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June 2016

INSPIRE BY MOHEGAN SUN


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Editorial: Editor in Chief: Glyn Thomas Mob: +38 976 007 007 glyn@ace123.com Features Editor: Damien Connelly dconnelly@ace123.com Associate Editor Asia: Bill Healey bill@ace123.com Associate Editor North America David Mckee dmckee@ace123.com Special Assignment Correspondent: Jack Bulavsky jackbulavsky@yahoo.com International Casino & Gaming Correspondent: JJ Woods jjsilks@eircom.net

Editor’s page Welcome to Casino Life... Just back from Tallinn, Estonia where Casino Life was invited by Olympic Entertainment Group, as the only UK gaming magazine, to their grand double opening – the Hilton Tallinn and the OEG Casino. As can be expected in this line of business there are lots of openings and I’ve seen quite a few over the years. All of them try to be special in different ways. Some are classy and subdued; others have razzamatazz and glamour. Occasionally you get fireworks. This one had everything above plus more... if girls covered in diamonds emerging from giant eggs and the group president appearing on stage in an open top car can be called more (which it is in my book). Over 1,000 guests including the President of Estonia, were given guided tours of the hotel and afterwards drink and food, jazz bands and pop stars were on three levels including the casino itself where the party reached a crescendo – and eventually subsided in the early hours of the following day. Everyone I spoke to was impressed by the hotel that has extraordinary attention to detail and just that little extra “luxury feel”. Pleasantly, that detail and sophistication spills over to the casino too, which has all the right games in all the right places but plenty of space in between. At no time do you feel penned in by slots – it’s spacious, gracious and a cool place to hang out even if you’re not gambling. That is a good thing... so please don’t misread it.

Technology Correspondent: Rebecca Green rebecca@ace123.com

Production: Designer: Stewart Hyde design@ace123.com www.totaldesignworks.com Subscriptions: Helen Holmes subs@ace123.com Web & IT: Sudip Banjeree sb@ace123.com Publisher: Peter White Tel: +44 (0) 1892 740869

Mob: +44 (0) 7973 273714 pwhite@ace123.com

Glyn Thomas Editor in Chief

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Contents 3

Editors Page

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Guest Comment: Andrew Cammegh

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Where The Fun Begins

Follow-up Interview with Bobby Soper President & CEO Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority. By Steve KaroulHospitality Beyond Borders 16 Juegos Miami 2016 Welcomes the World Kate Chambers, Managing Director, Gaming Division, Clarion Events chats to Peter White 21 The Living Wage Rebecca Green chats to Ian Hogg at specialist staff scheduling company ShopWorks 22 THE CASE FOR CASINOS – an open letter to government

‘Richard Noble, COO Aspers and member of NCF

29 In hospitality and Gaming it’s all about the Experience Robert Ambrose Instructor, Gaming & Hospitality Center for Hospitality & Sport Management, Drexel University 33 New Jersey: North vs South

By Frank Catania

35 Brexit Verdic Gambling Consultant Steve Donoghue provides his opinion 36 Pick Me, Pick Me: How to be a top candidate with executive recruiters Mark Wayman, Founder and CEO of the executive placement firm The Foundation, LLC 39 How to survive and thrive after a setback

By Paul McGee

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.

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Guest Comment: Andrew Cammegh

C

ammegh have had an extremely successful year to date with major deals and installations taking place in territories across the globe. Prior to G2E Macau we were delighted to secure a deal with the world class Tiger Resort in Manilla who have chosen Cammegh to supply 24 hand painted custom Mercury 360 roulette wheels and Billboard Displays with customised graphics. In Australasia we are excited to be working with The Star Casino to provide displays for multiple casinos games including roulette, as well as integrated surveillance cameras on our Billboard Displays. We are continuing to expand the Cammegh brand in the North American market following the major installation in MGM resorts last year by acquiring the state licence for Michigan in the US. Most recently in North America we worked with Fallsview Casino in Canada to install 24 Mercury 360 roulette wheels and 32” Billboard Displays. Cammegh’s side bets Spread Bet Roulette and Lucky Symbols are proving to be a success in numerous territories including South Africa. In our home market of the UK we are excited to announce that we have been selected by Gentings UK to supply 81 Mercury 360 roulette wheels and Billboard Displays to casinos throughout the UK and we look forward to working closely with Gentings UK in the coming years. Earlier this year we launched the Mercury 360 Aurora Halo wheel which has been successfully installed in Casinos Austria, Salzburg. The Mercury 360 Aurora Halo wheel features a colourful illuminated band above the racetrack to accentuate ‘No More Bets’ and liven up the table. Thanks to an inventive use of In-Rim sensors, the Halo’s colours actually follow the ball as it spins around

Andrew Cammegh Director Cammegh Ltd

the racetrack, creating a dramatic comet-like effect inside the rim. Having already exhibited at ICE in London and G2E Asia this year, we’re looking forward to Cammegh’s 15th year at G2E Las Vegas in September. Last year’s show was immensely successful for us and we look forward to showcasing the very best Cammegh products. The Mercury 360 Aurora Halo wheel, Mercury 360 custom Chinese wheel will take centre stage; they will be joined by our latest Billboard Displays which now feature 1920 x 1080 Full HD graphics on 23”, 27” and 32” screens. Visitors will be able to find us at stand 3830.

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Inspire by Mohegan Sun Follow-up Interview with Bobby Soper President & CEO, Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority. By Steve Karoul 7


It is a pleasure to follow up with you to learn more about your massive new casino project in Korea. Our readers were very intrigued after our last interview with you about the Mohegan Sun Casino to learn more about your international expansion into Korea. To our knowledge, there are very few Native American Tribes looking to expand on a global basis. Therefore, it would be helpful if you could explain to our readers some of the background and history about both the Mohegan Sun Casino as well as the responsibilities of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and the role that both you and they played in the decision to seek out international casino opportunities as opposed to just focusing on opportunities within the United States? The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (MTGA) is an instrumentality of the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut that owns and operates all of its gaming assets, including two of the most successful gaming and entertainment destinations in the United States, Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and Mohegan Sun Pocono in Pennsylvania. Domestically, along with these properties, MTGA also provides development, consulting and management services for other casino developments. MTGA is credited with advancing the once struggling Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, into record profitability over the three years that it has served under its management and investment contract. MTGA’s venture with the Cowlitz Indian Tribe of Washington State will introduce the 500-milliondollar casino project that will be the West Coast’s premier gaming, dining, entertainment and meeting destination slated to open in spring of 2017. Most recently, MTGA announced a partnership with the Tunica-Biloxi Gaming Authority, the owner and operator of the Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, Louisiana for a consulting agreement which started in the spring of 2016. While we have been successful in extending our brand in the U.S., our desire to grow has led us to pursue opportunities internationally. We have been methodical and selective in such pursuits. In evaluating these international opportunities, the MTGA leadership team uses criteria with high hurdles to ensure appropriate ROI and to ensure our brand is not compromised in the long-term. In fact, while we have previously looked at numerous development opportunities outside of North America, our initiative

