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Dealing with challenges

Published on
Friday, April 30, 2010
Written by
Raymond Ma [1]

Casino pit bosses are often depicted as villains in movies - or at the very least the willing henchmen of villainous casino owners. Watch any Hollywood film set in a casino and you'll likely come across a scene in which the winning streak of a gambler is cut short by a worried casino pit boss by changing to dealers who cheat.

In real life, the job of a pit manager in a casino (also called a pit boss) is less dramatic but still every bit as complicated and demanding. They are primarily responsible for the operation of a pit, or a group of gambling tables, and have to make sure that dealers and supervisors are trained in operation of the games to which they are assigned.

Mark Preece, The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel's training manager for gaming, says pit managers should ensure that gaming integrity is not compromised during the casino's operation by adhering to casino rules, policies, procedures and government regulations at all times. They need to provide quality service to customers by making sure there are sufficient gaming tables to meet customer demand and comfort, and assisting those who have questions about the games or facilities.

Finally, pit managers are responsible for the career development of the dealers and supervisors under their charge, at times advising, mentoring and coaching them on ways to improve their gaming skills and offer career guidance.

"It's a challenging job," says Peter Tcheong, a former 11-year veteran pit boss at Hotel Lisboa Macau, who is now course co-ordinator at the Macao Polytechnic Institute's gaming teaching and research centre. This is especially so since the recent downturn has forced casinos to cut costs.

"In the old days, one pit manager would be in charge of only a few tables. Now, they have to supervise up to 16," Tcheong says.

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