Our New England Casino Poll Starts in Five Days!

The time has come for all you crazy (or serious) New England Casino visitors to vote for this year’s favorites. You don’t need to live in New England to vote – New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey – let your voice be heard!

This is the 4th year for NETimeGambling’s annual Awards celebrating the best in our expanding gaming landscape.  This year, we will have one additional casino, four new hotels, and more restaurants than ever before. Time to compare the reward clubs as well – MLife, Choice rewards (formerly Marquee Rewards), Twin River, Oxford, Momentum and Foxwoods Rewards.

New England Casino Awards votes can be made by:

  1. Subscribing to our Website NETimeGambling.com
  2. Following us on Twitter 
  3. Following us on our Facebook page
  4. Following us on the New England Casinos Facebook group page

Our survey starts on Friday, January 19th. You can only vote once, so make your vote count!

For a look at last year’s winners, check out: New England Casino Awards 2018 and New England Casino Awards – Final Analysis of 2017



6 Tips For a Healthy Casino Visit

It’s Flu Season again. Germs are everywhere in the casino – on the felt, on the dice, on all the machine surfaces….I mean everywhere. But not only that, accidents happen, and people can get hurt.

So here are some tips, not only to keep you from getting sick from your visit to the casino, but also from physically getting hurt at the casino.

  1. If you have breathing problems, look for non-smoking areas. Casinos are providing more and more smoke-free areas. Some, like Plainridge Park in Plainville, MA and MGM Springfield are completely smoke-free, as will be  Encore Boston Harbor. Twin River Casino, in Lincoln RI, has their entire 2nd floor smoke-free and CT’s Tribal Casinos offer many non-smoking areas.
  2. WASH YOUR HANDS!!! as much as possible. Take hand sanitizer for those long plays, or hand sprays that will help clean your hands after playing at the tables and machines. Think of the following happening – coughing, sneezing, tapping and wiping machine glass… and then, you come along. Guess who’s going to commune with previous players DNA? So, WASH YOUR HANDS.
  3. Be aware of others while walking around the casino. A casino is no exception to sudden injuries considering that with all the distractions, guests don’t look where they are going. When walking, stop watching your cell phone. You might as well be in a maze blindfolded.
  4. Be aware of maintenance staff around you trying to keep the casino clean and running. Vacuum cords, unleveled carpet, audio visual equipment, and carts of food, glass-ware and garbage that could run you over.
  5. Beware of non-rug surfaces – the combination of free drinks, wait staff, and unaware humans causes spills. Many accidents happen concerning high polished marble, mopping without warning, melting ice, slippery stairs, and escalators.
  6. Many kids and adults are hurt every year when their parents don’t supervise their kids or leave them unattended. Please don’t put your kids in harm’s way – safety first. Meanwhile, watch out for those little rascals – they know not what they’re doing.

And did I say WASH YOUR HANDS?!

Stay healthy out there!


Gamblers Expect Hospitality at the Casino/Hotel

Besides making money, what do casino players want?

As the competition in New England increases in the next three years, ramping up to a possible 13 casinos, the main question casino personnel should be asking themselves is

“what do casino players want?”

I love to read articles about the other side of the table.  How does the casino staff and executives go about their business, and what dictates their daily, monthly and yearly decisions?

Guest service is the key to success. It’s called hospitality for a reason. Players wanted be respected and treated fairly.  We all  know (or should know) winning at the casino is not consistently possible, unless you are an AP (Advantage Player) – and these days, being an AP or Pro has become the increasing harder.

In this article, NETG will be covering only those suggestions pertaining to the casino floor, hotel and related areas.  Entertainment, dining, and other leisure/amusement activities will be left for a different post. Today is about the vast majority of the casino’s visitors, the recreational gamblers like you and me. The whole guest experience is the most important thing for casino CEO’s should be looking to improve constantly, from the initial contact through departure, whether staying overnight or on a day trip, .

Janet Hawk, from RavingConsulting.com wrote an article concerning just that. RavingConsulting.com  is a full-service gaming resource for casino consulting, guest service, casino marketing, security & surveillance, database, player development, research, online gaming, design & construct, food & beverage, management & host sales and skills training … yes, just about everything casino personnel need to know about.

