Nick Ippolito, aka “The Host Whisperer” shares insights on what makes a great casino host and shares anecdotes with URComped CEO Craig Shacklett. Click here to listen to the podcast version.
When I was a little girl my parents took the family on a vacation to Saint George, Utah. We had been told that the purpose for our visit was to see our grandparents. What I didn’t understand until much later was that the road from Los Angeles to St. George goes right through Las Vegas, Nev. It was here that I saw my parents gamble for the first time. Here that I saw a drawer full of nickels that my mom kept plugging into the machine. It was here that I knew I wanted to be!
For gamblers like my parents – the occasional, small budget, recreational gamers, comps were the GREATEST thing ever! I remember how excited they would get when a man in a nice suit would come up to them and offer them a free dinner. Now this was back before Vegas became the celebrity chef mecca that it is today. But to mom and dad, that all-you-can-eat shrimp cocktail might well have been a five-course Wolfgang Puck extravaganza! While my parents were thrilled with their freebies, for high dollar gamblers, comps are the perks that help to instill loyalty in an environment where many different gaming opportunities are readily available.
These memories all came flooding back as I watched and listened to URComped CEO Craig Shacklett’s interview with the man known as “The Host Whisperer,” casino host Nick Ippolito. Nick’s life as the go-to guy for casinos looking to up their player development numbers is as entertaining as it is informative. And for those of us looking to score some comps, understanding the nuts and bolts of how hosts see us and comp us, is especially intriguing.
Nick Ippolito began his career in gaming as a bartender (4:04). He was able to work his way to becoming a beverage supervisor in Atlantic City, and that is where he was asked to become a casino host (4:14). As Ippolito explains, this was the first time the casino actually had the foresight to hire a host, something that seems almost incomprehensible nowadays. At the time, Ippolito says, the host was the one responsible for taking care of the Whales – as he puts it “the million-dollar players, the hundred thousand-dollar players, and the fifty thousand-dollar players.” He explains that, “A monkey can take care of that player” (4:41). Of course, he says, the casinos are going to take care of those high rollers – it’s common sense. But for Ippolito, he was more concerned about the “low-end player” (5:34). Ippolito understood early on that it was these players who “weren’t being touched” (5:36) who were the ones who really were the lifeblood of the casino. These were the players who needed to feel that love and appreciation so that they would grow – or develop, for the casino’s revenue to grow.
As Ippolito transitioned from host to trainer, he says those early revelations regarding developing the low-end player stayed with him. Ippolito notes that often new hosts he is working with will want to show him their highest of high rollers. In the words of Shania Twain, “That don’t impress him much.” The Host Whisperer says those players are going to come to the casino anyway. The job is about creating revenue from those players who need a reason to keep coming back with their cash (6:15).
While Ippolito was making waves early on, he says his big breakthrough came after being asked by John Groom and Richard Slack to bring his talents to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas (6:57). For Ippolito, who grew up on the Rat Pack – Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra, the chance to work as a slot host in the gaming capital of the world was too good to pass up (7:08). Ippolito notes that he always had been a “table guy” in the past, so he wasn’t completely thrilled at the prospect of being relegated to the slots, but big changes were coming to casinos. Ippolito notes that the “had just started to get the reader machine” (7:34), which, of course, would help track play. In addition, casinos also had just started to bring in $500 and $1,000 machines – which meant pulls of $1,000 and $2,000 at a time. He quickly made a name for himself in Vegas, getting hired away from Caesars to the Hilton, then the Tropicana, and so forth. As Ippolito says, he finally had a “book” (9:00). Ippolito explains that the “book” was a leather-bound notebook which was filled with player information. Since player information is now computerized, the book’s composition had changed, but not the way it’s referred to.
It was at the Tropicana that Ippolito says he was no longer working the floor, but working the phones (9:11). Unlike today, where the marketing department is “gifted” with player contact information, Ippolito says his staff was tasked only with “bringing in new players” (9:25). It was here he learned that in order to do his job he had to get on the phone to get business.
Ippolito recalls a meeting where he raised his hand when asked for suggestions on how to proceed with the opening of the new Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. He says he thought that he might be attacked by hosts with pitchforks when he suggested that they hire telemarketers in order to bring in new business (10:51). Ippolito admits “winging it” as he suggested bringing in a team of 10- to 15 telemarketers at $10 an hour plus 2 percent of the theo (Average Daily Theoretical loss, in casino terms). Lucky for him, his mentor, Tony Santo, let him run with the idea, and a new way of doing business was born (11:24). As Ippolito explains, the new telemarketers were extremely successful. Also, they were excited because, as they put it, they were selling to people who actually used and wanted the product – a big change from cold call telemarketing. As his telemarketing program grew, he began to wonder what if they could book people from out of the area, not just the locals. Little did Ippolito realize that this was the very foundation of what would become The Host Whisperer’s training program.
Ippolito says he is not out to try to pull host focus from the everyday clients (16:44). He says, if during a training session, a host receives a call and needs to take care of a client, of course he is going to want the host to do so (16:46). He says what he actually is trying to do is “help the host survive.” He says when it comes to revenue, “the way to move the needle is incremental revenue.” (17:06) URComped CEO Shacklett notes that it’s important for hosts to take care of their clients, but “the next level is actually being able to drive business that wouldn’t be coming in otherwise.” (17:18)
So, what does the so-called Host Whisperer look for when hiring hosts? Ippolito says it’s easy to be dazzled by looks and personality, but what he is interested in goes deeper. He says that people skills are essential for any employee’s ability to sell. Ippolito says that many people coming into host positions are taken aback at his training, which focuses on aggressive sales. He says they are shocked, expecting to come into the job believing that they were going to be “writing comps and kissing babies.” (20:48) He says he also looks for an outstanding work ethic – not people who won’t take that client who came in at the last minute because they no longer are on the clock. Finally, he wants problem-solvers. After all, if a client comes to the host with a request and the host needs to go running to the supervisor, it seems a waste to come to the host at all. As Ippolito notes, he also focuses on teaching hosts how to negotiate with the player, which can certainly make their life easier when dealing with clients seeking (at times) excessive or improbable comps (25:50).
