News and Views

soapboxGaming is adult entertainment.  There are tribes that struggle with meshing their tribal culture and beliefs with gambling environments.  While certain aspects of casinos and gaming involve the potential perpetuation of some of the ills that are suffered in Indian country, tribes have to understand that gaming is for adults and is not designed to prevent or cure social problems.  

An example of this dilemma is when a small tribe decides to add a full-service bar to their casino property.  In many communities the casino can provide some of the best entertainment in the safest environment, attracting a broad range of guests.   Revenues from bars in casinos are good.  Liquor is a high-margin product that can add to the spend per player in a small casino and provide a way to get people to the casino who normally might not go there.   Once there, they stay and play. 

Operational problems can arise when tribal factions, worried about problem drinking in their communities, attempt to limit the sale of liquor in the casino.  Again, a clear vision of why the casino exists must be shared and supported by all involved.  Tribal leaders and casino operators must come to the obvious conclusion:  if your casino is going to survive and thrive, tribal politics and a morality-police mentality cannot be part of the mix.

What you must commit to as a casino manager is providing a clean, safe environment, having well-trained staff, eradicating any illegal activity and trouble-makers, and creating an enjoyable entertainment experience for adult gamblers.  Successful casino gaming will never be bingo in the church basement.  I know from experience that with about 100 tribal gaming facilities in the state of Oklahoma, the competition for the customers is fierce.  Tribal leaders and casino operators must understand adult entertainment and commit to giving customers what they want, even when it may not fit exactly with the values of individual tribal members.

All this being said, it doesn’t mean that creating a positive image and being a positive influence in the communities where tribal casinos operate isn’t of paramount importance.  Participating in the community in a positive way can be successfully accomplished through a variety of means.  More about that in future installments.

–Copyright 2009 Davis Tripp.  No portion may be reprinted or used without permission of the author.  Contact davis@yourcasinocoach.com

Watch for weekly installments of Trials and Tribe-ulations.

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Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 News and Views

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