Casino U: All Fun and Games

By Heather Baldwin

If your meeting entertainment includes a gaming element, or if gambling simply is one of many entertainment options for your conference attendees to participate in during their free time, ensure your reps know what they’re doing before they hit the floor. A little training pays off: Meeting attendees who know how to play and know the etiquette of gambling have more fun and lose less money, says Garnet Taucer, co-owner of Casino Creations in Las Vegas.

Casino Creations is a full-service casino training and consulting company. They come to your Vegas meeting location and set up a mock casino that includes the different gaming tables in the hotel ballroom or meeting room. Attendees move between the different table games using fake chips for money and winning or losing points instead of dollars. Taucer says her events typically last about two hours with the first half hour devoted to hands-on education and the rest of the time set aside for playing the games. So your attendees can take full advantage of the training before they hit the casino floor, Taucer recommends holding the event as part of an opening night reception.

You can run the training session as a fun and educational way to learn the rules of gaming, or you can turn it into a contest for your sales reps. They still won’t play with real money, says Taucer, but they can compete for points and use the points to claim prizes at the end of the training session. If the event is a contest, each person is given 500 points after they are shown how to play the table games. The contest then runs for a specific period of time, during which attendees try to win as many additional points as possible.

Taucer says she has seen companies give contest winners everything from T-shirts and Rolex watches to cars and motorcycles. Taucer often recommends companies give away slot tokens as prizes. They aren’t expensive, she says, but they give recipients the chance to win millions of dollars – or the option of quitting while they’re ahead and cashing them in.

“We don’t guarantee people will win in the casino after our events, but we do guarantee they won’t lose as much,” says Taucer. “If you understand what you’re doing, you’ll have more fun and you’ll last longer at the gaming tables.”

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