6 Reasons People Gamble – and Why A Host Should Care

I found an article on Why People Gamble. I didn’t quite agree with the original article so I’ve re-written some of the reasons!

But more importantly, I was thinking that if we focus on Why people gamble, then we can think about How to make them love their Host. And if a valuable player is loyal to the Host then they often think twice about playing somewhere else.

So here we go, with thanks to Samantha Gluck, the author of the ‘PSYCHOLOGY OF GAMBLING: WHY DO PEOPLE GAMBLE?’.

The Chance to Win – Yes, people gamble because they have a chance to win, and they enjoy the sense of anticipation, and the hunt for the winning game. As Casino Hosts, you can create new chances to win. Create 10 baskets of chocolates and play Find Your Host. The first ten players that find you on the Casino Floor between 5pm and 6pm, win the goodies.

Escapism – the Casino provides an escape from everyday life. As Samantha says “for the time that we are taking part we can be surrounded by different people, different sounds and emotions, all of which stimulate and arouse our senses.” As the Casino Host, you want the valuable player to think of you as part of this special world. They are deliberately taking time away from their job, family, relationships, stresses and strains. They want their Casino Host to consistently give them an unconditional and reassuring warm welcome. Strive to be an important part of their alternative life.

Glamour – Samantha writes about the portrayal of a’ stylish, sexy, fashionable image of gambling… There is often a suggestion of ‘high society’ and attending at ‘a place to be seen’.

Certainly the decor of the Casino is designed to be upmarket and to make people feel that they are in a ‘special’ place. But, in this day and age, I suspect people are not looking for glamour so much as wanting to feel important. So many people feel worn-down, under-appreciated, and that they are slipping behind compared to the stars of the Reality TV shows. When they walk into the Casino, they can feel important again and especially if they are greeted warmly. (I remember Therrin Protze of DNC pointing out the value of a warm welcome from the security guards at the main entrance at Jumers Casino & Hotel.) As the Casino Host, you want the player to feel that you see them, that you appreciate them. This extends beyond the Casino Floor to sending messages and cards, placing calls, and reaching out when they have not been on property.

Your body language and facial expressions are really important in making people feel comfortable and welcome. As a Casino Host, you need an immaculate control of your body language, and use of Emotional Intelligence, so that you convey open friendliness to the most *#&@^ personalities.

Importance – so let’s talk some more about importance! Guests love to interact with executives when they can. High-end guests feel as though their patronage should give them a seat at the table, so why not give them one? Light hors d’ouvres, light cocktails, and round tables surrounded by comfortable seating set the stage for a dialogue that will make your most valuable players feel important. Just remember, make no promises in response to their suggestions!


Social – Samantha writes that people gamble for ‘social reasons’. Yes, people visit the Casino’s as couples, with family, and with a group of friends. As the Casino Host, you can track the relationships and use them to your advantage. For example, if someone tells you that they are off to Vegas with friends from out of town, then tell them to let you know when those friends are next in town, and you will take good care of them.

Which leads me to Loneliness. You all have those players who visit regularly, even daily, because they are filling a void in their lives. When they come to the Property, perhaps by limo because they can’t get around, then they are happy to lose money in return for being welcomed into the family. As their Casino Host, you can become a trusted friend.

Are you a friend? Of course not. For those of you that are new to being a Casino Host, be careful to always set boundaries around your interactions with guests. For everything that I have said above, there can be a down-side and you will see this during your career in Player Development.

  • Don’t be too generous or you will be seen as a walking ATM machine for free play and comps.
  • Don’t make them feel too important or they will feel entitled to throw their weight around and be demanding.
  • Don’t blow hot and cold so they feel rejected and want to complain about you.
  • Don’t get too friendly or you can easily cross a line that leads to no end of trouble for you.

But, at the end of the day, people are choosing to spend time and money at your Property instead of at the competition. They would like to see and feel some gratitude and, as the Casino Host, you can convey that sense of gratitude in a personal way with how you listen, laugh, commiserate, and genuinely thank them for coming in.

So thank you, Samantha, for your article that inspired this one!

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