URComped’s Shacklett wanted to know what The Host Whisperer thought about the recent restrictions on gaming, and how it was affecting the casino industry (32:33). Ippolito says that “gamblers are gamblers,” meaning that those who love to gamble are still going to be pursuing their passion, just like a cyclist needs to cycle. Perhaps the way in which they go about it might change – like the uptick seen in online gaming sites, but the action is the same. Ippolito stresses the importance for hosts to remember who they are pitching and selling to (35:35). He also stresses the importance of telemarketing over direct mail. As he puts it, “listening is selling,” (39:50) and this is a sales-oriented business. In addition, Ippolito points to the importance of creativity. He shares the story of a very high-end female restaurant owner who had been absent from the casino and no one seemed to be able to contact her. With quick thinking, he called and asked to reserve space for a large VIP party – and got to speak directly to her, and steered the client back into the casino (30:06). Several months later the woman asked about when the “big party” was going to be booked. While some might have been angry at the host for making such a claim, actually it was an opportunity to invite more big gamblers to a posh VIP dinner, and making them feel even more special, more appreciated and getting more of their gaming business. And at the end of the day – that’s what it’s all about.
Check out the full interview to hear Nick Ippolito’s incredible stories and anecdotes with Craig Shacklett. Reach out to The Host Whisperer on his website: nickippolito.com, on LinkedIn, email at: nick “at” nickippolito.com, or call: (702) 573-0028.
URComped CEO, Craig Shacklett, and Casino Host Trainer, Nick Ippolito dive deeper into what it takes to be a successful Casino Host. Player development, incremental revenue strategies, and qualities that Casino Executives should look for in their Casino Hosts are just a few of the topics discussed with “The Host Whisperer.”
Full transcript below
(00- 0:34) Craig Shacklett: Hi everybody, Craig from URComped here with another very exciting, very special guest for our comp travel interview series. We have Nick Ippolito. If you are in the casino industry, especially in casino marketing, I’m sure you’ve heard of Nick Ippolito. He is all over the place on LinkedIn. All over the place physically. Giving his trainings to some of the top host teams in the world. So it’s really a pleasure to get that Nick on. Nick, thank you so much for being here.
(0:34– 1:44) Nick Ippolito: Not a problem, Craig. It’s a pleasure to be here with you. I’ve known you quite some years. We talked too earlier just about how long about three years now… Four years… And I have cleaned up for you. I shaved the quarantine facial hair.
And of course, I put on a tie. I haven’t worn a tie in a while. It was good to put a tie back on. And I turned down a couple of these. I was happy to do it for you. I’ve been watching you on LinkedIn and your videos are going great. Your information is fantastic. You know the contents are wonderful. You brag about me. So that’s what the others don’t do so they don’t get me on their show, you know what I mean? And it’s great to see you after three-four years. Your product has come a long way. You’re helping out casinos. Your CRM, your software is on fire. Helping casinos get new players is what I’m all about. New and inactive in that incremental revenue is what it’s all about. So it’s a pleasure to be talking to you.
(1:44– 1:50) CS: I like the way this interview is starting out. Why don’t we keep going, tell us about you, good things about…
(1:50– 2:00) NI: That’s impossible for me not to talk about myself. That’s about all you get.
(2:00– 2:14) CS: I did open up by saying, “If anybody is in casino marketing on LinkedIn or just been around, they know who you are.”
But for players watching that doesn’t know who you are, maybe talk about what you do and maybe a little bit about your background.
(2:14– 3:43) NI: I’m glad you said that because I am everywhere. I’m not only digitally and social media, but I am all over the world. I’ve been to so many casinos. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of casinos over the last eight years. It’s been absolutely incredible.
And I’m glad you said that because I am and I posted it just the other day on LinkedIn. I am very proud of my resume. There’s a ton of great people out there that are training, teaching, consulting, doing their thing, and writing articles. The first thing I do is I go to their resume’s. I go to their experience. So I’m very proud of my resume. I’m very proud of my experience. I’ve been doing this for thirty something years. And it’s funny you say “casino marketing” and I don’t ever consider myself “casino marketing.” Because when I think of “casino marketing”, Craig, I think of direct mail, events and promotions, and things of that nature. And though I’ve done it, there’s been moments where I’ve been a Casino Marketing Manager, Casino Marketing Director. It wasn’t very long and it wasn’t very long lived.
Usually, I was very successful at player development and the property lost their marketing guy and asked me to step in for a little while,
right? But you know me and I think you calling the phrase, for three-four years ago, “The Host Whisperer.”
(3:43– 3:44) CS: Yes
(3:45- 11:41) NI: I am. I have to be with the host. I have to be on the phones. I have to be talking players. I have to be getting that incremental revenue. That’s just what I’m all about. That’s part of my DNA. In my educational seminar when I teach the casino host,
I tell them the whole story that I started out. Well, I was a bartender, when I was a baby on the beach with the best time of my life.
But I’ve been to Atlantic City, to a role in Atlantic City. And I was a Beverage Supervisor. And they recognized me. And they asked me to be a casino host. And it was the first time that they hired host. John Groom and Richard Slack had the foresight back then to see that the casino host were all taken care of: the high rollers, the million-dollar players, the hundred thousand-dollar players, and the fifty thousand-dollar players. Twenty-thirty years later I still say this, “A monkey can take care of that player.” A player loses a hundred grand, it’s a no-brainer, Craig. I mean, come on. Anybody comes to any business and spends a hundred thousand. Everybody knows kiss-their-butt and take care of them, right? So when they asked me to be a casino host I said, ”I don’t have a book. I don’t have a following.”
And I still do the book thing because we didn’t have computers. So the host had a leather-bound book in their jacket with rubber
bands. And they would open it up and pages would fall out and receipts would fall out. But that was the book. And I don’t even know if host a book anymore. I’m not sure but that’s where it comes from. Have you ever hear an old-school boss say to you, ”What about your book?” That’s where it comes from it with an actual book in our jacket pockets or their jacket pockets. So my first taste of casino hosting was to take care of the grind. Does it take care of the low-end player? Was it talk to the people that weren’t being touched?
Guess what that’s called? That’s “Player Development.” That’s developing this low-end player. So I didn’t have the hundred thousand and million-dollar players. And these two guys, John Groom and Richard Slack, who are icons in the industry icons, they taught me don’t worry about that stuff. Those people take care of themselves? They come to the events, anyway. They come, right? So that was my first experience. So that stayed with me. It’s absolutely part of my DNA now, my blood, my blueprint. And I passed it on as I went along. And that’s always been my go-to when a host would show me their top player. I stop, I go, who cares? What? You’re not going to impress me? And a guy comes, anyway. So that was my first. So I worked Atlantic City. I worked at Caesar’s Palace. I worked the casino floor.
