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Featured Editorials

It’s a hot, hot, hot, hot world


Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage is basking in unprecedented honors. By David McKee

Pier Nine Brighton

 Amy Culora, Head of Marketing, Grosvenor Casinos chats to Peter White

 Grosvenor Casino Brighton has been reinvented by the Rank Organisation as a bigger, better Pier Nine Casino. Not many people would think of Doctor Who as a gambler but the old casino was “a bit of a Tardis,” in the words of Rank marketing chief Amy Culora. Part of that reworking of Casino Brighton was to rebrand it as Pier Nine Casino, cashing in on Brighton’s historical cachet as a seaside resort. Rank poured $6.8 million into the makeover, one that resulted in a two-casino facility with 24-hour bars, among other amenities, which include private cinemas and karaoke lounges. Not missing a step, Pier Nine remained open throughout the conversion process. In conversation with Peter White, Culora explained the rationale behind the name change, what customers want and how being started in the casino industry in Stoke was the best thing that could have happened to her.

Caesars Entertainment’s Thinking outside the X Box



Caesars Entertainment’s Eileen Moore-Johnson caters to different, evolving audiences on the Las Vegas Strip by David McKee

Some casino executives are sprinters, zipping from property to property and company to company. Caesars Entertainment Regional Vice President Eileen Moore-Johnson is a marathon runner, having been with the casino giant since 1999. In her present capacity, her portfolio encompasses resorts, great (Flamingo Las Vegas and its 3,400-plus rooms), small (The Cromwell, 188 rooms big) and somewhere in between (The Linq). Moore-Johnson got her start in hospitality at the age of 15, at the Hotel Thayer at West Point Military Academy, in upstate New York.

SUZOHAPP The natural choice in Gaming Technology


Sim Bielak, President of Global Gaming & Amusement Business, SUZOHAPP Interview by Damien Connelly

Nobody makes more game parts than SUZOHAPP, founded in Mount Prospect, Illinois, with manufacturing facilities in China and Poland. Fresh off the ICE show in London, SUZOHAPP had a wealth of new technology to showcase, which it does in this conversation with Damien Connelly. With sports betting on the upswing, this is a particularly opportune time for technology companies to turn their attention to that sector and capitalize upon it. As company President Sim Bielak says, “it’s a very exciting time.” SUZOHAPP was ready with sports-betting terminals and a line of replacement parts.

GeWeTe’s Star Performers



Aristidis Tsikouras, Managing Director, GeWeTe. Interview By Peter White

Continental casinos seeking an end-to-end solution for cash handling often as not turn to GeWeTe, a German-based firm with a wide European reach—and ambitions in the North American sphere as well. The company began modestly enough, making change machines 27 years ago. GeWeTe saw an opportunity within the casino industry, where the change person on the floor used to be omnipresent. GeWeTe’s change machines rendered that function largely superfluous, freeing up casino staff for other customer interactions. The company’s technology gradually evolved to enable debit-card transactions and hopper refills. Under the direction of founder Aristidis Tsikouras, GeWeTe captured 75percent of German market share and began marching toward domination of the European Union.

The STRAT Las Vegas Standing Above the Rest



Bill Healey chats to Brian Stanton VP of Table Games Stratosphere Resort Casino Las Vegas

Standing tall between the Las Vegas Strip and the city’s downtown casinos is The STRAT, an iconic gaming, shopping and dining resort formerly known as the Stratosphere.  Casino Life Magazine recently toured the remodeled property with Brian Stanton, the casino's VP of Table Games.

What led you to get into casinos & gaming?

Around the time I was about to take a semester off from school at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee was opening. I had recently learned to deal cards from an Atlantic City dealer and was always drawn to the exciting casino environment. I loved the nuances of the business, the math behind it and the new situations coming up every day. I took the job as a dealer at Potawatomi.

All Are Welcome at Casino Sochi



Paul Edwards Director of Operations ‘Casino Sochi’ chats to Peter White

Sochi Casino’s story is one of success despite the odds. Russian casinos began to flourish in the nineties but as the millennium kicked in they became prolific. As of 2002, Russia was host to 58 casinos (30 in Moscow alone), 2,000 gambling parlors and as many as 70,000 slot machines that were loosely regulated and beginning to cause social problems. The Russian government, led by Vladimir Putin, identified this and acted decisively.

Solution? Close it down and move it out of the populated areas. On June 30, 2009, almost all of Russia’s casino industry went dark. (This seems to have been a recurring Russian situation: The Soviets outlawed all gambling except lotteries in 1928 also.)

DR Gaming Technology™: 10 Years On African Soil


In March 2020, DR Gaming Technology™ (DRGT™) proudly celebrates a decade of operation in Africa. From humble beginnings in a small office in Corporate Park North, Midrand and a staff compliment of 3, the Company has grown to a staff compliment of almost 10 times that, and now operates out of a far larger premises comprising offices, an R&D development hub, a showroom and a warehouse in the heart of Sandton.

Hard Rock sets out to change Casino culture

Casino Life magazine recently had the opportunity to interview Paul Pellizzari, Vice President of Global Social Responsibility for Hard Rock International, which is the first US-based gaming company to develop its own fully-immersive, branded casino-and-player interactive program for responsible gaming, called the PlayersEdge.

This program is intended to not only educate players about their own gaming decisions and choices, but to also educate the Hard Rock casino staff and managers on how to interact effectively with casino players on the topic of responsible gaming, including how to spot potential problems in players who may benefit from this educational program.

An Exceptional Experience Grand Casino Luzern


Wolfgang Bliem, CEO Grand Casino Luzern, chats to Peter White