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Gaming Guru

 

Kilby's Casino Operations Management Book Better Than Ever in 2004 Revision

21 April 2004

One of the most important casino management books of this generation has been revised and updated -- and it's better than ever. Casino Operations Management by Jim Kilby, Jim Fox and Anthony Lucas (404 pages, hardbound, $80) has been freshened up and expanded (50 additional pages) from the original 1998 version.

Lucas was not a contributor to the original text, but his welcome expertise truly enhances this edition. A professor of gaming management at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, he is an expert in casino marketing. Kilby is Boyd Professor of Gaming at UNLV with more than 30 years of experience in the casino industry and in casino consulting. Fox has more than 20 years in the industry and is an instructor in the Auditing in the Gaming Industry class at UNLV.

If you purchased the original edition of this book, you're probably asking how much is new in the 2004 update. Much has changed in the industry since the book was first published including regulations, policy, currency reporting, and one key, sensitive area-casino marketing to what is called "the premium player segment." The marketing aspect is especially critical when it comes to understanding and correct decision making for discounting and rebates (an extremely sensitive and at times, controversial area). There are costs, net effects, rationale and dangers involved, and many a casino executive's reputation (and job security) is dependent on knowing the pluses and minuses of interacting with "whales" (the highest high rollers).

There are 19 major chapters to Casino Operations Management (the Premium Player Segment is the newest of them).

Because this book is used in many schools offering courses in casino management and marketing, an instructor's manual is available (through the publisher's web site).

Not since Bill Friedman's Casino Management classic went out of print more than a decade ago has there been a book as good as this one. After introductory sections on the History of Modern Gaming; Gaming Control; Gaming Taxes and a brief overview on Casino Management, the authors move on to Currency Reporting; Casino Cage and Credit Collections; Slot Management; Introduction to Table Games; Table Game Operations and Casino Accounting.

Especially important in the section on Slot Management is floor configuration; the floor layout and customer behavior; how to determine slot win; the importance of hit frequency (payback percentage).

In the casino marketing section there are also extremely valuable explanation of slot clubs; cash mail or direct marketing promotions offering cash incentives; a look at food loss leaders how much casino volume is necessary to offset losses; drawing based promotions; and an examination of consumer choice factors (why a customer chooses one casino over others).

The book continues with a chapter on the Mathematics of Casino Games, with major coverage of the Elements of an Effective Player Rating System; Table Game Hold as a Management Tool with more than 70 pages devoted to Casino Marketing including the newest material on the premium player.

The book includes a 20-page section on Sports Book Operations and 14 pages on Race (Book) Operations. From pages 357 on, there is a vital section called Casino Statistics. This examines population; sample, parameters and statistics, average or mean, median, mode, measures of dispersion, range, variance, standard deviation, weighted average, probability distribution, expected value and finally, calculating the standard deviation with uneven betting, sample game probabilities, variances and standard deviations (baccarat and roulette) and what might be called a casino's worst fear - the customer who is a "money manager."

There is an 11-page glossary of casino terminology and a seven-page index.

This is, as the authors describe it, "a reference book for individuals working in the casino industry as well as a resource for those with a desire to learn more about one of the most rapidly expanding industries in the world."

Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com