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Totally Gaming Academy

Progress with Knowledge

Andrew Spencer, Head of Education and Training at ‘The Totally Gaming Academy’, Clarion Events chats to Peter White

Can we commence this interview with a brief explanation of the Totally Gaming Academy?

TOTALLY GAMING ACADEMY is a provider of training to companies operating in the gaming arena, whether operators, vendors, online or land based. The training is provided by industry practitioners and aims to develop the skills and knowledge of Gaming, usually management level, professionals

What are in your opinion some of the main aspects of these courses that continue to prove so popular with Gaming Operators?

The operators want to see credible, experienced gaming professionals at the front of the room. They want to be able to take away from a course a set of straightforward ‘wins’ that will make a difference tor their own businesses – whether generating new business or operating more efficiently. They also enjoy the spin off benefits of meeting the other delegates at the event. It’s not just about presenting facts and knowledge. Its about developing skills and ideas, and crucially understanding – the point is to equip people to change the business through developing people

Image: Andrew Spencer Head of Education & Training at ‘The Totally Gaming Academy’, Clarion Events

How many Countries have these events been hosted in over the years?

Around 30 recently, across Europe, South and North America, Africa and Asia.

Are there any new regions being considered for a Totally Gaming Academy event?

We’re looking at how we might service demand in South America and South East Asia more regularly.

You are also now involving the Online sector?

Yes: it’s a significant growth area, and demands a wholly different set of training requirements. Increasingly, land based operators are having to consider how they adapt and developing their on-line offer, alongside the ‘online only’ providers

What have you planned ahead of ICE London?

We’ve three days’ worth of activity at the TOTALLY GAMING ACADEMY Theatre at ICE, including taster sessions of our courses, some new course titles and trainers, and a reception on the Wednesday afternoon, profiling some new courses and services

What is the timetable for this year’s events?

All courses we have scheduled so far this year can be found at https:// www.totallygamingacademy. com/calendar-list, however the list gets constantly updated and we’re looking to bring in more course dates, especially for the second half of the year.

What aspects of this training programme are you involved with most?

I oversee the portfolio of training – handling the choice of subject matter, trainer and the training delivery. My job is to make sure that we are running a programme to meet business needs, run by credible gaming professionals.

There are a lot of events now during a year so why should Casino Executives attend the Totally Gaming Academy courses?

I see the courses as being different to conference attendance – a concentrated few days, focussing on your skills and knowledge development in a very specific area is a very different thing to conference attendance – both valuable, but with very different benefits – it’s a cliché, but in answer to the question ‘can we afford to send staff on training?’ I’d answer ‘Can you afford not to and still hope that your team is properly skilled – would your staff want to work for you if you didn’t provide them with the skills to do the job?’

All expense has to be justified, so what advice would you give anyone reading this interview who thinks they and their Gaming organisation would benefit from attending the courses with their explanation to their bosses of why they should pay for them to attend?

Any training should be driven by the business need and benefit – it’s not a perk or reward - don’t just look at it as a cost – it’s an investment so try to estimate what the benefit will be, in financial terms, there must be an ROI - whether it’s more business through a better product and service, or greater efficiency through a better organised process and business. Beyond the obvious mandatory compliance training, it’s about improving the business and solving problems through equipping the team to do the job more effectively.

What planning goes into the location of each of the events throughout the year?

We try to choose locations and venues for the learner – ease of access and transport hubs as many delegates fly in, but also where possible, venues in keeping with the subject and sector – in London we run courses at the Hippodrome Casino for example.

What are amongst the topics presented in these courses and do candidates and operators have the opportunity to also suggest areas of the industry that could also benefit from further training?

We endeavour to offer a complete portfolio of training for those managing businesses in the sector – whether land based casinos, online gaming businesses or sports betting. So we’re always open to suggestions for new courses and content.

How can readers find out more about the Totally Gaming Academy 2019?

Come see us at the TOTALLY GAMING ACADEMY Theatre at ICE, location S8-360

Have you anything else you would like to add?

Come see us on the stand at ICE!!