Growing up, I remember my mom watching Vega$. It was one of her favorite shows. Robert Urich played detective Dan Tanna. He drove around Las Vegas in a red Thunderbird, making the streets safer for everyone. Coincidentally, one of his clients, the Desert Inn, would play a big role in my career.
Later in life, I couldn't get enough of the show Las Vegas, and I can't miss CSI. The casinos are full of beautiful people doing some remarkable things. Real life? Don't bet on it.
I get pitches from agencies all of the time. Often, the casino work is slick and populated with thin models in their 20s and 30s. I'd love to work in those places, surrounded by beautiful people in beautiful clothes, seemingly working a total of about an hour a day. I've never worked there, but I've worked in a number of "real" casinos. These are the ones Shirley and Mary like to go to, sometimes with their spouses, sometimes for just a girls’ night out. These two ladies like to visit casinos because they've decided they want to spend a portion of their highly valued entertainment dollars on some of their favorite slots. They're not looking for the big jackpot, but they would certainly not turn it down if they got lucky! They are part of the large Boomer generation. Empty-nesters whose children have gone off in search of who they are. Shirley is married. Mary used to be. One has her house paid off, and the other sees that mortgage burning party in the very near future. (Do people still have mortgage burning parties?)
If you're thinking of working with one of the many regional casino operators, get to know these ladies, because they contribute a large portion of the revenue regional casinos generate. Forget that 30-something with the perfect girlfriend drinking premium vodka betting on eight the hard way. He'll gladly make a contribution to tonight's revenue, but we're not building our business around him.
Some say regional casinos are now about a three-hour drive away from anyone in the continental US. If you're thinking of pitching casino business, please take the drive. Sign up for a player’s card. Participate in any of the promotions going on. Take a look around and really see where the activity is on the floor and who is creating it. Then take all of that information and prepare your presentation materials with images that would make our customers feel comfortable, welcome and not with the dream of having the hip place to be. Don't think your work won't be as beautiful as the dream. The right casting can be spot on and successful.