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Mr. Bobby Soper, President of the Mohegan Sun Casino

in Incheon is one of a select few opportunities we felt compelling enough to pursue. For the benefit of our readers who may have missed our previous interview, could you please tell us about yourself and your background and experience in the casino industry? Would you also explain how you personally view this new opportunity in Korea and what it will mean to the Mohegan tribal members and future generations? I started my career as in-house counsel for the organization in 1997. In that capacity, I was involved with the transactional work associated with the financing, design-development and various other transactions related to our billion dollar expansion project which opened in 2001. Also, as part of my responsibilities I had the opportunity to work with most of the divisions within the company, helping me become familiar with the operations prior to being appointed as a Senior Vice President at Mohegan Sun in 2001. In 2005 I was appointed President & CEO of our sister property in Pennsylvania, where we opened the first casino in the Commonwealth. Subsequent to that, I had the opportunity to move back to CT to serve as President/CEO of Mohegan Sun in 2012


Meet us at G2E Las Vegas stand 3830


before moving into my current role in early 2015 as the President and CEO of our parent company, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority. The Tribe and I view our initiative in Korea as an opportunity to showcase the entertainment-driven brand of Mohegan Sun on the international stage. We strongly believe that Korea, and more specifically Incheon, will be the tourist hub of Northern Asia, and as such we feel this is a perfect location to extend our brand. Also, as mentioned before, because most of the gaming markets in the US are fully mature, it is important we diversify our portfolio geographically to ensure the economic sustainability of the Tribe for many generations to come. Project Inspire at Incheon, because of its market potential and the ability for us to develop a “complete experience” destination, is an ideal way to help create this diversification. Our research indicates that the casino opportunity at the Incheon Airport in Korea was viewed as a very attractive new opportunity. In fact, the initial RFP

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attracted 34 casino companies from around the world of which only 6 made it to the final list of applicants. Why do you think this particular new casino opportunity was so popular? As the closest gaming jurisdiction to Northern China, including the cities of Shanghai and Beijing, there are over 700 million Chinese residents within a two hour flight to Seoul. In fact, Korea is the closest gaming jurisdiction to most of these residents relative to any other gaming jurisdiction. Three of the four largest MSA’s in the world are only 2 ½ hours away, and Seoul has been, and continues to be, the most popular destination in the world for Chinese tourists. In addition, Korea, one of the world’s top 10 economies, is an underserved leisure destination for North Asia, including Korea itself. Over 25 million people reside within a 2 hour drive from our site in Incheon, which provides an incredible opportunity to drive non-gaming revenue, especially when considering the limited entertainment and leisure product available there. There are over 50 million residents in Korea,


and almost half live in the Seoul Capital Area which is only a subway ride from our site. The Seoul capital area is the world’s third largest urban area. Again, the opportunity to leverage these demographics is remarkable. In fact, our business model contemplates that Inspire will generate more non-gaming revenue than gaming revenue which is quite unusual for most Gaming resorts outside of Las Vegas. Incheon Airport in Korea is already a major international hub in Asia. We learned that IIAC (Incheon International Airport Corporation) has already invested and committed to over US $300 million in infrastructure improvements with the hope of becoming one of the top five busiest airports in the world servicing over 80 million passengers per year by 2020. This will actually make Incheon Airport the single largest hub in Asia. The Incheon Airport is located very close to Seoul, Korea. Wikipedia states that Seoul proper is noted for its population density, which is almost twice that of New York City and eight times greater than Rome. Its metropolitan area was

the most densely populated in the OECD in Asia in 2012 and second worldwide after that of Paris. Nearly all of Seoul’s residents are Korean, with some small Chinese, Japanese, and expatriate minorities. As of December 2013, the population was 10.14 million with approximately 700,000 foreign residents. Our understanding is that the Mohegan Tribe in conjunction with KCC (Korean Construction Company) and the IIAC will develop an innovative new integrated resort on the 800 acres of land that are contiguous with the airport. Can you please give our readers some additional insight as to what will be included in this new U.S. $5 billion Integrated Resort? Phase I is estimated to cost US $1.6 billion so can you also break out what will be developed in Phase I and what will be developed during additional phases of development. Inspire will truly be a visionary complex comprised of multiple developments planned to create an allinclusive leisure and entertainment district that when fully enhanced, will represent the next evolution

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of the integrated resort. It can best be described as a diversified, resort district that is sustainable long term with “mass and premium mass” visitation and with multiple component products. Phase I of the project will include, among other elements: i) world class entertainment experiences including a 15,000 seat arena, ii) 1,350 hotel rooms in 6-Star and 5-Star hotel complex and Spa, iii) nearly 200,000 sq. ft. of convention and meeting space, iv) expansive luxury fashion and retail, dining and nightlife options with a variety of world-wide culinary experiences totalling more than 300,000 sq. ft., v) cultural and historical centres that pay tribute to the Native American and Korean culture, vi) an indoor-outdoor amusement park and eco-adventure park, vii) health, wellness and beauty medical facilities that will serve as the convenient epicenter for body enhancement in Asia, viii) a foreigners-only destination casino with 250 table games and up to 1,500 slot machines, and viii) a private Air Terminal access at the adjacent Incheon Airport to service high value patrons from around the world with maximum convenience. We are currently in the process of master-planning future phases, which will be comprised of various mix-used components, both inside and outside the hospitality industry. We strongly believe that with the

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location, programming and expansive nature of this project, Inspire is destined to become the gateway to tourist globalization. Even though the Mohegan Tribe does not have much experience operating casinos overseas we know that you are a very successful casino company with an excellent track record and that you understand the importance of recruiting an experienced “dream team” per se. We recognize a few veterans such as Gary Luderitz and Ken Davie. Can you give us some more background and your view about finding and hiring the right people for your new dream team in Asia? Launching any large scale project is complicated and requires having the right team in place in order to ensure such launch is successful. This is especially true when doing business in a foreign jurisdiction which has unique challenges such as language barriers, cultural differences and different legal and regulatory rules and processes for development and operating. The large majority of the team will be recruited from the Korean market which is important to effectively navigate the waters there. We are still in the early stages of execution, and as such we are currently building the development team to represent MTGA’s interest in


