If the industry ever had a stronger believer in table games, he’d be hard pressed to surpass Ted Gottlieb, founder and chief executive of the Win Cards Program.
Well versed in table game activity since he had spent a number of years involved in their play as a casino floor executive, Gottlieb saw interest diminish in the games during the mid-80’s. He quickly came to the conclusion that ignorance and fear kept new casino goers from approaching the table games. After all, it was so much simpler to play the slots.
That had Gottlieb questioning: "Where are the craps players, the blackjack players, the roulette players of tomorrow going to come from?"
Spurred on by the desire to rekindle interest in table games, Gottlieb developed his Win Cards Program using handy, colorful plastic cards with a dial that assisted casino operators in teaching the basics of how to play the casino’s live games of blackjack, craps and roulette to novices.
The system was introduced in 1987 and is now in use in over 125 casinos, riverboats and cruise ships, worldwide. So far, over seven million Win Cards have been distributed.
"When I first met Ted Gottlieb," recalls Mike Couevas, casino manager of the Excalibur Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas, "he tried to introduce me to the Win Cards Program that he had been working on. I just about threw him out of my office. Simply stated, casino operators are constantly inundated with new games, schemes and methods that are supposed to make more money for us. Due to the day-to-day responsibilities of running a casino, we really do not have enough time to carefully inspect all of these offerings."
But Gottlieb persisted, and "we were lucky he did," said Couevas. "Now, after four years of selling Win Cards, we have sold over 100,000 sets of these instructional cards."
Much the same reaction came from Circus Circus Las Vegas where Paul Nash, the casino manager, agreed. He also was reluctant to become involved in the program but "Ted’s passion and persistence concerning the promotion of table games with his program finally caught my attention. When he explained that the program could be implemented on a free trial basis, without any set-up costs, he had me."
In Reno, at the Golden Phoenix Hotel & Casino where the program was recently introduced, Diane Arthur, casino manager, noted the industry has an advantage orver the tribal casinos in nearby northern California. "And these casinos," she noted, "do not offer the games of craps and roulette. We must employ any and all methods to attract new players to these games." She feels these games give Nevada properties a unique competitive advantage and "we must work to capitalize on this advantage."
Soon to join the growing list of properties introducing the Win Cards Program to their customers are The Cannery in North Las Vegas and the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino in Reno.
Gottlieb is quick to point out that while slot machines have become the casino’s primary source of revenue, "Table games still provide many benefits for the casinos and they should not be abandoned."
Gaming International Inc. has the Win Cards on exhibit at the Global Game Expo at booth Number 2920.