I think there was other casinos at the time but all we knew was Vegas and Atlantic City, right? Those are the two big houses. Those were the two big markets. And I did that for about a year. And John Groom and Richard Slack transferred to Ceasar’s, Las Vegas. So I’m twenty something years old living in polluted, stinky, humid, cold Atlantic City. Crapling City, right? Sorry everybody. And they call me up and they go, “Do you want to do what you’re doing in Ceasar’s, Las Vegas?” And I’m like, ”Are you there? Are you guys there right now?” And they go, “Yeah.” ”I will go out to valet.” And they go, “What?” I go, ”I’ll be there. I’m being a valet.” That’s so cool. I will be in Las Vegas, right? And listen, I grew up with the Rap Pack and Dean Martin. And Frank Sinatra’s in my neighborhood. Hoboken and Jersey City. So I’ve always wanted to be a part of the Vegas scene. So I packed my car and literally drove cross-country and became a slot host. I was a table host in Atlantic City. I became a slot host in Ceasar’s, Las Vegas. Which was again, at first I was bummed. I was like,
”Oh man, I’m a table guy.” But now, right before I started in slots was when they just started to get the reader machine and the card system. And the reader boxes worth about this big on the side of something. But that also was the first time that they brought in the five hundred-dollar slot machines, thousand-dollar slot machines. Pattered used to play the thousand-dollar slot machines, that’s two thousand a pull. Five hundred slot machine, that’s a thousand a pull. Mike Mahtook, Ron Brown. They’re great. These players were just phenomenal at Caesar’s Palace. And of course Caesar’s would before she matters. It was such an intimidating. Such a beautiful property. I wish you all… I wish… If I had one wish, I wish you all could see Caesar’s Palace back in the… That was the eighties I could imagine in the seventies. You know what I mean like… With some of the greats. So anyway, I’m walking around. I’m a slot host at Caesar’s, Atlantic City, Las Vegas. And now, I’m learning how to sign people up. I’m learning the introduction to the cart system. I’m learning all that. And then I went to the Hilton. In the Las Vegas Hilton the time Brian Parish and Pete Ostiglia, great man. And I think Brian Scott. I just saw Brian doing an interview the other day. I think he’s the CEO. Smart kid. Very smart kid. He was a baby then, but he was a very, very smart kid. They brought me over to the Hilton, to bring my Caesar’s people to the Hilton. So now I had a book. Like, “Oh, I get it. I see how this works.” So then I went on to the Tropicana. The Tropicana was another pinnacle spot for me because Mike needs to care and the Ferrari had hired host from every casino only to make calls. We were not allowed to work the floor. We were not gifted like they are these days. These kids, they show up at the casino. Never had any experience. And they’re given a list of players who already come to the casino. So we were tasked with only bringing new players. Harry Mustafa, Debbie Regal, Liza Powel. We had to bring only good, only new players. Did we sneak them work the floor? Of course, we did. We’re a host, right? We beat every system out there, right? It takes a crook to catch a crook, right? So I would bet the trop for a good six years. It was a great run. I had some great players. But listen to what I just said. Now I’m on the phone all the time, right? So I went from learning to take care of the low-end of the grind. The people that are missing. The people that no one’s reaching out to. Now I learned you got to get on the phone in order to get business. So that launched and that was it. When I got to the Hilton for the third, second or third time. I was on the phone a lot. And then when Paris opened, Tom Banani hired me to run the PD, so to speak, at Paris and Ballys, It was connected. And we were all wondering how we’re going to do the opening of the Paris. And Tony Santo, my mentor. Great man. He’s out in great Canadian right now. There was a lot of hustle and bustle going on in the meeting I remember. Hosts that have been at Bally’s for thirty years booking the same fifteen people over and over, over and over again. I raised my hand and I said, ”What if I hire telemarketers?” And that you would thought I don’t know what I said because the host got pitchforks and torches. And they were like, ”You’re not bringing those people into our industry.” I had no idea what they were talking about. But Tony Santa, God bless him. He said, “What do you got Nick?” I winged it, Craig. I had no idea. I said, “I don’t know. Let me hire ten telemarketers.” “What are you going to pay them?” ”I don’t know. Ten bucks an hour and two percent theo…” I don’t know. I made it up, right? And God bless Tony. He said, “Do it.” Gave me a big room. And I hired about, I don’t remember at first, ten, five, ten of these telemarketers. And it was right at the time when telemarketers were going to jail. So we get scammed. you know how we get scammed every day on our phone from Iraq and who knows where we’re at.
(11:41– 11:45) CS: Well, there’s a Nigerian prince. I thought for sure it was legit.
(11:45– 15:55) NI: But you know that originated in America, right? We used to scam ourselves. Telemarketing used to call old lady. American telemarketers call American old ladies and steal their welfare check. Those are the guys I hired, Craig. But guess what? It took telemarketing for me to another level. Could you imagine what they taught me? I didn’t teach them. I taught them the casino industry which can be taught in an hour to anybody. I taught them the casino but they taught me telemarketing to the 10th degree.
And they said to me, “This is the easiest sale on the planet.” And I’m like, ”What do you mean?” They go, “Your people, your clientele?
Already want what you’re selling?” And my head exploded. Like you understand that most sales, you’re trying to get people’s money, you’re trying to sell them on what they don’t want, you’re trying to sell them when they’re trying to budget. Not a gambler. These cats didn’t even turn the computer on after about a week. They were just making calls, booking people. Of course, I hate to say “out book the host.” But we did a phenomenal job. So much so that they put me on the map. Presidents from other properties. I remember Joe Jimenez was the President at Caesar’s Palace at the time, came across the street to Paris Bally’s. Actually, I was in Bally’s. And he wanted to see the operation. I believe Kevin Kelly came down. He was the CEO at Stations at the time. They were like, “Do you have ten dollar an hour telemarketers booking hundred thousand-dollar players?” ”Absolutely.” “Do you have ten dollar an hour telemarketers booking eight-year inactive players?” ”Absolutely.” So that put me on the map. So then I did Stations Casinos. I did the thing at Stations. Same dog. Same animal. Where I hired telemarketers and we called to the Stations’ properties. And we actually book so much at Red Rock. We booked out of state at Red Rock. Because I thought, “What if the hosts pat themselves on the back for when people live twenty minutes away and they want to play video poker.” You’re not doing anything. You’re not driving that revenue, right?
