Observations on the evolving role of middle management within the Australian gaming
industry; a paper co-authored by Michael Ferris and Andrew MacDonald.
By Andrew MacDonald, Senior Executive Casino Operations
and Michael Ferris
Adelaide Casino, 1995
Introduction and Terminology |
Pit Boss - Caretaker or Policeman |
Mental Models |
"If It Isn't Broken - Don't Fix It" |
Pioneers Versus Settlers |
The Challenge of Change |
Bridging the Gulf between the Theoretical and the Practical |
From Personal Realm to Professional Sphere |
Means of Selection for Promotion |
The Formation of Particular Management Structures |
The Impact of Promotion upon Candidates Themselves |
The Criteria for Selection |
Unified Professional Ethic |
Pit Boss Job Description |
Code Of Ethics (Noblesse Oblige) |
The Company Mission Statement |
Empowerment of Staff |
Implementing Change |
The Human Consequences of Change |
Walking Backwards into the Future |
The purpose of this article is to examine five key issues facing the modern casino
operator. Firstly, what is the traditional role of middle management within the
gaming industry? Secondly, is there a discernible need for change within this
perceived role and what factors may dictate this need for change? Thirdly, what
changes are possible and how might they best be achieved? Fourthly, what are the
predictable human consequences of such changes? Finally, what do such changes
promise for the future of the Industry?
Job titles and organisational structures vary between casinos, therefore the following
terms are clarified.
The term INSPECTOR is used to denote any first-line or first-level manager. An
Inspector is a supervisor because they "...form the first-line of contact with
workers in operations. They direct the workers in carrying out the objectives
of the firm and serve as the conduit through which workers communicate with management."
Therefore, the terms Supervisor or Inspector may both be used to indicate the
person who has direct, immediate contact with the dealing staff. The term PIT
BOSS refers to any middle-manager who has control "over a major subsystem or sub-division
(usually a Pit) and pursues longer range goals. An individual who is in a position
to influence policies or procedures, delegate responsibilities and to allocate
The term GAMING SHIFT MANAGER (GSM) relates to any member of senior management
whose role is usually defined "under the five headings of Planning, Organising,
Directing, Controlling and Staffing. "
Having established these working definitions, the reader may substitute whichever
job titles are applicable for their organisation.