When To Ask For The Money Back…
by Peter Klugsberger

When To Ask For The Money Back…
By Peter Klugsberger

After several hours of unsuccessfully trying to tilt luck in his favor, a roulette player picked up the remainder of his bankroll and walked over to the cage to cash-out. Anxious to hit the bar for a breather, the player did not pay much attention to the transaction and grabbed the wad of money offered by the cashier. Little did he know that he was just overpaid $ 2,000.

I believe many will sympathize with me that aforementioned situation is not uncommon in our industry. The real challenge though, in my humble view, is in getting managers to agree on an objective set of criteria that would aid them in choosing whether to approach a customer for the money or not.

Clearly, this decision should not be taken lightly, in particular since it carries significant risk - including that of losing the customer’s business forever. Admittedly, many jurisdictions have clear-cut rules and procedures regarding erroneous payments and consequently don’t leave much room for managerial discretion. This holds particularly true in heavily regulated environments such as Australia or New Zealand, where letting players keep erroneous payments could result in getting the casino’s management into serious trouble with regulating authorities. Evidently, my approach in this article does not claim to apply to this particular circumstance – but let’s face it, there are no decisions to be taken.

To satisfy my own curiosity, I quizzed several of my managers and colleagues on how they would approach this problem. Evidently, I wanted them to tackle this issue from a commercial rather than an ethical perspective. Interestingly, the responses ranged from one end of extremes to the other and, in general, their choices did not seem to follow any rational decision making process that could be successfully replicated. Considering the wide range of outcomes, it became quite apparent that basing one’s decisions primarily on managerial intuition and past experience dramatically increases the risk of being inconsistent. This ad hoc approach to decision making, in turn, inevitably leads to a suboptimal customer experience, thereby dramatically increasing the risk of losing the player’s business.

Read the attached article for more.......... Download file - 070227_When_To_Ask_For_The_Money_Back[1].doc (103k)

Date Posted: 08-Mar-2007

Peter Klugsberger has worked in the gaming industry for nearly two decades for one of the largest international gaming operators. His past assignments have involved stints in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Venezuela. Peter holds a Global Executive MBA from the IESE Business School. You can reach Peter at pklugs@yahoo.com.

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