So little did I know, that whole thing I just told you, built my training program. And I haven’t worked in the Strip in eight years, you know what I mean? I’ve done all Indian and private-owned casinos. That I’ve been overseas. Morocco and London. So now it’s dealing with those locals. And teaching these local hosts that you’re not driving that ten, twenty-minute revenue. You know what I mean? You’re taking care of them, but you’re not driving it. That all encompassed my training over the last year. And now, don’t get me wrong, my first gig in Oklahoma was I the Redneck? Of course. I was… I’m like… First of all… I was like… When I got the call I’m like, “There’s casinos in Oklahoma?” Deborah Prince. She laughed. She’s like, “Yeah, there’s about five hundred of them.” Like I was such a Vegas, Atlantic City guy. We’ll talk about that later. Maybe I filled some of your questions. Anyway you were asking me about my history. So that’s my history. I’ve worked a lot of casinos in Vegas. I’ve opened quite a few of them. The last one I opened was the Downtown Grand with the Great Sept Shore. That was a great project. I helped the union the Plaza out a little bit. And open the Paris. And then just been all around the country. Just educating casino hosts. And meet casino hosts. Whispering to casino hosts. The results have been amazing just to get the testimonials I get. You get a host to compliment you or smile. And they just are free with their compliments. And they see them quoting me on LinkedIn and re-quoting me, referring me. And it’s just been… Those are the… I mean… Listen, I love the CEO, I love all the top guns, I love all of them but you won’t catch me hanging out with them. I’ll be with the host.
(15:55- 16:12) CS: I love hearing your story. That is so entertaining. Just walking down. Just… I don’t know just hearing about the innovation because a lot of us that… A lot of people just kind of look back and they’ll see the old pictures of Vegas with Dean Martin on the… Or Elvis… You’re obviously a lot younger than that.
(16:12– 16:15) NI: Not a lot. But thank you.
(16:15– 16:39) CS: Anyway, I really enjoyed that. What struck me is you have a very pragmatic outlook on what a host… Like… Because it’s easy as, “Oh yeah, I did a million in theo last year.” But really like… I heard you say, “If they’re people that live five minutes from the casino and like to gamble, they’re coming anyway.” It sounds like you’re very practical with your approach about like… Alright we’re looking for incremental revenue.
(16:39– 17:08) NI: Listen, I don’t want to lose that business. Of course not. If they call in the middle of my training I tell the hosts, “Yeah, take that. Go run to the case. Take care of him.” You know what I mean? And all I’m trying to do is help the host survive. Because if I think like that, a dummy who never went to college, you know a CFO is going, “They’re not driving that… ” You know what I mean? And I want the host to live forever. I want it to last forever. So the way you move the needle is incremental revenue.
(17:08– 17:30) CS: So it sounds like… Baseline, they got to be good people. They gotta treat their players well. They can’t repel business that would already be coming in. But the next level is actually being able to drive business that wouldn’t be coming in otherwise. What do you think are some qualities that make a great casino host? Some of it is inherent, natural. But some of it, training.
(17:30– 18:17) NI: Let me just go back real quick and then we’ll go to that. My training is not cookie cutter. So I always make host ask themselves, ”What business am I driving?” And I tell you, I did the smallest little casino in the middle of a cornfield, in the middle of a duck pond. And I pull up thinking, ”Oh my God. I’ve overdressed.” And I walk in and there’s maybe two, three hosts. They don’t have a steakhouse. They don’t have a console, they don’t have a spa. But guess what they say to me, “We have to make our numbers.” How about that? I go to a little casino in the middle of nowhere and the hosts have to drive business. So I’m just echoing what you said about driving business. What was the next question?
(18:17– 18:18) CS: Thank you for that.
(18:18– 22:33) NI: The qualities of a host. Funny, I’ve been in interviews. Dominic Ortiz, another great, great kid. I love him to death. He’s my fishing partner, too. Now I’m actually his fishing lackey. He’s not my fishing partner. He’s an expert fisherman. And I kind of just bait the hook for him and tying his knots. And if I’m not getting snagged in the weeds. He brought me out to Kickapoo out in Texas. Yes, there’s gambling in Texas. People always correct me, but there is gambling in Texas. And we developed the host program. And I sat in interviews. And I’ve done this for Kum Yong and I’ve done this for Richardson Gene. Sat in interviews and it strikes me hysterical that the first thing the host candidate says is, “Y’all really good people. People love me. I have really good people-skill. People love me. I love people.” That is not the prerequisite to being a casino host. It is the prerequisite to getting a job, to getting past HR. Absolutely. And my feeling is, ”That’s the umbrella of the job. That’s everybody’s job. That’s not everybody’s skill. But that is everybody’s job.” And when I teach this customer service as I’ve done did a lot of these big properties, the whole property customer service. I kind of define that. I go, “Don’t you know you have a job and you have a skill?” Too often, we mix those two or we meld those two. Your job is to have good people skills. I hope the security guard has good people skills. I hope the housekeeping…They probably don’t say that in interview,
but they should, Craig. If I’m interviewing a security guard I hope he says, “I’m really good. People love me. I have great people skill.”
So I don’t know why I want hosts to have that. But that is not a prerequisite to being a host. Prerequisite to being a host, obviously, the sales. It’s all about sales. It’s all about, “Have you done any? Have you been in the trenches? Have you had to make your number?” They hire these hosts who interview. It’s not the host’s fault. They hire a host that think it’s kissing babies and patting people on the back. And it’s not the hosts fault. And they go, ”Oh, yeah. She’s got a great personality. He’s got a great personality. He’s got a great look. She’s got a great look. He’s got…” And then three months in they go, ”Hey, you’re not making your numbers.” And the host goes, “What?”
And then they hire me and I do my aggressive sales. And they go, “What the heck? I thought we were writing comps and kissing babies?” So management, leadership needs to look for that, asking those questions. And if they’ve had no sales experience, you can still ask them, “Hey, so if I give… If your numbers were down, how would you how would you make up that quarter?” And when you start hearing, “I have to make numbers each quarter. And how do I make up for numbers in the quarter? And if I lose…” Now in the interview,
they start going, “Ah, what kind of job is this?” And all you guys do is mention telemarketing and look at some of these face. And they’ll go, ”Ooh…” Give them a piece of paper and go, “If I give you these thirty people who haven’t been here in a year, how would you get them back?” That’s an interview. So I have a whole host-interviewing process because you got to think out of the box. You can’t interview a host like you interview anybody else.Also I look for, I’m not gonna lie brother, it’s class. It’s swagger. You got to have that. You’re around million-dollar players. You’re around people who own businesses. You’re around… You got to have that swag. You got to have that… And I think its street. I think it’s embedded in you. You got to know what to say. I’ve seen so many hosts, ”Hey, I did it when I was a kid.” Insult the player. They think they’re being so polite and charming and respectful. And I’ve seen players around go, ”Why are you talking to me like that?” Or “Why you talk to me like I’m a kid?” Or “Why are you talking to…” So there isn’t… There is a real swag about. There’s definitely… And I think we confuse that with people skills. That’s not people skills. There’s a real swag to being a casino host. And definitely the sales part of it as well.
(22:33– 22:35) CS: Thank you.
