Junket Reps: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Part 2)
by Steve Karoul

Junket Reps: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Part 2)
By Steve Karoul

First, it is important to understand that Junket Reps serve a legitimate function in many different casinos around the world. They basically act similar to an independent manufacturer’s sales representative who represents the manufacturer’s line of products on a commission basis instead of working on a fixed salary as most casino employees do. There are numerous books written on the Manufacturer’s Rep System. There are none written about Junket Reps. Casinos today use similar systems with their Junket Reps engaging them as part of their external sales and marketing team. In fact many of the large Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, Xerox, Coca Cola, etc. will normally employ both salaried sales executives and commissioned independent sales representatives at the same time to help increase market-share.
Second, the text books will tell you that it is often more cost effective to utilize independent commissioned sales reps to supplement your sales activities. It is cost effective because you only pay commission based upon productivity. Junket Reps work in the same manor. Junket Reps are only paid commission based upon success. The casino does not pay medical insurance, social security tax or any other expensive benefits to their independent junket reps. The success measurements vary by casino and by gaming jurisdiction. Commissions can vary from a percentage of the players Theoretical Loss to a percentage of the actual gaming loss of their customers. In Asia, Junket Reps earn a percent of the non-negotiable chips turnover often referred to as ‘dead chip rolling’.
Successful Junket Reps maintain excellent personal relationships with their players and often provide excellent customer service as well to their customers to help keep them loyal. Casinos and junkets can be a cut-throat business and it can be extremely competitive with other Junket Reps and sometimes with in-house Casino Hosts trying to steal their customers away. Smart casino operators understand and recognize the value of good junket reps and will usually do everything legally possible within their power to be fair and to protect their junket reps. This normally involves developing a coding system so that players are properly classified and coded to the individual who brought them to the casino initially whether it is an independent junket rep or a salaried casino host or casino player development executive.
However, not all casino operators are capable of monitoring this function within their casino and therefore some abuse does happen occasionally. This unfortunately makes many good junket reps very nervous and untrusting of casino staff. It is far better to take the time and effort in the beginning to develop a fair coding system to better enable outside junket reps to work harmoniously with in-house casino hosts without the fear of losing their customers.
Similar to bad casino hosts there are also bad junket reps. It is important for casino operators to be aware and also be vigilant to nefarious junket reps that may be legally or illegally working within their casinos. Ultimately any negative activity by bad junket reps may also reflect badly upon the casino as well.
It is even more important to keep a watchful eye during recessionary times when people tend to become more desperate and more vulnerable. There are many scams going on today in casinos across the country that directly or indirectly involve junket reps. These are two actual E-mails that the author recently received pertaining to casino junket reps.

Case number one: The Junket Rep Hustle

My name is John Smith; I was just offered a position to work for a guy in Atlantic City. He wants me to work with him in going out to high rollers and offering them free comps and stays at the hotels he works with. Now my question to you is, is there a strategy you would teach your clients in each game? I ask because He was asking me to bring 1000 dollars with me so he can teach me the strategies in each game. I have been conned before and I don’t want to be conned again and based on your article I thought you would have the best advice for me. The pay he offers is $50 an hr plus commission based off of what the high roller may tip for my advice on games. I would just like to know if you think this is legit? I really appreciate you taking the time out.

Thank you,

John Smith (false name to protect the person who wrote the E-mail)
This is obviously an illegal scam. The individual probably cons or hustles several people every week and ultimately cons them out of their $1,000 pretending to teach them the ropes about being a junket rep.
Case number two: the Junket Illusion
Dear Steven,
I was offered a position as a Junket Rep's assistant; I'm not sure if it is a legal job and if so, why haven't I heard of this type of work before? I read your novella on it but I still am not sure what's it really about?
Ann Smith (false name to protect the person who wrote the E-mail)
Dear Ann,
I need more information to be able to give you any valid response. Who offered you the job, where, for which casino or junket rep, which State, what do they expect you to do, etc.? Are you a casino customer or player at casinos? What level player would you say that you are – low level, medium or high roller? Junket Rep assistant is a real job providing you comply with all regulations such as proper license, etc.
Return response:
Thank you for getting back to me. I have been offered a position by a man named xxxx xxxx he is xxxxxx and said that he works with Tropicana, Bally, and Showboat hotels and casinos. I am not a high roller nor do I go or play at any casino. The Casinos I mention are in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He also claims to be a Rep for MGM casinos in Las Vegas. Let me ask you a question. Do Junket Reps at any time Prostitute themselves to some of these high rollers. Because if they do then Count Me Out!
I am surprised that he has asked you to be a Junket Rep assistant unless this is going to be an administrative position or possibly act as a tour guide to accompany the groups. Either way, you should check to see if you will be required to fill out a license application. Most Junket Reps today are totally legitimate since the penalties for violations are quite severe. I am not familiar with any junket rep today prostituting themselves to get business. If you feel uncomfortable in any way I suggest that you look for another job. Working with people can be fun and interesting and as an assistant you will probably meet a lot of nice people. Most of them are nice but some can get nasty especially if they lose a lot of money in a casino. Be prepared.
I hope this helps. Good luck.

The “Junket Rep” involved here was not licensed to do business in either Atlantic City or Las Vegas. The person pretending to be a junket rep was trying to solicit this young lady to work for him and he tried to entice her into prostitution with the lure of big money from rich high-rollers in the casinos. Henceforth, we can better understand that Junket Reps can often be misjudged by the actions of a few bad ones. Therefore, they indirectly may represent the good, the bad and the ugly in the casino industry.
Don’t be too quick to judge Junket Reps. Take the time to do your homework and learn who the ‘individual’ is. I know some great Junket Reps. I actually worked as a Junket rep for a while. Most are great people. Many are highly successful in their own business. Many are very generous when it comes to supporting charities and social causes. Many work very hard to be the best Junket Rep that they can be to their customers. And, many lead a very good and comfortable lifestyle. Maybe becoming a junket rep is right for you too? Do your homework first. Good luck.

Date Posted: 27-Dec-2008

Steve Karoul is a leading casino marketing consultant with over 30 years of experience with the best casinos both within the U.S. and internationally. Steve has lived in numerous countries and has conducted casino marketing activities in over 90 countries around the world. Steve actively consults on all aspects of casino marketing and casino junkets. He is a contributing writer to several different major casino publications often injecting his own hands on experiences. Steve can be reached at Tel. (1-860) 536-1828 or by E-mail: skaroul@comcast.net or www.euroasiacasino.com

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