Slot Machine Department
Today, in many gaming jurisdictions slots have become the leader in at least two areas: gaming revenue, and technology.
Slot machines were once thought to be a necessary evil, a diversion, something to keep the spouse happy while the real money was being wagered at the Twenty-One, Baccarat, or crap tables.
The slot department is headed by a slot manager or director of slot operations. This person analyzes daily slot revenues and is responsible for maximizing the layout, types, and denominations of machines on the casino floor.
Slot marketing and promotions are coordinated with this manager, and the success of each program is thoroughly scrutinized.
Comping policies for slot players are determined by the slot manager, who also establishes personnel policies and staffing requirements.
An assistant manager works in association with the slot manager. Day-to-day operations such as scheduling, employee disciplinary situations, and miscellaneous activities indigenous to the slot department are often handled by this employee.
Each shift is headed by a shift manager, who circulates on the casino floor, ensuring a smooth and efficient operation.
This manager constantly evaluates employee performance and verifies adherence to internal control procedures. Disputes with payouts are brought to the shift manager prior to being referred to the head of the department.
Larger casinos may employ an assistant shift manager.
The slot floorperson monitors the operation of slot machines makes sure change persons are circulating throughout the casino, and participates in the payment of 'handpay' jackpots.
Handpay jackpots exceed the slot machine's coin hopper capacity (1,200 to 1,500 coins in a quarter video poker machine) and are verified by the slot floorperson.
Slot jackpots won in the United States exceeding $1,200 require a tax declaration form, which is also handled by the slot floorperson.
When all the coins in a slot machine's hopper are dispensed, the floorperson does a hopper fill in conjunction with either casino security and/or change person, or shift manager.
Also, casinos allow floorpersons to attempt to fix minor slot machine malfunctions and specify a machine out of order if there is a major problem.
Casinos arrange special-attraction slot machines in a round or rectangular configuration known as a carousel and utilize a carousel attendant to dispense change, and draw attention to these machines.
Carousels are designed so that the attendant will be elevated within the configuration, which allows employee to move quickly and freely from machine to machine while keeping an eye on the entire bank. Carousel attendants' duties can best be described as a combination change person, booth cashier, and promoter.
The final coin-dispensing employee in the slot department is the changeperson. Using a change belt or a slot cart that holds rolls of coins, the changeperson circulates throughout the casino selling coin to slot patrons.
Changepersons either solicit sales by shouting 'Change', or are called over and stopped by a slot player, or react to the change light (the 'candle' or 'lamp') on top of a machine, which has been activated by a player waiting for change.
Slot clubs are analogous to airline flier concepts. Slot players either enroll themselves in the club with a slot club attendant or are approached on the casino floor by a slot host.
Players who enroll are given a computerized card that can be inserted into any slot machine. An electronic message on the machine welcomes the player by name, and the computerized slot-tracking system records points for the player based on amounts wagered and duration of play.
Points are then redeemed by players for gifts or cash, depending on the casino's policy. Slot clubs come under the supervision of the director of slot marketing, who is responsible for designing additional slot promotions.
Slot tournaments involve invitations to frequent or preferred slot customers with a special bank of slot machines reserved for tournament play. Players play these machines, and the highest points totals/credits scored result in cash awards, or prizes.
As previously mentioned, slot machines periodically malfunction and require the services of another slot department employee--- the slot mechanic.
This employee normally is trained at a special school , or by the manufacturer of the various slot machines. This job is critical to the operation, since inoperative machines with prolonged downtimes can significantly impact slot revenues.
Additional duties include cleaning the interiors of the machines, installing new machines, and assisting in the movement of machines as directed by the slot manager.
One final employee found in this department is the slot monitor. This employee is employed only in highly computerized operations and monitors ongoing slot play, noting machines getting high-volume play and dispatching slot hosts to meet and greet players.
Malfunctions are recorded and reported to slot mechanics, and other deviations are quickly detected and addressed. The slot monitor generates computer reports for each machine which reveal the amount of play, coins in, coins out, major jackpots, and player preference.
These reports are used by the slot manager to alter the floor layout, moving less played machines into higher-traffic areas or removing machines that do not test well.