(22:35– 23:50) NI: And work ethic. Work… Work ethic. Because they’re like… They’re not under surveillance 24/7 a host. So it’s easy for a host to lose that accountability. So they have to be… If you find somebody who will… Let’s say, I’m a host and I’m only making hourly and I’m not salaried. Well, if I’m on my way out the door and a player called me, if the host says, “Nope, sorry. I’m not helping. I’m hourly.” You got to look for that work ethic. Very, very important. How to get the job done? Maybe give them examples. I like to do this in a host interview. Give them the problem solving. It’s not always “go to the boss.” And it’s not always tell the player, ”Oh yes, they won’t give you fifteen tickets to the play. Oh yes, my boss won’t do it.” Where is the problem solving? You’re an entrepreneur. You’re a manager level. Whether your hourly or salaried, doesn’t matter. Solve the problem. You know what I mean? Always be selling. And when selling, always negotiating. It should never be, “Oh yes…” I tell those old-time don’t do this host. Don’t do this. Think of a solution figure out the problem. Problem solving is very important.
(23:50– -23:56) CS: Because the players just going to think, “Why am I dealing with you?” If you’re so useless, all you’re doing is asking your boss and say…Craig…
(23:56– 25:04) NI: So many directors. I can show you my inbox. I’ll screenshot it. That’s the number one thing they say to me, “Why do all the players contact me and not the host?” And I go, “I know… I don’t never been to your property and I already know.” Because the hosts were going, “I asked. It’s marketing. It’s computer generated. They do with the computer. Marketing does it with the computer?” All you’re saying a person is not… Just like when you go to a restaurant and you’re hungry. You’re starving. And you walk in the restaurant. And the first thing they tell you is, “Two of the cooks called out sick. They only have one waitress. And one of the stoves burned.” Do you hear any of that? All you hear is, “Well, are you going to feed me or am I going to go next door?” Consumers don’t listen to all… I don’t know what people think that the player goes home with us. ”Oh that poor host. He tried for me.” It’s not what a consumer does. They go to the boss. So many directors. I’m glad you said that. So many directors do say to me, “Why do the players come to me?” Well, that’s why. Problem-solving. Solve the problem.
(25:04– 25:18) CS: And prob… Probably some of the directors are, and I’m sure you would you’ve seen this, they’re probably guilty too because they feed the player. Players, consumers alike, well last time went to the director, it worked.
(25:18– 25:21) NI: It’s so easy for the director, “Here’s some free play.”
(25:21– 25:27) CS: Yeah, exactly. Keep going… They’re both at fault…
(25:27– 26:01) NI: He’s cornered, isn’t he? I mean, he’s the owner. He’s the director. He’s cornered. The players in front of them. It’s a survival thing. And then he goes to the host and he probably yells, ”Why is your player..blah blah blah?” So it’s a vicious cycle. But I think it comes down to the hosts have to be a little bit more… And I teach them this. And I see the light bulb goes on. And I see it. And I get the text messages and I get to… I teach them that trick of negotiating with a player and makes their life so much better. I’m on the host side. Trust me. I am completely on the host side.
(26:01– 26:41) CS: I think probably a lot of that… Because I know we deal with it. We are number one booking for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, MSC. We do a lot of comps on that front. And something difficult for our staff is sometimes breaking the news to a player that they don’t qualify for what they think they qualify for. And a lot of… I think a lot of what you’re talking about. Is that where the host just doesn’t have the confidence to tell players, ”Hey, sorry bro. You’re not getting the fifteen tickets.” So in a situation like that,
what do you… What do you tell a host? How do you give them that courage to tell the player? Like, “Look sorry. You just don’t qualify. It’s not… My boss…” So it’s like yeah.
(26:41– 27:36) NI: I’d love to tell you but that’s what they pay me for. So… Alright. Right now. Yeah. But I could tell you I do have some gems and it’s all about negotiating and not giving up. And I never stopped negotiating. And I never give up the trick that answer your question without giving away everything is… It’s not this. That’s not the answer. That’s not the answer. It’s computer generated. It’s, you know. You said the magic word qualify. It’s all about qualifying. I teach hosts you never say “No.” Hosts never say “No.” I have GM’s call me and go, ”Can you come out and train my host?” And I go, “Yeah. What’s the matter?” And they go, “They just do not know how to say no.” And I go, “I’m sorry ma’am or sir. I’m the wrong guy. I don’t teach host… No host says “No”.” You don’t say “No.” The path to get there. You want fifteen tickets? I’ll get you fifteen.
(27:36– 27:51) CS: That’s smart. I mean… Yeah, that makes sense. You’re always… You’re spinning it in a way that the consumer knows the path to get what he wants. They may never be able to afford to gamble as much as it takes to get to that path. But at least it’s not “Oh, sorry the computer.”
(27:51– 27:59) NI: Well, if that’s the case then guess what, who won the negotiation? If they don’t have enough money to get to that path who won the negotiation?
(27:59– 28:01) CS: The casino?
(28:01– 28:02) NI: Yeah, the host.
(28:02– 28:03) CS: Yeah.
(28:03– 28:04) NI: Okay?
(28:04– 28:15) CS: Yeah, okay. I passed the first question. I don’t think… I’m not sure. I have what it takes to be a host. But maybe with your training, I could. Because I have…
(28:15- 29:09) NI: With my training, anybody could be a host. The problem with hosting is, do you want to do it? Listen, I’ve done my seminar and there’s been brand-new hosting seminar. Oh man, let’s see. I’m doing this about eight years. I would say three or four casinos.When I went after I do the educational seminar, I do my exclusive, which nobody else does. I sit with you and I make the calls. And I show you that everything I just taught works. Instead of just saying, “Do it. I’m an expert. I’m an expert. I’m an expert. Bye.” Get my money and leave. I don’t do that. I show you, let’s do it. Lets… And after the training seminar about three or four casinos in eight years, the host didn’t show up to my one-on-one and the director came to me and said, “He or she quit.” Or “We transferred them.” They said after your seminar, that’s not the job I signed up for. Which is okay. Which is good. Now you know what this job is all about.
(29:09– 29:26) CS: Well that lend so much credibility to what you’re teaching them. Because, as you said, it’s easy to write the textbook on hosting. But if you’re sitting down you actually do it. You’re like, “See it works. I got this inactive player in.” I know that’s what you do
so I’ve read the testimonials. That is add… That gives the host…
(29:26– 29:50) NI: It’s all about that moment when you… The guy hadn’t been in three years. Or the guy hadn’t been in a year and a half. And he’s been going to the competitor. And we hang up the phone. And a host spins his chair around and goes, ”I got him, he’s coming in.” Like I get just as excited. I can’t wait to make those calls. Like… Because I know how it’s gonna be. And we do we lose a few, of course. There’s places that don’t have a spa and that’s all the person wants. You know what I mean?
