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Qualifications/ Skills requirement of VIP host? Is Education matter to be VIP Host?

Last edit: VIPhost on Wednesday, 25th February 2009 2:06 am
Last response by Chuckmonster 10th March 12:13am

I would like to know about the requirements to be VIP host. Is it higher Education is an important factors towards the career path for VIP Host?

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 MikeE responded on Wednesday, 25th February 2009

No. While a degree, especially in casino management or something similar, would give you a slight edge over an equally qualified candidate, it is not necessary.

The single most important factor for a casino host is their roster of contacts. Most start off in another guest related field such as front desk or concierge before qualifying for a hosting position in mid to low tier casinos. Over time, if the host has a roster of bigger fish among their contacts, they can apply for a better casino if a position is available. Generally, patrons will follow a good host to a better casino even if the comps aren't as good.

The thing is, you can't work at Orleans even for several years and expect to get a position at Encore because the gambler that's RFB at Orleans isn't even going to qualify for a free room at Encore. The guy at Bellagio with his 30+ players that each have six figure credit lines will get the gig. The Orleans host could shoot for Monte Carlo, though, cultivate players there and work for Mirage, and then maybe make the jump to Aria or something.

 Dramman responded on Sunday, 8th March 2009

I have been mulling a response to this one. I am going to go out on a limb, and say that the author is a current or perspective host in Macau. I hope my thoughts are useful to somebody.

It is true that a majority of the revenue of the Macau casinos come from Junkets. However, it is not hard to envision a time where this will not be the case. First, the junket market is fix, and a zero-sum game. Going after individuals via hosts may be the only stable growth casinos may find. Just look at Melco for how illusory chasing junkets can be. Once the visa issue is settled, and later when credit laws are changed, I think that individual player development in Macau will become more of a priority than it is now.

The problem is most Hosts do not really understand their role or foreign employer expectations in Macau. While I will point out a few things later, I think the biggest reason for this is the cultural differences between the two countries in how relationships are formed and maintained. Somebody, someday, will have to find a way to rectify these differences so Casinos can get the growth they expect.

One thing to consider is the "ideal" host/player relationship. While it is always difficult to define a relationship (just ask my ex-wife), in Asia there is much more consideration as to who is, for lack of better words, the superior party. This consideration, done by both parties, will dictate much of the dynamics of the host/player relationship. For an easy example, a young host may find it very difficult to deny an unjustified comp request made by an older player. Conversely, an older casino host may say brusque "No" too frequently to a younger player. Likewise, the status of each may be important. I would like to say it would be as easy as telling the Macanese Host "treat everyone the same", but both sides are part of this calculation.

With that established, I think some Macanese Hosts get a little choked up on the word "Host", as it seems like they are automatically in subservient position. I think all the foreign casinos need to train their Hosts that they are not to slavishly do everything. The role of the Host is to manage the player's stay to make it as enjoyable as justifiable, not give them everything.

Meanwhile, one thing that has struck me after visiting Macau so many times is how uninvolved the Casino staff is with the players. Rarely is eye-contact made, conversation said, or even a basic greeting. I can excuse the lack of it for me because of language and culture differences, however that does not explain the same being done for everyone else. This makes gambling at these places less personal, which is not what Host wants. A few pleasantries with players creates an immediate bond with that player, a bond that creates loyalty to the property, and it costs the casino nothing! So I think the first thing a host in Macau has to learn is to be able to, and comfortable with, walking up to a player on the floor and talking to them. However, I can understand how this does not fit well culturally, as I mentioned.

I could go on, but some I think that some of these are cultural differences that may not need to be overcame. For example, it is common in my travels in Asia to simply say "No" to a request with out much explanation or justification (not to mention when the denier is in the superior position, and thus does not find the need to explain things). I want to say this should not be done, or even go so far as say you never say "no" (you give alternatives), however both host and player are culutraly the same, aware of who is superior, and accept that reality, thus such a "No" may not harm the relationship.

What it all comes down to is forming, growing, and maintaining relationships. As MikeE pointed out above it is exceedingly common in Vegas that a relationship is so strong that players are more loyal to their host than the property. So mastering a relationship like that is more important than any other bit of training you can do IMHO.

 Chuckmonster replied on Tuesday, 10th March 2009

that is an amazing and incredibly thoughtful response dramman. i can only hope that some of the head cheeses in the player development sphere happen to stumble upon your sage wisdom and at least attempt to address and rectify this situation.

kudos and awesome.