I will now try to translate to the players point of view.  Here is what I think counts towards player satisfaction, recreational gambling, fun, and enjoyment. This includes those things that make gamblers stop and think if this is the right casino for them. I mean, we all understand house edge, but we visit anyway.  What makes us return, and makes us say “never again.” Here are Janet’s concerns, as well as a few added by our NETG staff. See what you think:

  1. (NETG) CONSISTENCY of RULES by EMPLOYEES When Dealing with Players.  Pit bosses, hosts, dealers, slot techs – they should all know the casino’s approach with player concerns.  Getting a different answer from two different people on the same casino team just influences a move to a different casino. A consistent and detailed way to evaluate each area in the casino is expected its visitors.  Knowing the casino is working as a team to make your stay an enjoyable one is important.

    Robert De Niro, the old intimidating image of a pit boss.

  2. (JH)FRIENDLY ENGAGEMENT with guests.  Janet goes on to suggest to casino management “Don’t just observe, but engage! It’s easy to just sit back and observe, but you have to engage to really experience what your guests are seeing, hearing, and feeling.”  Janet Hawk suggests to casino management to visit the competition, especially those doing well, and act like guests.  Instead of “bitching” about what’s wrong, players would be more interested in friendly conversation.
  3. (JH)HOTEL STAYS MADE EASIER.  Rooms should be ready, cleaned, and in working condition on time.  It should be what the guest expects it to be – and more.  Players enjoy staying in the hotel in between sessions.  The room should be a place for rest, respite, or relaxation.  It should also be a place for sleep at night, without interruption.  Complaints should be handled promptly, especially about other inconsiderate guests next to you.  I won’t go back to a place that I was not allowed to re-energize for the next morning’s session – not to mention any names like Westgate, Cosmo, and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (for example).
  4. (NETG)COMPING POLICIES SIMPLY EXPLAINED AND CONSISTENT DONE.  Don’t give me the run-around.  If you are a casino that wants to wallow in secrecy about how players earn comps, then I’ll go elsewhere.  If the casino or company is ashamed of their hard-to-get comps policy, then there are many websites with comparative information to be found.  A casino that makes players feel stupid for asking about comps makes their policies seem even more fore-boding.
  5. (NETG)GETTING MORE FOR YOUR PLAY THAN LESS – This just doesn’t refer to winning.  Although, in recent years, the “nickel-and-diming” of some industry companies makes time-in-play shorter and shorter.  Changing table game rules, diminishing payout % on slot and video poker, paid drinks and parking (are you listening MGM, Caesars?) What’s next, if player play enough, the get comped chairs to sit in?As Victoria, a new follower of NETG, says “Playing more & getting less can make a loyal player look elsewhere!”
  6. (NETG) FRIENDLY and INFORMED PLAYERS CLUB STAFF – Every time I get a card, or I visit a casino for the first time in a while, I go to the Players Club and ask “what promotions should I be aware of, today?”  Half the time i’m met with friendly, informed staff that start my visit feeling “this is the place for me.”  But the other 50%?  I might as well call up the website for a more pleasant experience. Bert, of NETG, says “Players Clubs are the first contact for most players, especially newbies.  That first contact should set expectations for the visit.”
  7. (NETG) CLEAN AND VISUALLY INVITING GAMING AREAS – I have nothing against the disgusting trail of ashes left on the VP screen by a smoker (hmmm, maybe I do?)  or the nauseating look of drinks piled up next to your machine.  CLEAN THE CASINO!  And upon entering the table game area, or any part of the casino floor, the vision in front of you should be enticing, pleasing to the eye.  No one wants to stay and play in a dump.
  • Good WiFi signal
  • Good Signage to navigate around casino, restaurants, entertainment venues, etc
  • More electrical outlets, especially in hotel bathrooms.  And how about USB ports – now more important than ever.
  • A Coffee maker in your hotel room.  (YES!  who wants to pay $4.00+ for a coffee or wait for service on the casino floor.)
  • Not hearing employees complaining while on the job.  (Instead of standing together “bitching about the place,” try engaging with the customer.  It makes us feel special.)
  • Great customer service on the casino floor.
  • Employees who respond to a complaint with “I know” or “I’m sorry,” then do nothing to make it right.
  • If a guest needs something, don’t make them come get it, take it to them!

Janet ends by saying, “By paying attention to details and learning your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, you can improve your product substantially, and really create a wonderful guest service experience for your guests!”  A a wonderful guest service experience for your guests! That’s what both sides of the industry should want at a casino.