarded as a catalyst for change, often involving risks beyond those typically faced when starting a business. These risks may encompass various values, including those that extend beyond the economic sphere.


There are two primary forms of entrepreneurship: Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) driven and Innovation-Driven Enterprises (IDE) driven. SME-driven entrepreneurship generally focuses on local or regional markets, creating jobs that are "non-tradable," while IDE-driven entrepreneurship is based on building a competitive advantage through innovation in products, processes or business models. IDEs are often founded by teams with diverse skill sets and higher levels of education compared to SME founders. IDEs consciously target global markets and create jobs that can be performed in different locations. The funding sources for the two types of entrepreneurship also differ, with SMEs usually being individually or family-owned with minimal outside investment, while

IDEs have a diverse ownership base with external investors. IDE entrepreneurs generally face greater risks compared to SMEs, but the potential rewards can be significantly higher. 40 Feature: Raymond Chan
Raymond Chan

Entrepreneurial behaviors

Entrepreneurial behaviors and the psychological makeup of entrepreneurs play a crucial role in the success of a venture. In a study by Ross Levine, an economist at the University of California, -Berkeley, and Yona Rubinstein, a professor at the London School of Economics, it was suggested that entrepreneurs tend toward “aggressive, illicit, risktaking activities” during their teenage and young-adult years. Another common trait among successful entrepreneurs is a varied educational background and diverse work experience. For example, Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, studied calligraphy and credited this experience as a major influence on the design of Apple products. Likewise, Oprah Winfrey, who built a multimedia empire, worked in radio and television before starting her own production company.

A separate study, conducted by the Census Bureau and two MIT professors, discovered that the average age of successful startup founders was 45, with their chances of entrepreneurial success rising with age. Ray Kroc started his work on McDonald's at age 52!

Network’s Success

Networking also plays a crucial role in entrepreneurial success, as demonstrated by Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn. The concept of the "PayPal Mafia" provides a compelling example of the power of networks in his entrepreneurship. The PayPal Mafia refers to a group of former PayPal employees and founders who went on to establish their own successful companies after PayPal's acquisition by eBay. This group includes individuals like Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX), Peter Thiel (Founders Fund, Clarium Capital), Max Levchin (Affirm, Slide) and, of course, Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn).

The PayPal Mafia network’s success can be attributed to shared experiences, skills and connections established during their time working together at PayPal. They were able to leverage these connections and mutual support to create a series of successful ventures, demonstrating the power of networking in the entrepreneurial landscape. This phenomenon showcases how a strong professional network can act as a catalyst for success and innovation in the business world.

The influence of peers and social composition can also be seen in real-life examples. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, was surrounded by a


Raymond is a software engineer and product designer with a wealth of experience in corporate innovation. He also co-founded two prosperous startups, TGG Interactive and Global Gaming Group in Asia, where he served as director and CEO, leading customer intelligence and electronic gaming businesses from 2007 to 2018. Earlier in his career, Raymond was a founding member of the business intelligence team at E*TRADE from Morgan Stanley and played a pivotal role in designing the TiVo customer intelligence system in Silicon Valley.

circle of friends at Harvard University, many of whom became early employees and co-founders of the social-media giant. This supportive environment played a significant role in the development of the company. Of course, the importance of one's mindset and motivation are equally important., This can be exemplified by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. Bezos has always been driven by an internal motivation to innovate and create value for customers, which has resulted in Amazon becoming one of the world's most valuable companies.

In conclusion, real-life examples of entrepreneurs demonstrate a range of traits and experiences that contribute to their success. The mindset and motivation, as well as the influence of peers and social composition, play a significant role in shaping the entrepreneurial journey. In future discussions we can delve deeper into the process of starting an entrepreneurial venture and explore the resources available to support aspiring entrepreneurs.

41 Volume 19: Issue 159 Feature: Raymond Chan

SUZOHAPP To Present CuttingEdge Sports Betting Ecosystem At SBC Barcelona Summit

SUZOHAPP is excited to exhibit for the first time at the SBC Barcelona Summit taking place from September 19-21 at the Fira Montjuic in Barcelona. The event provides an ideal platform for industry professionals to connect, collaborate, and explore the latest trends and innovations in the sports betting market.

At the Summit, SUZOHAPP will be showcasing its cutting-edge sports betting ecosystem, a comprehensive solution that covers the entire life cycle of a bet, ensuring a seamless betting experience with automated processes, from cashier to bet to payout. Visitors can expect to see a wide range of terminals, including the SBT-500+ bar-top model, the SBT-OTC over-the-counter unit and the Cashio Silver cash-redemption terminal by CountR.

Further highlights of SUZOHAPP's display at the summit are the ITV-9000, an advanced, scratch,

instant-ticket vending machine for lottery operators, and a wide selection of Custom Printing Solutions products specifically tailored for the betting market.

"We are excited to showcase our innovative sports betting ecosystem at the SBC Barcelona Summit for the first time," said Tim Kennedy, vice president of sales at SUZOHAPP. "We are committed to providing advanced solutions that enable operators to maximize their returns and elevate the overall betting experience for players. We look forward to demonstrating our capabilities to industry professionals, and exploring opportunities for collaboration and growth."

As part of the summit, Kennedy will be a speaker on a panel on September 21, where he will discuss the evolution of omnichannel strategies and their impact on player experience.

To learn more about SUZOHAPP's sports betting ecosystem and its benefits, visit booth SB166. 42 News: SUZOHAPP
magazine for the owners and
of international casinos Visit for further information Casino Life Georgia will be printed and distributed to all the land based casino operators in Georgia. The publication will be published in Georigan with the contents also produced in Ukrainian and English. Casino Life Ukraine will have a temporary home Casino Life Georgia. The First edition to be published July 2023.
Life Georgia is being published in partnership with Casino Life Ukraine Team and the owners and organisers of the Tbilisi Gaming Fest.

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