English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish

Gaming School

Marcello Cascone, owner and Training Manager of Turin based gaming school. Interview by David McKee

Generally, training is not an easy task. It requires a mix of knowledge, passion and sacrifice. And training staff for the casino industry is not an easy task at all. You have always to keep in mind one basic thing: your customer during the training is not actually your student but the casino in which your trainee will start his/her career, with the added possibility that he or she could be in a managerial position inside the company in the near future.

The possible bottom line of a future casino could easily depend on the strategy and the decisions of that particular trainee – and what you have taught them. So to take this into account, apart from the usual technical aspects, I have to change the trainees’ mindset. They have to fully grasp the concept that, more than the bottom-line results, they also need to focus on customer service. If they devote themselves to quality and base their professional career on this value, the result they produce will be a subsequent, natural increase in company revenues.

Besides quality and customer service, there are other skills I have to develop, depending on whether I have trainee casino dealers or slot attendants in
front of me. Where casino dealers are concerned, I focus on speed and accuracy, in terms of quickness of thought. For instance, in certain European countries, roulette games -- like dice in U.S. -- are really fast and furious. The dealer should always be a step ahead in order to manage the situation properly, especially if the dealer in question is a trainee.

He needs to be up and running fast, and what really speeds up all the operations at the tables is the ability to calculate and present the payments in front of the supervisor in a fraction of a second. In addition, trainee dealers need, from my point of view, to understand the math and the odds behind the games.That’s because, as a casino manager, I don’t want in my pit trainee-dealers supervisors fearing or mentally bothered either by players winning because of “luck” or by pit bosses or shift managers possibly shouting at them because “they are paying too much.” Operating inside a gaming floor is very stressful, so front-line employers like dealers need to be highly aware about all of their hidden aspects just to manage the various table games and different guests in almost a “Zen way” -- that is to say in the here and now.


If, I have in front of me a class of future slot attendants, the path is primarily focused on understanding how the machine works; comprehending slot games and math; and finally grasping customer service: player profiles, guest relations management and the staff code of conduct. In brief, this is a small explanation of the educational path inside my training school, which is in reality more articulate and different from the usual casino-training classes.
Apart from the classical skills needed to perform the job, a superior casino training path should offer to the student a sort of curiosity concerning the
world he is entering. Sometimes working behind a table or running a slot floor is very boring. The casino industry is the only multi-billion dollar industry not investing proportionally in staff training for development purposes, yet that is the key to success. If people are not motivated in what they do, they will underperfom. So we need to make sure they go beyond the concept of spinning a ball or drawing cards or paying a jackpot. This is the right way: to involve them inside the future gaming floor with deeper knowledge of its different critical aspects.
All my students receive a diploma at the end of the training path, in which is listed their primary perfomance areas. Yet in any case, as they need to be absolutely ready in order to start working, if they are weak in certain fields, before they leave to join the company they will have to spend a certain
amount of time to improve themselves. But … they leave prepared. Prepared to work and to add to the casino’s bottom line – but also prepared to learn more and potentially be the senior management of the future. For further details www.gamingschool.it 
David McKee  has covered the casino industry for almost 20 years and his day-to-day thoughts can be found in “Stiffs & Georges” at LasVegasAdvisor.com. For Casino Life, he has written several profiles of suppliers and operators. Other publications in which his gaming-relating writes have been found include Las Vegas CityLife, Desert Companion, Las Vegas Weekly, Casino Executive Magazine and several others. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife Jennifer and their four cats.