(29:50– 29:51) CS: Yeah.
(29:51– 29:57) NI: Cut bait and go for a big fisherman. I mean huge fisherman. Cut bait and go fish somewhere else. There’s some sort of connection to your hook.
(29:57– 30:04) CS: Players ever show up a week later and then like, “Where’s that smooth talker from New Jersey I was on the phone with?” I mean…
(30:04– 31:02) NI: No, but I’ll tell the story how I booked one lady, big player at L’auberge many years ago. And the host came to me and they wanted this player. They didn’t even have her phone number. And she was a huge Samaras player. And they had lost her for over a year. And so not only did I have to find the phone number on the person, but I did. And she happen to own a restaurant. And the minute she answered the phone I said to her, ”Yes, it’s Nick over at L’auberge. I’d like to book of fifty seats VIP dinner at your restaurant.” And I got her, of course. Nice. And then I got right off that subject and I booked her. We gave her a hundred and twenty-five and free play.
Shes a huge, huge player hadn’t been in a year. Now I’m to answer your question. I’m sure weeks later, months later she was in the casino going, “Hey, when’s that dinner at my restaurant?” The GM was like, “Ippolito…”
(31:02– 31:05) CS: I will send you the bill.That’s awesome.
(31:05– 32:08) NI: Stupid not to, right? You’d be stupid not to do that, anyway. Turn that into a VIP party, a Player Development party, whatever. So maybe that happens. But yet sometimes, in the very beginning I used to call for the host. They were afraid to get on the phone. So I’d say give me the phone and I go, “Hey Martha, it’s Craig over at the, you know, URComped.” So I’m sure when they got, if I was in Oklahoma, the guy didn’t talk like this. You know what I mean? You know that I’d booked one of the biggest players when I was in Morocco, when I was in Africa, when no one, no one, Craig, no one in the continent talks like this. I got on the phone and I booked an Arabic player to their poker tournament and he was a huge player. I don’t even think the Moroccan host booked that week. And I booked in Africa. So when people come up to me and try to show me their… Show me their stuff, I thought I ask him, ”Have you ever booked in London? Have you ever booked in Africa? Have you ever booked in Korea?” You know what I mean? Gamblers are gamblers’ buddy.
That’s one thing I’ve learned in thirty years.
(32:08– 32:09) CS: Yup
(32:09– 32:12) NI: Yeah. I booked a player in Morocco, in Africa.
(32:12– 32:13) CS: That’s awesome.
(32:13– 32:19) NI: Yeah. You know what, every now and then he still “”what’s app”” me. Still thinks I work there.
(32:19– 32:23) CS: He’s like, “What accent is this?” You’re like, “South Morocco.”
(32:23– 32:28) NI: He didn’t even ask. He didn’t even ask. The way I do it. You don’t even ask.
(32:28– 32:37) CS: That’s amazing. So you talk about gamblers are gamblers. Now there’s a lot of gamblers that aren’t gambling. Or at least not legally.
(32:37– 32:45) NI: Exactly, I was gonna correct you. They’re gambling, buddy. They have to gamble. The same way a drinker has to drink. You know what I mean?
(32:45– 32:46) CS: Yeah.
(32:46– 32:52) NI: A runner has to run. A biker has to bike.It’s no different.
(32:52– 33:12) CS: So casino hosts are facing a situation. I guess a lot of them are probably… None of them have ever faced before we’re coming off of a closure of a casino, worldwide pandemic. What are some… What some guidance you can give them? I’m like, “Hey, this is uncharted territory.” Like… Any tips or…
(33:12– 36:42) NI: I gotta tell you, brother. I don’t like… I wouldn’t say I don’t like. I am not a fan of these experts. I’m not a fan of people assuming and thinking they know it all. I’m not in that boat. I’m not a scientist. I’m not a mathematician. I’m not a socialist. I’m not a political guy. I’m not an economist. I don’t know. And I got news for you. Maybe only Warren Buffett knows. He might be the only one. He should be the next president. I don’t know. None of us know. You just said it, “Virgin Territory.” We are all guinea pigs. We don’t know if it’s going to go away. We don’t know people are going to die. If more are gonna die tomorrow. We just don’t know what’s out there. The only thing I’m an expert in, is that gamblers need to gamble. And I wrote it on LinkedIn a couple weeks ago. I was very quiet during this whole thing. Because, again, I am not a scientist, an economist, a mathematician. So I keep my mouth shut when I don’t know something. People always say, “Man, Ippolito, he can spit venom.” I only spit venom when I know what I’m actually talking about. And I’ve talked to players for thirty years. I’ve done nothing but talk to players for thirty years. So that’s the first thing I want to do. I want to get on the phone and I want to ask. You just like my comment on LinkedIn where I said, “Quality telemarketing takes away the assuming, the guesswork of direct mail.” Direct mail does nothing. Does nothing. It’s just advertising. That’s all. It just keeps the casino
and the promotion in the players face and in their head and in their ear. It doesn’t ask the question. It doesn’t qualify. We could say, “Sixty two percent of the people lost their 401k.” Who cares? Gamblers don’t gamble off their 401k’s and their gambling is “Recession-Proof,” pal. I don’t gamble. But I know the psychology of a gambler and I teach that to my hosts. You got to know your market. You got to know who you… If you don’t know who you’re pitching to, who you’re selling to, then you’re not going to be able to sell them. A gambler during the worst of times, see’s a nickel on the ground. You and I see a nickel and we save it. During this pandemic, I cut off half of my HBO. I cut off the good dog food. I cut out. A gambler doesn’t do that. They find a nickel on the ground. They’re going to turn that into fifty thousand dollars. That’s gonna change their life because they’ve done it before. So I only know gamblers. And I know they’re gambling. Trust me. They’re gambling right now. I just been texting with my buddy at DraftKings. They have a casino, on-line casino, not sports. But they also have on-line casino. Those companies are doing very well. People have to gamble. Millennials are the new gamblers. And they like to sit home and look down on their phone and gamble. So those things are definitely in place. These plastic things that were putting up, we got to keep them clean. They got to look presentable. I wrote the thing, not to everyone, but to the hosts that players are funny. They’ll say, “He coffee on me, “I want free play.” You know what I mean?
(36:42– 36:43) CS: Yeah.
