Casino Player Development Science by Nick Ippolito

In my continued mission to help casino hosts and management to focus on exactly what casino player development means and where the focus should be in this area, I created a fool proof casino player development science.

There are, as we all know, many segments to casino player development and casino marketing. Often times I feel “player development” gets lumped into other segments or diluted a bit. Casino player development is about the opportunity and discovering the actuality if the DEVELOMENT of the player exists or can be achieved.

Over the past 10 years traveling to casinos all over the world I found the inconsistency and the “loophole”, if you will, when working with so many casino hosts. For the first year or two as I sat at the casino hosts workstation, watching as they pulled up patrons on a list, no different than they do now, I noticed they would “skip” some patrons. Maybe 2 – 3 before settling on one they were willing to call. Then make a call, skip a few again and so on. For the first year or two I allowed this behavior until one day I questioned it. I asked, “wait, why did you just skip that account?” The response was and has always been, immediate and the same; “they have such a low Theo; I have nothing to offer them.”

That was a pinnacle point in my training. I realized I don’t need “an offer” to make a call. And it would seem the majority of casino hosts NEED just that prior to calling a player. In addition to swinging for the fences and always looking for that Whale, casino hosts also feel better if the proof of play is established.  However, a Potential and inactive player will not typically have an offer or an offer of great substance. Hence, a development opportunity.

Casino hosts very often, all too often, need an OFFER to make a call. This is one of the foundations I teach and have turned casino hosts around. not only turning them into to true player development salesperson but also have given them more calls to make, more expansion on their lists and ultimately more revenue production. A casino host should look at every person on a list as a casino player development opportunity. Not as a task list or a special event invite etc. I CAN call anyone, anyone on the list with a zero Theo. My pitch would essential be, “what were you doing in my joint?” As my car salesman mentor taught me many years ago; No one walks onto a car lot that doesn’t NEED a car!

So, regressing back to the first time I questioned “The skip” I had the casino host pull up the player, off the list and on the Player Tracking Program. I had the casino host examine the play. The gaming history. The age, etc. I watched as the proverbial lightbulb came on over the casino host’s head. There is so much more to looking at a player with development glasses on then just Theo

However, we live in Theo, we comp by Theo, we send offers aligned with Theo, we are judged by our Theo! Fear not. I created the casino player development Theo science. Sadly, it’s a bit too much to go through in an article but the math I provide to casino hosts can help immensly with whether a player has true potential. It especially helps with eliminating “The Skip”.

Just recently I was at the Black Oak casino training a seasoned casino host. We had a player up on the screen and they had a very low 2-digit Theo and a bad address, no phone number, and some other challenges. So, to make a decision to move forward we applied my science and got a positive sum, the green light! We decided to overcome the challenges and we used my other tricks to obtain a phone number. Once we finally got the player on the phone it was like I had secretly planned it. The perfect inactive player that was very active at the competitors. Didn’t question our call or where we got his number. We went further and spoke to casino hosts at the competition (kudos to the casino host having great relations with other hosts) and they verified his 4-digit Theo. The casino host looked at me and said, “your math works!! Your science has just been proven”


I truly believe that a PD leader should really be a database advocate. There are not many PD leaders that immerse themselves in the database. I know that John Fernandez does this regularly and has been doing it for his casino host teams for many years. It’s a very important piece to casino player development. A PD leader cannot rely on marketing segments and similar segments or formulas that the database manager uses regularly. PD must think out of the box and develop the segments not being exploited by direct mail. Casino Player Development should develop their own segments and tiers.





6 responses on "Casino Player Development Science by Nick Ippolito"

  1. Master piece, as always. It is incredible how many people miss the point of the word “Developments” and go straight to high tier customers or accumulated theo over long periods. How can someone develop someone that is already playing 7 days a week or 20 hours per week? Finding those hidden players with room to develop is the key to find the next customers that will drive your business. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to hear and read more about the mathematics behind your formula.

  2. The first comment is calling anyone that hasn’t opted in will get the casino company in very serious trouble in this part of the world.
    Secondly, without a cross-check that this person hasn’t self-excluded or has indicated gambling issues will dig the casino company a deeper hole.
    Finally, product knowledge. There is no point in anyone calling up any punter unless they know and understand the game(s) or slots this punter plays. The theoretical is an insight into the players betting style and a guide to understand any players worth. The host having product knowledge will both ease the relationship building and understanding of the players betting style.
    Is there really any point in bringing back a sophisticated player that manages their betting and bankroll to leave little for the casino?

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