Darryl McEwen

It’s no secret that casinos employ “player development executives” — better known as hosts — to build relationships with players so they become “regulars” who return frequently.

Often they’re easy to spot as they walk the casino floor and greet players. (Also, they’re generally better dressed than the average gambler.)

Several casino hosts who spoke on condition of anonymity say that building a relationship with high-level and even mid-level players involves remembering important details, e.g., their birthdays and anniversaries, having special items sent to their rooms, giving them gifts, and even taking them on trips.

So how much money do you have to play to get a casino host? It varies by casino, but, generally, it’s based on achieving a certain tier level in the casino’s player loyalty program, e.g., Caesars Rewards, M life Rewards, Trop Advantage, etc. If a host doesn’t contact you, and you feel your play warrants this added benefit, it’s perfectly OK to contact the casino’s Marketing Department.

“The casino host position really has become a sales job over the last 10 years,” according one host. “It’s changed a lot from walking around, patting people on the back and having a cocktail with them.”

The successful host must look at the position from a sales mentality, but also be a “relatable people person.”

Another host said that part of the job is to make sure things are setup how guests want them when they arrive.

For example, they might want a room on a certain floor with a specific view, or extra water or pillows.

“You have to know what they’re used to and what they’re expecting when they arrive,” she added.

Sometimes casino hosts try to create a unique experience away from the casino. e.g., tickets to a concert — even if it’s at a competing casino (along with limo transportation, of course).

“It’s also about personality,” another host says. “You can train people to do a lot of different things, but it’s really hard to train somebody to have a personality.”

Another important trait? Being super-organized.

“You deal with hundreds and hundreds of guests, so you’ve got to be able to know what’s going on every day and which guests are coming in, then make sure things are made to their specifications.”

There’s also one final attribute that can be a real asset: The ability to speak a foreign language.

“That’s important because you want to be able to communicate with guests in the language they feel most comfortable,” according to a host who’s fluent in Spanish.

Recreational gambler Darryl D. McEwen, a former professional journalist, is president of his own consulting firm that manages several small national and international trade associations, and provides public relations and fundraising services for a number of charitable organizations. Have a comment on this or a question specifically related to an Atlantic City casino, players club or other promotion? Email Darryl at MrACCasino@gmail.com and he’ll try to respond to you personally. Your question — without your name — may appear in a future column. Visit his website, MrACCasino.com, and follow him on Twitter @MrACCasino. Your question — without your name — may appear in a future column.