(36:43– 38:36) NI: Plastic things. If you think they were bad before, we ain’t seen nothing yet. We ain’t seen nothing yet. So I wish I knew. I wish I had the answer. My only guidance is get on the phone and listen. Selling is in the listening. Don’t assume. I wouldn’t be calling people going, ”Oh my God. Oh my God. Are you okay? Is it terrible? Oh my God.” I don’t do that. My only guidance is, and you’ve seen it on LinkedIn already, I’m telling people, “Call.” And right now, I hope they’ve been calling for the last two months because everybody’s home. When I do my one-on-one’s, all we get are voicemails. Everybody’s home. The calls I’ve made already with some of the most individual to hire me to help them during this… They’re like, ”We don’t know what to do. We don’t know what to say.” We’ve had people wanting to book. You go out in the street in Vegas. Anyway, you go out in the street and maybe forty percent of the people have masks
and gloves, and six of these people don’t. So there’s your math. And then you throw gambling in the mix and look at these places.
Then they said, “They emailed me, I was right. They opened and they were slammed.” Of course, you know a gambler who couldn’t gamble for two months, of course he’s going to come to the casino and gamble. So my only guidance is get on the phone. I also don’t like people saying to me, “This is not the time to sell Nick. This is not the time to sell.” Stop it. You’re selling me right now. I’m selling you right now. There’s always a time to sell. Your life is sale, sales and service. You just got to know when to sell and who to sell to. So you don’t know that till you call the person and qualify them. And that’s what I teach. My telemarketing is all about qualifying. So my advice is that get on the phone then qualify.
(38:36– 39:11) CS: Wait and I would echo that anecdotally because we’re fortunate that most of our businesses is booking with Comped players and cruises. So we can book a year out, eighteen months out. But even cruises were booking in August-September.
This was our busiest booking month, ever. Which people are thinking I’m lying. I’m like, “No, this is not.” It seems there’s so many people like, to your point, that are just pent-up, they’re sick of being in the house, they want to gamble. Our customers want to get on cruises and it’s all they can think about. They’re looking at four walls and they’re like, “I gotta get out.” So yeah, I’m with you.
(39:11– 39:27) NI: Half the population thinks this whole thing’s fake, anyway. So it’s a split down the middle in America. It’s 50/50. And I think that increases with gamblers wanting to get out and gamble.
(39:27– 39:46) CS: I’ll disagree with you on… Or not disagree. I will agree with you on one more thing. It’s that I tell our team, “Just sell. Let them say no. But it’s not our job to assume that they’re not, they’re going to be offended or not going to take an offer. Our job is to present them with an offer and see if they want to get it.”
(39:46– 40:57) NI: Craig, listening is in the selling. When I’m sitting in one-on-one’s with host, I see so many opportunities missed because the host isn’t listening. They got their script.They have their thing. They’re nervous. They don’t want to sell. And they don’t hear it. And I hear it. And I go, “I would have got him.” He said that one thing. I’m not saying, “Be as aggressive.” I teach when you coming in. “Hey, when you coming in?” ”Well I have corona.” “When you coming in.” It’s not gonna work. “Hey, when you coming in?” “With your clothes.” ”When you coming in?” It’s not going to work, I understand that. But selling is in the listening. There’s a moment where you have to be ready. You have to go, “Oh, there it is. There it is.” And you got it. And you gotta paint instead of saying, “Oh, I’m so sorry.
You gotta go.” Wait, you just said that the four walls are closing in on you. Let’s fix that. So I just hope that during this pandemic. And I’ve worked again with some hosts. And hosts are calling me and text me. And they’re saying, “Well, we’re just making affinity calls.” We’re just, “I hope you’re okay?” I hope that’s not all they’re doing. I hope that’s not all they’re doing. Some of them have been really creative. Some have done really creative things with their players. And I’m really proud of.
(40:57– 41:02) CS: Well Nick, this has been so entertaining and educational.
(41:02– 41:06) NI: Craig, did I go too long? I have a little passion for this, I guess.
(41:06– 41:22) CS: No, I think we could go for three hours, but I’d rather save this because I want to do this again. Maybe after more casinos start opening we can kind of reflect on what changes we’re seeing.But before we wrap up, is there anything I forgot to ask you or I should have asked you?
(41:22– 44:24) NI: No. I think we covered it.Will the business change? Business is always changing and I’ve seen it change throughout the years. Technology, number one, is the number one game changer. In this industry and in our business, there’s so much great software out there nowadays. There’s a virtual host. So that’s the number one thing has changed. And I think the pandemic might have. Like I said with everyone on their phones and turning to other resources of gambling. I don’t think resources was the right word. Other venues of gambling. Will it affect them getting out again? Yeah, I think it’s going to… You get set in your ways. You start saying, “Man, I can gamble right on my phone, why would I? I can watch the office and eat and gamble on my phone and not beg for a comp. And not beg for a…” You know what I mean? So there might be a little bit impact. I think Vegas is going to get hit the hardest. I think the Indian Casinos and the Privateer Casinos that are around, I think it’s easier for them to just get in their car, check it out, stand behind a plastic thing, and go home than get on a plane and go to a transient city like Vegas. I think Vegas is going to have to work a little harder to get… I think the millennials will now really take over Vegas. Because it’s cheaper like you’re saying. You’re still getting bookings.
There’s a ton of people coming here. Young kids coming here because it’s forty dollars to come here now. You know what I mean? So I think that will continue to go on like that. The one thing I wanted to say, you mentioned marketing earlier. I’m a little disappointed in the free play. I’m a little disappointed in all the free play articles. And the pushing of free play. I was hoping now was… I hate free play. I hate it and it’s the worst thing that happened our industry and it doesn’t drive a trip. Everybody comes in place for one minute.
They play off their free play. They get their pot and pan. They get their fondue pot. And they go home. It doesn’t drive revenue. It drives a trip, but it doesn’t drive revenue. So I was hoping that this would be the time that we all get together. And listen, you’ve been only cooped up with for two months, three months. Come gamble. I was kind of hoping that. Before free play and before slot tournaments and before fondue pots and before lawn chairs, we had what they wanted. We had a casino and they want to gamble. So I was a little disappointed in some of the articles I’ve been reading about. We’re already back to that free play level. That’s a little disappointing. But it’s what everybody wants. If he does one good thing, he was a casino guy, I wish he would outlaw free play throughout the… For all of us. We would all love it. But we can’t… One casino can’t stop doing it because the other casinos are overdoing it. So it would be nice if we all got together. But I was a little disappointed in that. I was thinking, “Look, they’ve been cooped up.” I would just be on the phone going, “Come on. Come on.” You know me what I mean?