Korea, which as you note, is currently being led by Gary Luderitz who not only has many years experience in the gaming industry, but also has been a part of our initiative in Korea from the very beginning. The same holds true for Ken Davie as well, who is assisting Gary, especially as it relates to gaming and regulatory elements of the project. The current law in Korea limits Korean nationals to playing in a legal casino in Korea. As of now there is only one approved casino so they are limited to Kangwonland which is located approximately four hours from Seoul. Do you think that this may change in the future and that Korea might opt for a new system similar to Singapore which would allow Koreans to purchase admittance on either a daily or annual basis? Understanding the current gaming limitations by Koreans, how will you capitalize upon your unique location to attract players as well as nonplayers especially from North Asia? Without giving away the “secret sauce recipe�, what will differentiate the new Mohegan integrated casino resort from others in Asia? We pursued a license in Korea with the full understanding of the gaming restrictions governing local residents. The reality is that in this project, gaming is a mere complement and not the driver of

programming or our business model. Only 3.8% of the total project real estate is devoted to gaming, and as mentioned previously, a majority of the revenues will be generated from non-gaming amenities—a much different model than seen at all other resorts operating in Southern Asia. Of course, if the law ultimately changes, we will be prepared to accommodate and welcome locals to the casino component of the resort consistent with the parameters of any new law. We do believe that there are some true differentiators in our project relative to other Integrated resorts throughout Asia. For example, our super arena will be one of the largest in Asia, and along with our other entertainment offerings will make Korea a sporting and entertainment destination on its own. Inspire will be the only integrated resort with its own private air terminal. Also, I am not aware of any other resort with medical and wellness facilities similar to the ones included in the Inspire programming, which will be home to the best cosmetic surgeons in the world. Also, various cultural and recreational elements, including a life sciences centre, museum, indoor-outdoor theme park and entertainment district, and eco-park, we believe will further provide a truly unique total destination experience not typical in other integrated resorts.

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Thank you once again for taking time from your busy schedule for this interview. I know that our readers around the world are already interested in and will be fascinated with following this exciting new project in Asia. Casino Life Magazine wishes you good luck and much success and we look forward to following your progress as the project develops. Steve Karoul is a recognized casino consultant with over 37 years of hands-on experience with the best casinos both within the United States and internationally. He is also an authority on all aspects of casino marketing. Steve has lived in numerous countries and has conducted casino marketing activities in well over 100 countries around the world. He is an author, a lecturer and an educator who often injects his own hands on experiences and openly shares his ideas and thoughts with fellow industry executives. Telephone + (1-860) 536-1828 or skaroul@euroasiacasino.com or see www.euroasiacasino.com

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Juegos Miami 2016 Welcomes the World Kate Chambers, Managing Director, Gaming Division, Clarion Events chats to Peter White 16


Event Organisers from Clarion and Urban Expositions

What were the main aims and ambitions for the event and were they all achieved? When we were researching the potential for Juegos Miami, we spent a long time listening to the market in order to understand exactly what it wanted. We received a very straightforward mandate and that was to create a branded event which attracted the leading influencers in Pan-Latin American and Caribbean gaming. Our brief from the broad cross section of stakeholders that we consulted with, was to create an event that brought something new,

relevant and vibrant to this dynamic part of the gaming economy. This first edition was extremely well received by our supporting companies, by the conference speakers, by attendees as well as by the community of international gaming media. It’s obviously very important that we don’t get carried away, because there were issues that did not go as well as we had intended. However, for a launch event, we have been pleased with the outcome and the positive feedback that we have

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The Merkur Gaming reception at Juegos Miami

received, confirms this view. I am extremely grateful to the Latin American and Caribbean industry for having faith in us as organisers and for supporting Juegos Miami with such passion. Why Miami? The industry asked for an event which facilitated networking and which delivered a mix of product, learning, training and socialising, all set within a professional and sympathetic environment. Having Miami as the host venue was at the heart of this vision. With its fantastic entertainment options and great weather, Miami is possibly one of the best cities to host a regional event for the Latin American market. It has the largest Spanish population in the US and is considered the number one destination for the Latin America community. It was definitely a well received and popular host city. What was your opinion of the venue? We have had very positive feedback with regard to the venue, in particular the quality of the networking functions. We feel there are improvements we can make, particularly with regards to the flow of the event between the networking, conference and exhibition areas. We are currently researching with all stakeholder

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groups and will be listening to and acting upon their feedback in order to ensure that we provide the best customer experience possible. Have you found any emerging trends in the industry from those attending Juegos Miami? What was really significant was the appetite for knowledge and the willingness of all attendees to share their insight. When you get that chemistry right, events such as Juegos Miami can really play an important role in helping to identify and map out the dominant trends. In some respects they can serve to consolidate people’s views and help to crystallise where the sector is heading. From an attending delegate stand point have you any statistics yet on numbers and regions they flew in from? The Juegos Miami model is predicated on quality and not volume. As a consequence, the event was invitation only, and the key objective was to attract C-Level attendees and regulators from across the region. I believe we succeeded here, welcoming influencers and thought leaders from 25 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. The countries represented were: Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bermuda, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador,


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Juegos Miami 2016 Opening Ceremony with Non-Exectuive Chairman Marcelo D’Amato cutting the ribbon

El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Netherland Antilles, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela. As you can see, a very encouraging and powerful endorsement of what we set out to achieve and what our stakeholders wanted. New events can be a bit of gamble, was that the case with Juegos Miami? When you launch any product or service, of course it’s something of a gamble. Our job was to minimise the potential down side whilst not being timid in our aspirations. Anyone working in the events industry will confirm how difficult it is to predict the outcome of a launch. Certainly the dynamics of the established markets such as Colombia, Peru and Argentina as well as the huge potential of Mexico and of course, Brazil, suggested the environment was right and there was an appetite for a robust and professional business event. We had also undertaken some pretty detailed face to face research with key influencers in order to inform our thinking. Both organising teams from Clarion and our partners, Urban Expositions, had worked extremely hard - so all of the fundamentals were in place. Ultimately, you have no option but to go with your gut instinct and having faith in those around you.

