A Day in the Life of a Casino Host
Do you love casinos and are interested in becoming a host, or are you just curious about what a host actually does? In this article we’ll take you through all the ins and outs of what a host is, what it takes to be great, and what you need to do to become one.
What does a host do
At a very basic level, a host’s job is very simple: it’s their responsibility to ensure a client has a good time, but why is this so important? When a visitor has a good time, not only are they more likely to spend, they’re also more likely to come back in the future.
To ensure a positive experience, there are many things a host can do for their client, including:
- Knowing who they are, and what they like to do
- Putting together an itinerary so they’re always having a good time
- Handling their reservations once they’ve confirmed their plans
- Keeping them up to date on any events that they may be interested in
- Offering them comps, whether that’s drinks, tickets to a show, or spa treatments
- Being the representative that they can engage with for any interaction (positive or negative) they have with the venue
- Ensuring they are safe and follow the rules
- Educating them about the games and other aspects of the venue
While hosts would love to dote on all their clients equally, the reality is that who you are and how much you spend will have an impact on what the host can offer you in terms of service and comps.
What a typical day might look like for a host
A “typical day” likely depends on the clientele of a host, but here’s an idea of what to expect. A host will need to:
- Check all their messages and emails at the start of the day, and ensure communication is sent to whoever needs to read it.
- Review who they are hosting that day. For example, there may be high priority guests that have specific needs that the host needs to prepare for. Not only that, but all hosts need to be aware of these details, as they may need to step in and handle something for a guest if their regular host is not available.
- Ensure they regularly check their messages and emails throughout their shift, and get back to any guests who require a response, either with a call or email as soon as they can.
- Take the time to hit the floor and spend some time with the guests. From the first few items in this list, you may have been worried that being a host was glorified project management. While management is a key part of the role, don’t worry, the host also needs to ensure they are spending time with their clients and other visitors.
- Depending on who the guests are, they may need to commit more or less of their day to this, but it’s still important that they take the time to be friendly, sincere, and connect with them.
- It’s also important the host spends some time with their co-workers, as they’re vital to ensuring your guests get good service and have an enjoyable time.
- After spending some time on the floor, the host needs to find some quiet time in their office to check their contact list for new player bounce-backs, players who haven’t visited in a while, hot players, or players who might have an event coming up that would be a good match for the casino.
- Once they’ve assessed a player’s status, they might need to prepare a message for these visitors or potential guests, including bounce-back offers, greeting cards, or welcome notes. You also need to assess if clients have qualified for tier upgrades, and how engagement is going with new players.
- Get in touch with any possible leads to find out if they’d be interested in spending some time at the gaming venue you work at. Usually this is done telephonically, so great hosts will need to get over any telemarketing nerves they may have.
- Keep track of all their communication with existing contacts or possible leads. A host must use whatever tools they have at their disposal to ensure they properly manage tasks, such as making reservations, purchasing tickets, or sending gift baskets, as well as any other responsibilities that they need to follow up on. If they couldn’t reach a guest or lead the first time, they also need to take the time to follow up with them.
- Check play reports, sign-ups, player contact logs, as well as double-check on any reservations or bookings as necessary.
- Ensure that all required reporting is completed for all contacts and leads, and that communication has been shared as required.
- If they’re done for the day and share office resources, such as computers and desk space, with other hosts, they must make sure that they log off the system and leave it clean and tidy for the next person to use.
The characteristics of a great host
Anyone can be a bad host, but what does it take to be a great host? There are several key skills they need to have:
- Be a great communicator – Hosts will need to frequently engage with visitors and other people they are hosting, and this may not always be under ideal circumstances. Sometimes they may need to deal with a problem that a guest is having, or negotiate a compromise while still keeping the visitor happy. As we mentioned earlier, hosts don’t only need to engage with their guests, but also need to communicate with co-workers and people outside the company. The way they engage with others in their industry will have a great effect on how far those people will go to help them, which might need to be pretty far, depending on their clients.
- Enjoy working with people – Whether they’re a natural extrovert, or an introvert that puts on their “outgoing personality” for work, a host’s job is to deal with people. To be successful in this role, it’s important that they’re able to walk up to a complete stranger and build a relationship with them that will not only be positive in the moment, but also keep them coming back for more. If they’re someone who prefers or needs large amounts of solitude in their career, they’re very likely to struggle in this role.
- Always remain professional – While the job may require a certain amount of charm, as well as wining and dining of clients, it’s vital that the host remember that their clients are not their friends, and that they have a job to do. Whatever the circumstances, it’s always important that a host keep their relationship with clients appropriate and professional.
- Have good business sense – As much as it is the host’s job to ensure that a client or guest has a good time, they need to keep in mind whether their actions are also growing the revenue of their employer. As much as a host would like to be Oprah and say to all their clients “You get a comp, you get a comp, everyone gets a comp!”, a host will need to balance the needs of the client with the financial needs of the company they work for.
How to become a host
In the past, many hosts started off at an entry level position, such as a slot attendant. Once employed, they worked their way up through the company ranks, before moving into a host role.
However, today there are educational paths that can help people land the job. Aspiring hosts who have a Bachelor’s degree in hospitality, tourism, or another service related qualification, such as hotel or restaurant management, will have studied the necessary skills that will help them achieve their goal.
Depending on where you live, or if you’re willing to travel, you may also be able to study a specialised management degree.
Whatever path you choose, we hope this advice has helped you better understand what it takes to become a great casino host.
Enough talk about work, let’s play!
Whether you’re studying to become a host, already are one, or just enjoy learning about the industry, at the end of your day it’s time to kick up your feet and have some fun.
One way to do this is to sign-up and play at an online casino. Grosvenor Casinos have been operating at locations across the UK since 1970. At Grosvenor Casinos, you can enjoy a wide variety of games, including slots and table games, sports betting, and our special live casino service. As a part of our live casino service, you can play games like live blackjack, live roulette, and live poker, all hosted in person by an actual dealer.
To find out more about the gaming experience we offer at Grosvenor Casinos, be sure to visit our website today.