I’m not really a writer. I know my articles might lead you to believe I’m an actual author, however my chosen profession has always been casino executive. As such, occasionally my musings must take a back seat to my real job, and as some of you might have noticed, last week was one of those times. My column did not appear in GT last week, primarily because I changed jobs and was simply too busy to concentrate on writing a meaningful article.
I take my column in GT very seriously and try quite hard to make sure I’m giving my readers the facts and content they expect. It’s always been my belief there’s too much fluff and not enough substance being written about the world of slots, video poker and video keno, and my profession usually helps me get and give the information my readers want. Sometimes the job gets in the way though, and changing jobs really threw a wrench into things last week. I simply chose to forgo my article rather than make up some meaningless fluff story.
So the word is out – I am no longer the general manager of Stetson’s Saloon and Casino. Stetson’s continues to operate unchanged however. They have the same great staff, they still offer more varieties of video keno than virtually any other casino in all of Henderson, and they still have some of the best pay tables in town. None of that will change with my departure, at least not as far as I’ve heard.
What will change is my physical presence at Stetson’s and the frequency of my articles in GT. This is because I accepted a challenging position with a slot route operator here in Las Vegas. As most of you probably realize from personal experience, there’s a lot of things to do when one changes jobs. Long hours and hard work must be put in to get up to speed and become a productive member of the staff instead of remaining “the new guy in training” for any longer than is absolutely necessary. My situation is no different.
What is different is the environment I now work in. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “slot route operator,” let me explain. Like many states across the country, Nevada obviously allows and licenses businesses to operate gaming areas in resort-type settings called casinos. Unlike many other states however, Nevada also allows gaming outside of what one would consider a traditional casino.
Bars, restaurants, convenience stores, gas stations and even grocery stores are all popular locations for slot machines in Nevada. When I say slot machines, this includes video poker and video keno machines as well. In fact, video poker and video keno often outnumber actual slot machines in these smaller locations because they are more popular among Nevada “locals.”
But just because the state allows gaming to take place in such establishments doesn’t mean it’s easy to get licensed, nor are the strict gaming regulations and requirements relaxed for these smaller operators. They still must follow many of the same rules the bigger casinos follow, so the actual offering of gaming machines involves a whole lot more than just buying a few machines, plugging them in and reaping the rewards.
For businesses who want to offer gaming without necessarily having to go through the entire process of being personally licensed and responsible for the support and management of the gaming devices on their property, there exists the slot route operator. These route operators simply lease floor (or bar) space from businesses to install and operate their machines.
These space leases can be based on either a flat fee or a percentage of the win depending on the circumstances, but either way both businesses benefit. The bar owner or supermarket chain, etc. gets to offer gaming without having to divert time and energy away from their main business, and the route operator gets to operate their machines without having to build an expensive casino resort.
So rather than being in a traditional casino setting, I am now part of a company that operates a vast network of over 500 slot locations throughout Nevada. I will be bringing my casino background into this new environment to better enable my employer to compete with the larger local-oriented casinos in and around Las Vegas.
At least until I get settled in, my column will likely appear in GT only about once a month or so. As time permits I will do my best to increase the frequency of my articles. However maintaining GT’s high standards every week while taking on new professional challenges is just not something I have the time to do right now, and as the saying goes, all good things take time.
Please be patient and keep a lookout for my next column coming soon, because I’ll be doing all I can to make sure it’ll be well worth the wait!