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Are there plans in place for Juegos Miami 2017 and if so what message would you like to provide to those considering attending the event next year? The simple answer to your question is, yes, Juegos Miami will take place in 2017. The approach we adopt with all of our events, and this includes Juegos Miami, is to consult with our stakeholders in order to identify what was really good about their experience and what didn’t work quite as well as we’d intended. On the basis of those findings, which will also cover the optimum event dates, we will refine and refresh the brand offering accordingly. That process is fully underway and we are all extremely excited about how the second edition of Juegos Miami will shape up. Launch events can take some time to bed down: however, I have been extremely pleased to see how quickly Juegos Miami has developed its own personality and niche within the industry. The volume of good will and the desire to see Juegos Miami succeed, has been hugely gratifying. When you get the industry, including the gaming media, on side in this way, then you know the outlook is extremely positive. Looking ahead and on the basis of what we have experienced, I am certain that Juegos Miami will become a major, must attend event on the industry calendar and the one in the region, to be a part of.


The Living Wage

Rebecca Green chats to Ian Hogg at specialist staff scheduling company ShopWorks The UK government introduced a new Living wage of £7.20 per hour on April 1st 2016, the first increased pay checks have been paid out and Casino operators are starting to assess the impact. Casino Life spoke to Ian Hogg at specialist staff scheduling company www.theshopworks.com , which supplies Casino operators, Bingo Halls, Bookmakers and AGCs with systems designed to reduce their staff bills to find out how it is affecting the industry. Casino Life: There is some confusion about terminology between minimum wage and living wage, can you clear this up for us? Ian Hogg: We have just published a special report which covers everything an operator needs to know about the National Living Wage, which is available on our website. However, the basics are as follows -the minimum wage applies to workers under 25 – an apprentice gets £3.30 someone under 18 gets £3.85, a worker between 18 and 20 gets £5.30 whilst someone between 21 and 24 gets £6.70. The Living wage is the governments re-brand of the Minimum Wage for people over 25 and is currently £7.20 but will be increasing to £9.00 per hour by 2020. The Living Wage is essentially a different age threshold band of the Minimum Wage, which will end up 38% higher than the 2015 minimum wage. Casino Life: So what are Casino operators saying about it? Ian Hogg: We provide systems for a number of operators but have been very busy with new customers since the Living Wage was announced because operators are finding this difficult to absorb. This comes on top of compulsory “auto enrolment” for pensions and the apprentice levy and also attracts Employers National Insurance, so operators are looking at ways to manage their staff costs and mitigate the increase. Casino Life: So how are Casino Operators mitigating the increase? Ian Hogg: two ways really – the first is cutting back

on perks. This is happening across the retail and leisure industries – in fact the number of employers trimming back benefits has prompted the chancellor, George Osborne, to say that those cutting paid breaks, Sunday pay, free food and overtime where “acting against the spirit of the law.” The second is putting in systems to more tightly manage staff costs. These systems use biometrics to ensure there are no “ghost hours” but also monitor spend against budget to ensure there is no overspend. These systems are helping operators reduce the number of hours they pay for. The Office for Budget Responsibility forecast that “the living wage will give a pay rise to 1.3m workers this year, but it is expected to reduce hours worked by four million a week” We have evidence that a Casino operator that changes from managing staff via spreadsheets to a full blown staff scheduling system like ours, including biometrics, saved 12% of their staff costs – all by paying for less hours, which goes a long way to mitigating the Living Wage. All our Casino operators have biometrics now and a lot of our bookmaker and AGC customers are adding it to their systems to remove ghost hours and only pay for hours worked. Casino Life: can you give us any specific examples of actions that Casino operators are taking to reduce their costs? Ian Hogg: it wouldn’t be fair to name companies but recently one of our customers introduced a new staff contract for all new joiners based on the minimum wage age thresholds. We changed our system so that on the employees’ 18th, 21st and 25th birthday they receive an automatic pay rise at midnight on the day of their birthday. This new contract type works alongside the operators’ existing contract types and will help them manage their cost base as they replace leavers with staff on the new terms. Casino Life: Thank you Ian: it sounds like you are in for a busy few months.

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Richard Noble COO Aspers Group Ltd

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An open letter to Government Richard Noble, speaking on behalf of the National Casino Forum Dear Secretary of State, As Chief Operating Officer at Aspers Casino, I sit on the strategy board of the UK casino trade association, the National Casino Forum (NCF) on whose behalf I now write. As you know, NCF represents all of the land-based casino operators in the UK. This also includes large scale operators like Genting and Grosvenor, independents such as the Hippodrome and Ritz Club and other high-end Mayfair casinos, as well as mid-range regional casinos. As we have discussed with you, NCF is seeking simple legislative changes that will allow the casino sector to respond to customer demand, boost tourism and keep up with technological advances, whilst remaining at the vanguard of socially responsible gambling. Many of these proposals echo the recommendations of the Culture, Media and Sport’s Select Committee’s report into the working of the Gambling Act (The Gambling Act 2005: A bet worth taking, 2012). As you can imagine, there are a number of proposals the casino sector would like to see the Government move forward with, but we recognise that politics is the art of the possible. As such, over the last couple of years, NCF has engaged with DCMS, HM Treasury, No.10, the Gambling Commission, other relevant departments and backbench MPs in order to work up a roadmap for the future of the casino sector. Through this activity we believe we have formulated measured proposals that would bring real change to the sector and deliver significant benefits to the exchequer. As such, we have two key proposals - both of which could be undertaken through an affirmative SI: • Harmonisation of machine to table ratios between 1968 Act and small 2005 Act casinos at a new ratio of 3:1 • Removing the restriction on providing access to

internet gaming through terminals situated in landbased casinos. One of the key reasons we are confident in pursuing these measured proposals is because we know that casinos are the safest place for gambling in the UK – we are recognised by the Gambling Commission as being at the top of the regulatory pyramid. Last Month, Jenny Williams, the former Chief Executive of the Commission, summed it up pretty well when she said: “casinos are the most supervised, controlled places for gambling environments in the world. In the UK, there is very little trouble coming from casinos…they are just not that sort of environment.” But for us it’s about more than being at the top of the regulatory pyramid; we work incredibly hard to be at the forefront of responsible gambling. NCF’s Playing Safe programme, launched in 2013 to which every casino in the UK is signed up, defines the way the UK casino industry conducts its business. In the last year we’ve also launched a national self-exclusion system called SENSE - an industry first – meaning that a problem gambler can be excluded from Aspers’ casino in Westfield and will then be prevented from gambling in every casino across the country no matter which company operates the property, and SENSE is available 24/7. Our staff manage a highly supervised and controlled environment in which to gamble. The casino sector employs over 14,000 highly trained staff across the UK and we are also responsible for an extra 4,000 jobs through our supply chain. Over the last ten years our sector has invested in its workforce, taken on apprentices and encouraged more women into management roles. A lot of people are still surprised that 42% of casino staff are women and that 40% of senior management are female. As our country and our economy have changed, casinos have tried to evolve to suit customer demand. We increasingly provide diverse

