If big bettors can't get service who can!

If big bettors can't get service who can!

April 03, 2018 3:11 AM


My observations from March Madness have left me shaking my head.

I had eight friends in town and we all decided to watch the games at my favorite local sportsbook. I asked the supervisor on duty a few days before the tourney started if it was OK that I brought my friends up to the VIP area of the book. She said “no, all the seats are accounted for.”

I happen to know this sportsbook very well, and the VIP is never full even when there are major events. Therefore, I asked a friend (who happens to be the VP of Operations at that casino) to check and see if he can do anything for me. The next day, the sportsbook director said to me that all of the seats I requested were available except for two. So obviously, they were saving them for their personal friends or she just wanted to say no to me. (And I know the two in the reserved seats. One is a small bettor and the other literally works in that casino’s valet).

Problem number two was getting drink tickets. This irked me and is a problem citywide. How much does a drink cost a casino? Why would a casino risk upsetting and losing a player for a beverage that cost them pennies to pour? I mean, I understand if someone is taking advantage or maybe has a problem you would say no. The thing is it seems as though this is a power trip for some of these casino employees to be able to say no to somebody. You see, it is not their money they are losing when they lose the customer; it is the casinos.

I think there should be more cross-training to the sensitive nature of this part of the industry. Common sense should play a major role in the casino business, but unfortunately, there is nothing common about common sense anymore.

As for the eight guys I was with, one was betting $100-$500 a horse race and lost five figures; two others lost more than $10k each in the sportsbook the first four days of March Madness. The other guys all bet $100-$200 per ticket. Finally, I had six figures in cumulative action pending in my own app at this company.

The guy who runs the book said, “You get one drink ticket per $500 bet placed with a maximum of five tickets per day.”

All this makes zero sense to me, and anyone with half a brain would agree. By the way, I never have asked for a drink ticket or any type of comp even once in the all the years I have played in this sportsbook (millions upon millions of handle). I do not drink anything other than bottled water (which I can get in the casino for free with a tip).

While on the subject of tipping, I have given these tellers hundreds of dollars in tips in the past, so none of this behavior makes sense to me.

The sad thing is so many of these tellers are not trained correctly. Several of my friends came back and had various complaints about the clerks not knowing how to punch tickets correctly. One clerk did not even know what a round robin was. Another clerk gave my horse-betting friend the wrong racetrack twice.

Now I know for sure many people placed wagers for March Madness that were not perfect themselves. They do not know how to ask for a bet the proper way. Many are drinking and are new to the betting process. However, that is a part of customer service, such as to walk a new customer through the process.

Hopefully, someone in upper-management reads my article and considers measures necessary to properly ensure the customers in their casinos receive the experience they deserve in the future. I am sure most casino executives do not even know this type of activity goes on.