Check out what Debra Harlow, a senior executive casino host, has to say about her day to day life here at Pechanga Resort Casino.
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Casino hosts work primarily with a property’s higher level players, aiming to build relationships with those players in a bid to get them to become regulars who return frequently. Larger properties in Southern California employ anywhere from a dozen to more than 20 hosts.
For many people, the thought of a casino host might conjure up an image of the person who walks the casino floor, greeting to those players and giving out comps, and while that is a part of the job, it’s far more involved than that.
Several casino hosts at Southern California’s casinos say building a relationship with those high-level patrons involves remembering important details about them, having special items brought to their rooms, giving them gifts and even taking them on trips.
How much play is needed for someone to get their own casino host? It tends to vary by property, but informational website casino.org notes that a casino host may theoretically introduce themselves after a couple of hours of betting $25 per spin at a slot machine.
Making guests happy and keeping them coming back
Debra Harlow, a senior executive casino host at Pechanga Resort Casino, said part of the job when guests arrive is to make sure that things are set up how guests want them.
For example, if the guest is staying in the hotel, they might want a room with a certain view, or extra water or extra pillows in their room. Or they may want to be served by a favorite waiter at one of the restaurants.
“You just have to know what they’re used to and what they’re expecting when they come in,” Harlow said.
Sometimes the casino hosts try to create a fun experience for guests that’s not limited to the casino itself. Harlow said Pechanga has brought guests to the Staples Center for events.
What makes a good casino host?
Organization is also key, Harlow said.
“You have to be extremely organized for sure,” Harlow said. “You deal with hundreds and hundreds of guests and we have so many events not only on our property but also off our property. You’ve definitely got to be able to know what’s going on every day and which guests are coming in and make sure things are made to their specifications.”
Many casino hosts are able to speak foreign languages and that’s important because you want to be able to communicate with guests in the language they feel most comfortable with, Harlow said.
Family and friends
Harlow said she’s had some players assigned to her for all of her 14 years at Pechanga and that she’s gotten very close to them. She said she loves getting things ready for them and celebrating special events, such as birthdays, alongside them.
“I love to see these people over and over… they become like your family,” she said.