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Featured Editorials

Better Customer Understanding

Carlo Musio, Slot Manager for Groupe Tranchant, talks with Damien Connelly 

Mr. Musio is the Slot Manager for Groupe Tranchant. He is responsible for the 1,986 gaming machines the Groupe operates in its 17 casinos; 16 of which are in France. Introducing new products and developing new concepts to make sure Groupe Tranchant maintains its market position as the number three casino operator in France is the major focus for Mr. Musio, who reports directly to the company’s founder, Georges Tranchant.

“Groupe Tranchant is currently developing a new project to better understand how many visitors we have to our casinos, why people are visiting our casinos, and how much they spend during each visit. This information will be broken down for each casino,” commented Mr. Musio.

Market Forces

John Globokar President JBK International, speaks to Peter White & Damien Connelly 

2014 was a year of major resort closures and buyouts of leading iconic slot manufacturers. With these significant mergers and buyouts in manufacture and supply come what is commonly termed ‘operational efficiency savings’ which results in employees either being presented an alternative role or made redundant. This process of review within these organizations can take many months so for many these are insecure times.

Please can we commence this interview with a brief history of JBK International, when was it founded and what have been the main aims & ambitions of the organization?

Luxury Gaming at The Ritz Club

Bill Healey speaks to Roger Marris about how The Club's prestige is enhanced through its strong and enduring relationship with their sophisticated jet-set membership.

The Ritz Club is world renown as one of London’s most prestigious addresses, and therefore a draw for business leaders and entertainers.  Through the years, the Club has hosted a fair number of influential and high profile people.  Can you share some of the more interesting stories?

Eastern Promise

Peter White Casino Life talks to Ian Wood - Vice President of Slots at “The First Gambling Company of the East” about their new development in Vladivostok 

Ian, Can we start with the history from when FGCE was founded to present day?

The First Gambling Company of the East (FGCE) was formed in November 2010 in Vladivostok, with the initial construction of the building works commencing in 2011. In 2013, Summit Ascent Holdings teamed up with FGCE and some associated changes were introduced to the project, including a plan to target and bring groups of international visitors to Vladivostok, aimed at boosting the success of the overall project.

The Trouble in the Casino - By: Victor Royer

This is a true story. It is still happening, right now, at a major Las Vegas casino resort. I decided to write about it because what is happening there is symptomatic of the gaming industry as a whole. I’ll explain shortly. But first, here’s the premise for this article, and the reason why it was written:

Up until very recently, gaming revenues were falling. Only in the past couple of months have we seen a rise in casino win, on the Las Vegas Strip, and in general. This is a fact, well documented by respected research. This fact has also been reported in gaming industry magazines and publications, and in mainstream press. But the market is still volatile, and has not settled into an observable pattern that can speak of some predictability in revenue maintenance, or reasonably-accurate growth forecasts.

Sporting Life

Glyn Thomas puts the questions to Neil Howells Venue Director at the Sportsman Casino 

The Sportsman Casino is one of London's most well known Casinos – please could you provide a brief history of the iconic gaming venue?

The Sportsman Casino has been around since the 1960’s and originally had strong links with the sporting industry hence the name. It was originally located in Tottenham Court Road, then moved to Bryanston street and then 10 years ago moved to Old Quebec Street in Marble Arch. Many famous sporting legends have graced us with their presence over the years but in more recent times the Sportsman casino has moved away from its links with sports and now concentrates solely on gaming.

Chris Moore Author of Hidden Casino & Dark Casino

Interview with Chris Moore - Author of Hidden Casino & Dark Casino

You have been writing recollection articles for Casino Life for a few years now. Is there a connection between your recollections and your thrillers?

My recollection articles have been factual. My thrillers are purely fictional. A famous author advised me some years ago that the thrillers I wanted to write should never be anecdotal.  He said it would limit my imagination, he was right.

How long did it take to write your first novel?

The Linq Las Vegas!

In 2005, when then-Harrah’s Entertainment purchased the venerable Imperial Palace hotel-casino, it was thought to be only a matter of time before the building was imploded to make way for a reinvention of its side of the Strip. However, time passed and nothing was done. Then, a 2008 leveraged buyout of Harrah’s (now Caesars Entertainment) made a completion teardown-and-rebuild of the site financially unfeasible.

Business Blunders - by: Victor H Royer

It’s no secret that casino operators are hurting. Caesars is drowning under some $30 billion in debt, and they are now turning their major operating unit into a REIT. Casinos as a real estate firm? Well, I guess it makes sense, from a bankruptcy point, I suppose. Casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, are closing, including the $2 billion-plus Revel. The State Governor, Chris Christie, wants to move some casinos up north, to the beach. Well, good luck, is all I can say to this idea. And then there are the recent reductions, such as Foxwoods in Connecticut. Newly appointed CEO, Felix Rappaport, had this to say about the problems at Foxwoods:

“We think we have too much gaming.”

50 Years of Excellence

Glyn Thomas talks to Svetlana Buckova, Director of Operations at Dragonara Casino in Malta.

Svetlana, can you provide some background to the casino? How large and what facilities does it have?