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entertainment venues for any audience in major cities across the UK. We have worked hard to attract tourists and create spectacular gaming venues. By meeting customer expectations and demand we have built a casino industry which contributed over £400 million of gross value added to the UK economy last year, much of that coming from outside of London. And we want to do more, but unfortunately we can’t. We can’t because the politics that surrounded the Gambling Act 2005 has led to what can only be called ‘market failure.’ The 2005 Act gave us 16 new licences as part of a trial and there is no indication of when that trial will be over. It is nine years since the enactment of the 2005 Act and of those 16 licences, currently only four are operating. By our reckoning at least six of these licences may never open. That is ‘market failure.’ We currently suffer from two legislative systems sitting side by side and making no sense. Small licences allow an operator a maximum of 80 gaming machines, while ‘1968 Act’ licence casinos can only have 20. So we have a scenario where there can be two casinos, probably of exactly the same size, in the same town, offering the same facilities, but one with four times the number of gaming machines of the other. This is nothing to do with the issues about regional

or ‘supercasinos’ as they were overstated during the debate. And this has nothing to do with the proposed Category A machines with unlimited stakes and prizes that were proposed only for the regional casinos. But this does have everything to do with unintended consequences of casino legislation. Take for example gaming machines in British casinos. For 2014/15 the Gambling Commission tells us that there were 148 casinos operating, two of which were from the 2005 Act regime, both of them as it happens being Aspers casinos. The Commission also tells us that there was an average of 2,822 gaming machines operating in casinos in 2014/15. That’s just 8% of the 34,685 operating in betting shops, or just 5% of the 55,157 operating in bingo halls or just under 4% of the 74,146 operating in arcades. You may argue that it’s an unfair comparison because we have high stakes machines in casinos. And that’s true, 94% of the machines in British casinos are B1s which have a maximum stake of £5, compared to £100 on B2s, and also have a maximum prize of £10,000 or £20,000 on progressive machines. That is a fair comment and normal for casinos. However, this is a long way off the millions that can be won on gaming machines in casinos internationally. We offer highly supervised gaming in an adult only environment and our customers expect

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to be able to win large amounts. They can win far higher on their mobile phones, on the tables in our casinos or, as already stated, on gaming machines in practically every other casino in the world. We have considered the outcome of having some parity between the 1968 Act casinos and a Small Casino Licence from the 2005 Act. We can calculate that in 2014/15 there were 146 operating 1968 Act casinos which offered 2,560 gaming machines. That’s the total number minus the 262 we operate at the two large Aspers casinos at Westfield and Milton Keynes. That gives us an average of 17.5 machines per casino. Even under our proposals it is likely that not all casinos would take up their full allocation of machines, but we have worked on the assumption that all existing, plus the 40 dormant licences, exercise their full allocation; that equates to 186 multiplied by 80 which equals 14,880 machines. That would make casino gaming machines just 10% of the total machine estate in the country, a third of what’s available in bingo halls and a sixth of what’s available in betting shops and arcades. In many countries the only place gaming machines are allowed is in a casino. The norm worldwide is to have harder gambling in a smaller number of bigger premises that are easier to control, regulate and supervise, rather than a larger number of smaller premises that

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are not. The impact would be largely unnoticed by the wider public and there would be no increase in problem gambling. Why? Because each new machine does not create a new problem gambler. We are not creating any more casinos, we are just correcting the gambling pyramid and giving the casino gambling customer more choice. There would, though, be a positive impact of an increase in machines duty going to the Treasury, much from tourists, so an inward flow of money into the country, plus a massive boost to the British gaming machines manufacturing industry, and a boost to casino revenues enabling casinos to invest in their properties and facilities, much of which, again, would be inward investment into the country. This is because we would be giving our customers choice and the kind of casinos that they are already enjoying around the world. And on the issue of the wider world, it’s perhaps worth mentioning the high-end casinos. These preeminent casinos attract the best of global business people to London but don’t really compete with other UK casinos, apart from the relatively small number of other high-end clubs in London, but rather they compete with clubs in Asia Pacific, the US and other parts of Europe. Casinos like the Ritz and Les Ambassadeurs are


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profitable contributors to the public purse, and an added attraction for international trade. As policymakers, if you talk to Mayfair, you’re already talking to one third of the sector by revenue. And there is no doubt that many more highnet-worth players from Asia and around the world would choose to game in London if the casinos here were able to offer them what they are used to getting in other international jurisdictions. But, with UK duty on land-based casinos at 50%, it is very difficult to provide the infrastructure to consistently attract such players. Put simply, and remembering that one third of gaming revenue is generated by four London casinos, the UK duty regime makes us uncompetitive at the level of high-net-worth players. Not only do other jurisdictions have a lower duty rate but these jurisdictions also have a different duty rate for nationals and foreigners. As the highend London casinos cater to a global audience, we would like to protect both that customer base and, with it, the contribution they can make to the Exchequer, with a duty regime for international players that enables us to match what our clients experience elsewhere in the world. In conclusion, there is nothing in what we are asking for that should in any way cause you concern – this is evolution, not revolution. Indeed

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harmonising the old ’68 Act licences with the ‘2005 act’ small licences would inject some transparency into the sector and end the confusion for customers of not knowing what products or games will be available inside any given casino. It would mean being able to offer our customers a leisure and gambling experience that is commensurate with the sort of experience they would find in virtually every other jurisdiction across the globe. Together, the changes we want would unlock further investment in the UK and would allow even more of our casinos to move away from being intense gaming venues and instead become a central part of the UK’s wider leisure and entertainment mix where gambling is but one part of the overall offer. We realise that it would need a Statutory Instrument and that can take time and effort. But we hope that Government will listen to us, and come and talk to us about it, so we can discuss the economic uplift such a move could make. In summary; we entertain millions, employ thousands and generate hundreds of millions in taxes. Please support our efforts to improve our industry and its contribution to the UK economy still further.