(44:24– 45:18) CS: So we’ll just expand on something you talked about. You’re right, the technology is becoming… The gamblers are now maybe doing on-line gambling for the first time because they can’t go to a physical casino. So I think a couple things is like one, hosts are probably going to become even more important because that’s the one thing technology doesn’t have. It’s like,”Ah, you know, I want to go see Nick. I want to go drive out to the pond hang out with Nick because he always treats me well, makes me feel good while I’m gambling.” So convert… It’s kind of weird but I think hosts and that personal touch are gonna becoming even more important. Then the second part is we need players to feel safe when they go back and feel comfortable. But if they make it too sterile, then it’s like, “Why am I driving here? I have good experiences gambling on my phone. Why am I here? It feels like…”
(45:18– 46:22) NI: Like too many rule. Too much “Stand here for six feet.” Too much of that. And the other thing you also. I don’t know the legalities. And I don’t know if anybody’s posted yet. And I was going to reach out to a couple of legal people I have on my on my LinkedIn. And if anybody’s watching, please comment. Legally, you got to be careful. You call a player and you tell them how safe everything is and they’re not going to get sick. And then they get sick. First words out of their mouth is, “Well the host called me and sent me free play and said I wouldn’t get sick.” So it’s a real thin line. It’s a real thin line not to overdo it. Not to be, “No, you’re going to be great. You’re going to be fine. You’re gonna be fine. It’s a fake. It’s a hoax by the government.” Everybody thought, ”You got it.” It’s really is a unique… And I reformulated my training for it. It’s a really unique walk that we have to take. I’d like to hear from legal and things like that. Because you got to be… Players, they lose money. They’ll say, ”Well, you told me I’d be okay and now I’m sick.” You got to be. It’s a thin line.
(46:22– 46:50) CS: Yeah, it is. I mean, that’s tricky. Because not saying any… I know there’s arguments and even Twitter flame war about ”It’s just the flu. It’s not the flu.” But what I would say is like I doubt any player ever is thought like, “I went to the casino and I got the flu before the coronavirus. I’m gonna sue you and the casino for giving me the flu.” But now that we’ve made this so much bigger. You’re right. Some players are gonna think, “I went to the casino. I got coronavirus.”
(46:50– 49:21) NI: Or I got the flu. What if I got the flu in the casino. What if I got this at the casino. It’s gonna be a whole new world. It’s going to take a real different walk. The other thing I wanted to say to you too, since we’re talking about real quick and then we’ll be done is, this whole texting thing. People say to me all the time. Hosts say to me all the time. ”I text my players. I text my players. I text my buddy.” And your software is wonderful, that it alerts, that it sends a text to the… That’s what texting should be for. Not the communication. Not the relationship. And with all this technology coming out, I always tell hosts, “You’re going to text yourself out of a job because there are machines out there that text.” Have you ever texted Amazon or anything? That’s not a human being texting you back. American Airline, that is a robot texting you back. And you could say… You could curse that it and it’ll say, “Please don’t speak to me that way.” I always try to tell hosts use the texting, use the WhatsApp, use the email, use… But use it just to get to talk to the… If you’re not talking to people, you’re not qualifying, you’re not building that relationship vocally and personally, you’re going to text yourself, you’re gonna “Tech” yourself out of a job with the technology. You’re going to text yourself right out of a job. So it’s a really good balance between the software that pings me that my players hear. And turn into me and then one-on-one saying, “I text all my players. I text all my players.” And the ones that say that I take their phone and they go, “Yeah, but there’s no responses.” You’re texting them but you’re not booking them and they go, ”Yeah, right. You’re right. Well, she said. Well, she said.” “Well, she said” means she won the negotiation. You blew it. You lost the sap. So I’m glad we touched on that real quick. I’m a texter. I’m all for email and texting. But get them to call you. Get them to talk to you. Don’t text yourself out of a job. You got great people skills. People love me. And people love me. And I have great people skills. And then John Fernandez will say to one of his hosts, ”Did you reach out about the tournament?” And I’ll go, “What’s that three hundred emails? Can I go home now?” You know what I mean? Get in and you build that relationship because the technology is around the corner. Especially with the pandemic, the technology is going to get even more aggressive.
(49:21– 49:57) CS: Absolutely. No, I’m with you. We, as you alluded to, built our technology. We could text straight from the CRM.But we always tell our team, “You can’t just do text, can’t just do email. Otherwise, there’s no connection.” Because you’re right, when you
just text, it’s going to feel like any of these bots where I got my American Airlines confirmation via text message. Then, yeah. There’s no connection there. But if you want to build loyalty, you have to get them on the phone.I mean for us… We all know, we rarely see players face to face. So it’s even more important to be on the phone so you can laugh with them and build that.
(49:57– 50:58) NI: And you just said confirmation. So many times I sit with the hosts and all they do is text. And then we get on the phone and we booked a few. And they don’t text him the confirmation number. They go, ”Oh, yeah. I didn’t even think of that.” That’s
what texting is for. You know what I mean? That’s why you do… So there’s a whole… Education on this whole… And the texting thing it’s right around the corner. It’s very important to qualify. Listen, I’m not talking about Marge that lives ten minutes away that comes every
day. And she’s adamant. She sends a letter to the GM saying, “I don’t want phone calls. I only want to…” I get it but we’re not talking about Marge who comes every day. We don’t even need to be talking to her. Because what did I say? She comes every day. We’re done with Marge. She wants to be texted. I always get people that say, “Well, I’d love to talk to this guy. But all he wants to do is text.” And I do a little thing and he calls. And they go, ”Oh my God, how’d you do that?” And I go, “Because I’m the “Host Whisperer,” don’t you understand?” How do you like my mohawk?
(50:58– 51:02) CS: I love it. Looking sharp.
(51:02– 51:11) NI: I don’t know what happened my hairdresser. Hopefully, she’s watching because she’s a huge fan of yours. Hopefully, she’s watching. I couldn’t find her so I had to get it off of my.
(51:11– 51:29) CS: Well, it looks a lot better than my hair. I’ll tell you that. Well Nick, this was an absolute pleasure. I think your enthusiasm and your knowledge of Casino Hosting Player Development shines through. If anybody hasn’t gotten a training from Nick,
I recommend it. If they want to get a hold of you Nick, what’s the best way to do so?
(51:29– 51:54) NI: Call me. My website, nickippolito.com. That’s the best way. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.And (702) 573-0028. And you can even text me, I might text you back. I’ll probably call you. But nickippolito.com or link right here on LinkedIn. I get a lot of business right here on LinkedIn.
(51:54– 52:02) CS: You are a great person to connect with on LinkedIn. You post a lot of interesting articles and have a lot of great thoughts.
(52:02– 52:05) NI: Only if I know. If I don’t know, I’d shut up.
(52:05– 52:09) CS: Well, Nick thank you so much.This was an absolute pleasure and we’ll do it again soon, I hope.
(52:09- 52:16) NI: Thanks Craig. I hope so. Yeah, please. Let’s do it.