The best thing about being “semi-retired” (besides not having to work), is that I can be very picky about which gaming clients I will work for.

Now I don’t want this to sound elitist (after all, there are lots of pretty good clients to work for), but I figured, what the heck, if I’m going to keep consulting, I’d better make sure I damn well enjoy it.

So my process for lining up my retirement consulting practice was to reach out to a few dozen gaming executive friends/associates who I have known a long time and who I greatly admire, and who I think appreciate my perspective and my work.  I told them I was looking for three clients for my new personal consulting practice and I was offering them three days of consulting per month, if they would commit to a year-long arrangement.

I wasn’t sure I’d get any takers, but I’m pleased to report I have my three clients, all with very different situations and challenges, and all offering me the great honor of working with their management teams. I have been very busy with all of them for several months now and I hope they find value in my involvement with them.

Anyway, each of my three client casino properties is led by someone who I believe is a great casino executive.  All are a little different, but all carry the traits and skills that I feel makes them among the very best leaders our industry has to offer. It led me to think about what makes them great… and while I could write about their “greatness virtues” at length, I thought it might be more instructive to address what will make you great.

So I have devised “The Casino Executive Greatness Quiz.”  Is it subjective? Sure. But will it make you a better casino executive? I think so.

Please answer the following yes or no questions as honestly as you can (you’d only be lying to yourself if you didn’t).  Score one point for every yes response and total your yes answers at the end of the quiz.


  1. Do you know the names (first and last) of every employee who you supervise?  Score a bonus point if you know the names of their spouses and their children.
  2. Do you routinely stop to pick up paper and trash on the floor when you walk through your property?
  3. Do you spend significant meaningful time with customers every month, especially VIP customers?
  4. Do you always return e-mails and phone calls in a timely fashion?
  5. If the head honcho at your property was asked to name three executives that he or she would definitely take with him or her to start up a new management team, would he or she select you?
  6. Do you typically work at least eight hours at your property every weekend?
  7. Are you known as being a nice person?
  8. Do you effectively manage your boss?
  9. Do you regularly eat in the employee dining room and often sit with frontline employees?
  10. Do you volunteer for executive assignments, even if they involve longer hours and no additional pay?
  11. Do you know enough about your casino resort operation to answer any guest question?
  12. Do you regularly say “thank you” to your team, both formally and informally?
  13. Do you use more than 80 percent of the functionality of your technology and business systems?
  14. Do you gather input and suggestions from your team on a regular basis, actually listen to it and then make appropriate changes when possible?
  15. Are you currently working on finding or developing your eventual replacement?
  16. Do you have community or charitable involvement outside of work?
  17. Would you personally walk a guest to a venue they are looking for, rather than explain (or point to) where it is?
  18. Do you adequately make time for your family and do they consider you a good parent or partner?
  19. Will you tend to quickly get rid of a terrible employee rather than hang on to them?
  20. Have you ever personally helped an employee in need?
  21. Are you proud to work in the gambling business?


So how’d you do?  Add up your “yes” answers and chart your results below:

17-22 YES responses: Congratulations, you are a great casino executive!  Now go out and spread your magic.

11-16 YES responses: You have great potential.  Get out and about, and have more focus on what’s important.

6-10 YES responses: You have some serious work to do (or you need to find a mentor or another place to work).

0-5 YES responses:  Are you sure you should be in this business?