Dr. Bo Bernhard Executive Director, International Gaming Institute, UNLV addresses the conference

In hospitality and Gaming it’s all about the Experience The Experience was clearly evident at the 16th International Conference on Gambling & Risk Taking held at the Mirage in Las Vegas this month

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his conference, presented by UNLV’S International Gaming Institute began with a key note address by Steve Wynn, Gaming Visionary and Developer who changed the landscape not only in Las Vegas but throughout the industry with the opening of the Mirage in 1989. “…It wasn’t about gaming,” Wynn said. “It was about the place!” This was an obvious reference to gaming’s position then, as well as gaming’s position now within the total model of the non-gaming resort experience. The conference hosts experts from several disciplines to present and discuss various studies

and share their views from their respective disciplines. It is an international exchange of ideas. The conference has been held every three years since its inception in 1974; founded by the late Dr. Bill Edington, Economics Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Bo Bernhard, Executive Director, International Gaming Institute, UNLV and his team now present the event which in his words takes at least two of the three years to prepare. Dr. Bernhard noted that the conference has grown continually in attendance and professional disciplines. But the conference had “Encores!” (Pardon the Wynn pun.) Jan Jones Burkhart, Executive Vice

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Jan Jones Burkhart, current Executive Vice President Communications/Government Relations/CR and former two-term Mayor of Las Vegas, had a powerful stage presence

President Communications/Government Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility Caesars, and former two-term Mayor of Las Vegas, had a powerful keynote, sighting the lack of female leadership in gaming and other business segments. She said there are not enough women in leadership roles. “Statistics don’t lie — there is a problem,” she said. Panel sessions were conducted by an international group of presenters on topics such as: Responsible Gaming, Esports, Daily Fantasy Sports, (DFS) Integrated Resorts, Economics, Public Policy, Mathematics, Social Sciences, Psychology, Technology and more… Knowledge through research and collaboration is key to staying relevant. As a former gaming executive turned academic I was very comfortable in this collective “meeting of the minds.” That is to say that those working in academia, research, and responsible gaming initiatives along with members of the casino/ resort operations infrastructure fit nicely into this conference. The Gaming industry is as strong as the networks that support it. We know that “change in the gaming industry is a constant!” Internationally applied research studies and events such as this conference are paramount in collaborative initiatives to work together with gaming industry members to help serve its needs as well as those who are the recipients of their services; the customer.


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New Jersey: North vs South More challenges ahead for New Jersey by Frank Catania

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his November, New Jersey voters will not only be voting for President, they also will be voting on whether to allow two casinos in specific North Jersey locations, just minutes from New York City. This is not the first time voters in New Jersey were given the option of allowing casinos in North Jersey. A few years prior to the referendum allowing casinos in Atlantic City in 1977, a referendum allowing casinos statewide was defeated. Will the initiative be successful this time? In 1977, New Jersey became the only state besides Nevada that allowed casino gaming. Atlantic City was the “Las Vegas of the East,� and it became the destination for those seeking the excitement of casino gambling, celebrity shows, and everything else associated with casinos. Resorts was the first casino to open and it became an immediate success. Soon after, other casino moguls such as Steve Wynn, Donald Trump, and others, began planning their entrance into the Atlantic City market and by the early 90’s, Atlantic City was grossing more than the Las Vegas strip. The Garden State Parkway, the main road between North Jersey, New York City, and Atlantic City, saw hundreds of buses daily taking players to a day of gambling in Atlantic City. Competition for Atlantic City arose first with the opening of Foxwoods, a Native American casino in the western part of Connecticut approximately the same distance to New York City and North Jersey. Players now had a choice, yet Atlantic City casinos still flourished. However, politicians concentrated on the glitter of the casinos and paid little attention to the rest of the city. More redevelopment funds were used throughout New Jersey rather than in Atlantic City, and the population dwindled significantly. The next challenge came when surrounding states began opening some form of casino gaming,

Frank Catania Law Offices Catania & Ehrlich, New Jersey

whether it was a full casino experience with hotel and entertainment such as Pennsylvania, or as in New York, casinos without live dealers, just gaming machines. With so many other states in the area offering some form of casino gaming, Atlantic City saw a sharp decrease in revenue and casinos started to close or declare bankruptcy. This also meant a large drop in casino tax revenues for the state. A dispute arose in the legislature between northern state representatives, being pressured by the new owner of the Meadowlands race track, located just across the river from New York City, and their southern counterparts, who wanted Atlantic City to be the only casino location in New Jersey. A compromise was reached and a bill was sent to

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the Governor for a referendum to be placed on this November’s ballot, for the voters to decide whether to allow two North Jersey locations in which a casino could be established, the Meadowlands and Jersey City. Both these locations are just minutes from New York City. Those supporting and opposing this referendum contain different subgroups. South Jersey residents, which includes the suburbs of Philadelphia, oppose because they do not want more competition for Atlantic City and a further decline in the gaming industry there. Anti-gambling organizations will also be campaigning against since they believe all

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gambling is wrong. Those jurisdictions in which the proposed casinos will be located will be supportive since they will see additional local tax revenues. Some North Jersey residents will see it as providing jobs. Others, who commute into New York City, might visualize more traffic adding more time to their daily commutes, and could possibly vote “No.” Still others throughout the state will see it as an expansion of gaming and all the problems that go with it, and definitely vote ”No.” So simply put, the chances of the referendum passing is as reflected in many polls, no better than 50/50, maybe yes and maybe no. My opinion, for whatever it is worth, is that the referendum will fail and Atlantic City will remain the only casino venue in New Jersey. However, by way of disclaimer, my last prediction at an ABA conference in September 2006 was that Congress would never approve the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. A few days later, it was attached to another bill and passed. Frank Catania Law Offices Catania & Ehrlich, P.C. Catania Gaming Consultants, New Jersey frank@cataniaconsulting.com


Brexit Verdict Gambling Consultant Steve Donoghue provides his opinion

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ith the impacts of last Thursday’s momentous referendum decision for Brexit still seeping in, I must unfortunately forecast that the future is undoubtedly bleak for the British casino industry. I know this will not sit well with a traditionally libertarian industry, who many I am certain will have voted to ‘regain control’, but for our industry this is an absolute nightmare. I should point out in a caveat to my comments that I, like anyone else, is completely unsure of what will happen and that, in essence, is 99% of my point. The future is shrouded in mystery and the one thing financial markets don’t like is uncertainty. The only thing certain is that this will mean economic downturn, if not recession, which means less money in the pockets of those we depend on for customers. You may be sat there thinking, ‘doesn’t matter, we’re high end’, well guess what it, it will. When the UK becomes a worse place to do business then your high end guys will go elsewhere, as you know they aren’t coming to London just to play at your tables. Plus when a government becomes desperate for money, you think casinos are going to be ignored? Pencil in a tax rise in the short term. So for the next two years, we will have to negotiate an exit from the EU (unless things change remarkably) and a way we can still trade with it. As of the time of writing, Boris Johnson seems to be suggesting that a Norway model is possible, but as that involves all of the costs of EU membership (full movement of people and obeying EU rules) without any ability to influence EU regulation and that may not float with the 17 million who voted out. If you consider game theory, it is not in the EU’s interest to be nice to us in any way when it comes to negotiations as to do so would set a precedent and soon every EU country would be voting for Brexit to try and get better terms. We need to steel ourselves to the fact that after two years of uncertainty we could quite feasibly be let adrift in the world with no EU arrangement and trade deals done under WTO rules and massive trade tariffs. With little to offer the world apart from pop music and comedy, especially when all our heavy manufacturing and financial industry moves away to be part of the EU, the forecasts of a 6% drop in

