Professor Keating: Casino Operations
April 30, 2019

The following interview was conducted by Tisch Center student worker, Haley Park.

What is your background?

I am a graduate of Boston College, Carroll School of Management, Major Marketing and Operations Management. I have been in the Hospitality Industry 30+ years. I have served in many leadership positions, from Director of Sales and Marketing, VP, Area Director, and Executive Director for major convention hotels, Sheraton New York, Millennium Broadway and the famous Hudson Theater, The Plaza, and Essex House. My casino career started as Executive Director of Sales and Catering over the Sales, Catering, Banquets, Culinary, and Event Center for 2800 rooms of The Borgata and Water Club, Hotel and Casino Atlantic City. Today, I work for M&R Hospitality, an emerging new hotel company with over 10 hotels in NYC. My area is hotel brand openings and launch. My most recent opening is Holiday Inn New York City and Times Square.

At the Tisch Center, you teach the Casino Operations & Management course. What are the goals and objectives of this course?

The main objective of the course is to examine the organizational structures and management challenges of operating a gaming business. Casino and gaming operations are structured and managed differently from other hospitality operations. Topics to be covered include: the history of casino gaming, the economics of gaming, management structure of casinos, rules and regulations that affect day-to-day operations, government restrictions, clientele, marketing strategies, licensing of employees, legislation concerning types of games, entertainment, and the legal requirements for operating a facility. After completing the course, students should be able to explain regulatory procedures (within a majority of casino gaming jurisdictions), explain the numerous games and ways that people gamble throughout the world, distinguish between non-gaming operations (hotel and food & beverage) and how casino gaming utilizes them, explain in-depth, the marketing avenues and reasons for advertising, customer development, social media, and direct mail and understand the role Revenue Management has in the entire process of running the operation.

What are some concrete examples of the material that you cover and projects that you and your students have worked on?

First, students are intrigued about the history of gaming. Why Las Vegas? We look a how the roots trace back to the mob, the Founding Fathers of Gaming and how gaming evolved over the years into a multi billion dollar destination today. Second, we learn how integral casino marketing and revenue management is to the entire operation and management of running a successful casino. Third, we learn that a place of adult entertainment and fun are built upon extensive operating procedures, training, heavily state regulated policy and procedures, and laws (Title 31 and 26) that must be strictly adhered to. And yes, all casino comps are well thought out and accounted for. Fourth, we study how the games work and how the mathematics behind the games are created to promote and market the games to the right players at the right time for revenue optimization. Fifth, students gain an understanding the casino organizational chart, the need for conducting ongoing training, learning some industry jargon in the operation from rake, cold cans, drop, craps and stickman boxman and rhythmic roller and George! And finally, students learn how the hotel and casino work together for revenue optimization.

What is one of the main things your students take away from this course?

From this course, first and foremost, I hope students take away an appreciation for the entire business.  I also hope students gain an understanding for the different aspects  of casino operations,  In addition, I want students to understand how vital marketing is year round for the casino’s awareness and success. And lastly, I hope students complete the course knowing that creating a memorable  stay for all guests is the #1 priority. Year-round training supports that effort especially in the management of all the casino games.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Every day at the casino is like being on a Broadway Show. It’s delivering the best customer service performance to all our guests.. When you’re on the floor, your focus, how you act and respond, should be with the highest guest satisfaction delivery. To deliver A game  performance  will foster the loyalty and desire of our guests and players to return.