GDP (3-4% if we do have an EU deal) mean there will be much belt tightening to come. Of course I’m being pessimistic but I can’t see how it helps the EU to be nice to us now. Will there still be a casino industry? Yes, of course, we’re one of the few industries which has little EU involvement outside of employment and health & safety. Will it grow? No – economic recession plus increased taxation plus no regulatory liberalisation, as no one in government will have any time for anything else but Brexit, means the best we can hope for is it to stay at current levels but I would expect a downturn. I know I should mention the obvious that getting staff from Europe will be more problematic and thus give all of us a headache, but I don’t think this will be the case. The irony of this whole omnishambles is that no-one is thinking that immigration will be stopped by one iota. You will still be able to get Eastern Europe’s finest to supervise, croupier, serve and clean. So in essence it looks grim, not build a bunker in the back garden grim but definitely locate the plans for said bunker and keep them in a safe place grim. You have been warned. www.gamblingconsultant.co.uk

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Pick Me, Pick Me: How to be a top candidate with executive recruiters

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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, my average placement is $200,000 and last year I placed eight executives north of a million dollars. I am frequently asked, “How come Executive Recruiters never call me with the GOOD jobs? How can I stay on their radar?”  Two great questions.  Executive Recruiters DO get the best jobs.  Any company that is going to pay a Recruiter 25% to 35% of your base salary is a company you want to work for!  And everyone wants to be that “go to” candidate when a great job comes up.  So here are a few of my tips for making an Executive Recruiter your best friend. Gainfully Employed – You can hold the hate mail. I’m not here to judge anyone, just give you the honest

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truth about how the system works.  Gainfully employed candidates are the most attractive.  They are followed by folks they just left their current job this week, and finally those that have been on the street for some period of time. Education – Nearly 100% of high end jobs require a college degree. Again, these are NOT the Recruiter’s requirements; they are the hiring company’s.  If the Recruiter wants to get paid, he has to follow directions.  Either you have a degree or you do not. Professional Experience with High Profile Companies – From an experience perspective, Recruiters like stability. Three to five years minimum per gig.  Candidates with five jobs in five years are “job hoppers” and eliminated from consideration.  And of course there may be a very logical reason for moving around, but Recruiters get paid to place executives, and good companies expect stability.  And the most


attractive candidates have worked for high profile companies with names everyone recognizes. Without Integrity, I Don’t Care How Brilliant or Talented You Are – So those first three are a prerequisite – Gainfully employed, college degree and stable work history. Now we move on to more subjective areas.  A great CEO once told me, “Without integrity, I don’t care how brilliant or talented they are.”  Surprisingly, a large number of executive candidates are NOT truthful.  Candidates lie about their education, experience, job title, compensation…you name it.  Had a candidate tell me his base salary was $150,000.  After we made the job offer, the background check came back at $100,000 from his last job.  “Oh, I thought you meant with my bonus, insurance, dry cleaning and car allowance.”  No you didn’t.  You just flat out lied to get the job.  And then there are all the candidates that list colleges they never graduated from.  Either you have a college degree or you don’t.  Only list a college if you graduated. INTEGRITY is the biggest deal breaker in recruiting.  No Recruiter wants to represent someone that is dishonest. Relationships Trump Talent – All things being equal, Executive Recruiters submit candidates they know and like. If you remember nothing else from reading this, remember this – RELATIONSHIPS TRUMP TALENT.  Candidates say, “You are doing your clients a disservice by not submitting me – I’m the smartest person to ever walk the planet.”  Not true.  Recruiters get paid to know the candidates personally, and to provide scripture and verse on their backgrounds.  Why did they leave their last job?  What are their strengths and weaknesses?  Companies pay good recruiters to submit executives they know and trust, not candidates that cold call and send unsolicited resumes. You Need to Add Value! – Let’s say I have a CFO search. I’ll send an email to 200 CFOs that I know personally to see if anyone wants to volunteer, but also to see if anyone can provide a referral.  Top Executive Recruiters don’t post jobs online or use Monster candidate databases.  They are careful to only represent executives they know personally, or those referred to them by a credible source. BIG TIP – If an Executive Recruiter asks for a referral, and you can provide one, DO IT.  Recruiters love people that add value, and have exceptionally long memories. Don’t Spam Your Resume – If you are going to apply for jobs online, there is no need to send an Executive Recruiter your resume. We get paid to find the unobtainable, inaccessible, gainfully employed executives with impeccable pedigrees.  Online job postings are for “B” candidates.

Arrogant and Self-Absorbed is NOT Attractive – Let me tell you about the worst candidate I ever represented. He was a $500,000 type with a very impressive background.  Better yet, a high profile person sent me the resume.  When someone important vouches for you, that goes a long way with me.  Unfortunately, this candidate set new records for hubris.  Absolutely refused to listen.  Eventually I met with him in person and said, “If you don’t listen to me, I have to withdraw you from the search.”  He did not get the job, was unemployed two years, worked a year and is unemployed again.  Humble and genuine is attractive.  No company wants to hire narcissistic megalomaniacs. Don’t Be Desperate or Needy – This is another area you need to be careful with. The fact you got fired may be an emergency on your part; it is not an emergency for the Recruiter.RECRUITERS GET PEOPLE FOR JOBS, NOT JOBS FOR PEOPLE. Really, really important to understand.  If you come across as desperate, no Recruiter will represent you.  Recruiters focus on finding jobs and placing strong executives in those jobs.  They are not going to drop everything they are doing to solve your crisis.  If you think constantly calling and emailing will “keep you on their radar”, you are sadly mistaken.  Pretty quickly they will stop returning your call. No Cold Calls – Top Recruiters don’t accept unsolicited resumes. In other words, resumes of executives they don’t know. The “B” Recruiters do that because they are throwing spaghetti on a wall and praying something sticks. The best Executive Recruiters only work with executives they know personally, or those referred from their professional network. If you don’t know one or two Executive Recruiters personally, make it your goal to meet a couple. Ask one of your peers for a referral.  Build the bridge before you need to cross the river. Confidential means CONFIDENTIAL! – Never, ever ask an Executive Recruiter to share information about a confidential search. Like a Doctor or Attorney, our work is very sensitive and confidential.  In some cases the incumbent has not been terminated yet.  In all cases the company does not want to be assaulted by unqualified candidates.  If an Executive Recruiter tells you the company is confidential, leave it at that. Be Realistic About Compensation – If you are making $200,000, no company is going to pay you $400,000. Probably not even $300,000.  Although I have seen some pretty big pay increases for specific technical skill sets, the typical increase is 10% to 20%.  Pretty much everyone thinks they are underpaid, however my

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sense is that 10% are underpaid or overpaid and 80% of executives are receiving the market rate.  If you are unrealistic about compensation, Executive Recruiters won’t represent you.  We get paid to place people and don’t spend time on the impossible. Never End Run a Recruiter – Here is a great way to become persona non grata. If the Recruiter says you are not a fit, YOU ARE NOT A FIT.  Period.  Not a discussion item.  If you try to end run the Recruiter and go directly to the hiring company you will accomplish two things.  First, the hiring company is going to ignore you.  They hired that Recruiter to keep unqualified people like you from gang tackling them.  Second, you will join the Recruiters “excluded list” of executives they won’t represent in the future.  And you know what?  All the Recruiters know each other and talk to each other.  And many times hiring companies call the Recruiters for input, even if they are not engaged with the search.  Never seen a successful end run.  Don’t do it! Compliance Issues are a Deal Breaker – If you have a criminal record, DUIs, bankruptcies or tax liens, you will be challenged to find a senior level job. Companies want to hire executives that make good personal decisions. Don’t Burn Bridges – I often tell Las Vegas executives,

“This is a town of two million, but only 200 of them make all the decisions, and they all know each other.” There is no benefit to burning bridges.  Wish I had $100 for every candidate that was otherwise highly talented, but had burned their bridges and could not get a single interview.  Mostly they all have to leave town and find a city where no one knows them.  It’s like your Mum told you, “Play nice.” No Sour Grapes – If the Recruiter secures you an interview, but you don’t get the job, be positive and upbeat. Thank the Recruiter for their time and effort on your behalf.  Never say “it’s their loss” or “they must be idiots not to hire me.”  Sour grapes paints you in a negative light and will get you excluded from future searches. An Attitude of Gratitude – Once you find a job, let your Executive Recruiter connections know where you landed and give them updated contact information. Thank them profusely for their help during your career search.  And make sure to stay in touch.  A shocking number of executives ask Recruiters for help, and then cast them away once they get a job.  Make no mistake; it will be remembered next time around. godfatherlv.com

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How to survive and thrive after a setback By Paul McGee

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t’s said the difference between people who succeed and people who fail is how they handle setbacks. We will all suffer setbacks, but whilst one person learns from the experience, the other can be crushed by it. Where one treats a setback as something that comes with the territory, others see it as a reason for quitting. Yet rejection, disappointment, failed relationships or a lost sale are all part of the human experience. My first book which has gone on to sell in excess of 25,000 copies was initially rejected by eleven publishers. Even J.K. Rowling suffered the pain of rejection from no fewer than nine publishers before Bloomsbury decided to take a risk by publishing the first Harry Potter Book. So what can we do and who should we turn to when we suffer a setback? I’m known as ‘The S.U.M.O. Guy’ because I teach people to Shut Up, Move On! I show people how to shut up and stop thinking and behaving in a way that hinders their success and to move forward with their lives. Some people believe that is all we need to do after a setback, Shut Up, Move On. However, for many of us, part of the process of moving involves us first having what I term ‘Hippo Time’. Hippo Time is when we allow ourselves some time out to wallow (as hippos do in mud) and to acknowledge our frustration and disappointment and perhaps even anger. We’re not robots. We cannot simply turn our emotions on and off at the flick of a switch. What Hippo Time does, is give you the opportunity to experience your emotional lows and to be honest about those feelings. However, in order to make Hippo Time a helpful rather than a harmful experience, make sure you avoid three kinds of people: 1. ‘The Hijackers’. These are the people who take over your Hippo Time with comments such as “I know how you feel, the same thing happened to me” 2. ‘The Awfulisers’. These people give too much sympathy and can make you feel even worse about your situation. They say things such as “That’s terrible, you must feel awful...I had a friend with an in-growing toe nail and he had to have his toe removed!” 3. ‘The Happies’. These are the ‘I’m really positive but I have no grasp of reality’ people. You lose your legs in an accident and they smile sincerely and say “At least you’ve still got your arms”. Or your partner finishes your relationship and they reply “Well there are plenty more fish in the sea!” How To Make Hippo Time A Helpful Experience?

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1. Allow yourself to ‘feel bad’. It’s actually OK to feel down. Give yourself permission to do so. 2. Be careful who you speak to. Find someone who will listen without feeling obliged to offer advice. 3. Avoid hasty decisions. Allow yourself time to work through your feelings before taking action. 4. Learn from it. Whatever you’ve experienced, from a missed sale to a failed relationship, there is always something to learn. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this experience?” 5. Treat yourself. This does not equate to binge shopping, but a small treat can be the ideal ‘pick me up’. You’re then in a better frame of mind to move forward. 6. Treat others. Do something positive for someone else for no particular reason. You’ll feel an ‘inner satisfaction’ for having done so. Feeling good about yourself prevents you slipping into pity party mode. 7. Change the record. It’s not helpful to tell too many people about your issue. You can end up sounding like a broken record. Remember to re-tell is to relive and that is not always helpful. 8. Make space. You may need time simply to be alone with your thoughts, as opposed to talking through your issue with others. Personal ‘alone time’ may well be the order of the day. 9. Decide on desirable distractions. Perhaps what you need is to stop thinking about your issue altogether. Watch a movie, take some exercise or surf the net. When you do decide to re-focus, you often have a fresh perspective on your situation. 10. Write down your ‘downs’. Putting your thoughts and feelings down on paper can be a helpful way of offloading and working through your issue. Seeing things on paper can create a sense of clarity as well as being an honest account of how you’re feeling at the time. You’re then in a position to decide how best to move on. Whichever of the above helps, remember this - Hippo Time is temporary. Successful people make sure they don’t spend too long wallowing and realise that setbacks are temporary, but quitting lasts a life time. www.theSUMOguy.com


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Casino Life June 2016