I lived, worked and studied in Las Vegas during the late 80’s, where I gained my Commercial Pilots Licence at 20.
Although, under age, I used to visit Casino’s to look for tourists who wanted to either fly over the strip to take pictures of the Mirage volcano from above or maybe a trip to the Grand Canyon. Although t.b.h. I would and did take them anywhere in the U.S. 24 hours a day and even at night as I needed to build up my hours.
I have also travelled to Las Vegas numerous times over my lifetime and my first Casino was Circus Circus at 15 in 1984. So the comparison below has some depth.
Well, I inevitably started to gamble. Initially enticed by the Steak dinner for free and as many drinks as you could take. As many of my friends worked in the casino’s I seemed to spend more and more time in Casino’s. Birthdays, anniversaries, family dinners, stag nights etc etc.
The one thing I never had issues with was games. By games I refer to policy or staff.
Everything was and is about the customer. If there was an issue, they would make sure you not only were compensated, but were made to feel as good as if you hit the second or third top prize. A comp in one of their a la carte restaurants, maybe a room or piece of merchandise.
Basically, they could see past the $$$$ value of the issue and were focused on the customer and the continued relationship. The quicker they could make you forget the issue, the quicker you could get back to enjoying gambling.
They were smart enough to know that each little issue, would add up, leaving a bad taste in the mouth if not dealt with quickly and efficently. Simples.
(In comparison, It would appear that Online casino’s have 24 to 48 hours, to seemingly, see what game fit’s the issue. Maybe hide and seek, maybe charades or maybe even scrabble. So prolonging the agony or ‘’ taking the opportunity to kick ‘em when there down’’ instead of taking the opportunity to ‘’earn’’ or reinforce trust.)
Therefore the games were restricted to the Casino floor. Pit bosses would remember your name and make you feel like a friend, even knowing that, on many occasions I was there to take their customers away for a few hours or so. Granted that the trust was mutual, based on the personal relationship with the Pit Boss and cash spent.
I would still expect the same resolution from online sites, based on the fact that everything can be verified based solely on fact. So where the Pit Boss, trusted the word of the customer, the same trust can be conveyed by the online site in checking the facts within their timeframe for responses.
Well here we are in 2012. Online casinos do not appear to have the same ethos.
Unfortunately, the games are not restricted to the screen. I assume the overheads would be lower, on a daily basis. But as the reach of online casinos is considerably greater, I assume therefore that turnover would be comparable if not higher. So resources should not be an issue.
Being an intelligent person, I am aware that of course the casino’s in Vegas are focused on the $$$$. But, they do their utmost not to bring this to the front of your mind. Smart?, common sense?. Whatever the reason, it just makes sense to CREATE an atmosphere of trust and not constantly reminding the customer that Business comes before pleasure. Remember the City of Sin'.
Where 20 years earlier, in the 60’s, the words ‘’gambling’’ and ‘’trust’’ were very distant cousins indeed. To even imagine the two going together would have been like having incestuous thoughts or something.
Given that the word ‘TRUST’ is now shoved into our faces via advertising and empty sentiments used at every opportunity. I would liken the use of the word, when used by online casino’s today, to a form of ‘grooming’.
Las Vegas may be the CITY of SIN’, but the Casino’s leave the games on the Casino floor and online gambling should consider the benefits of earning or conveying ‘trust’ through actions and ‘trust’ through Customer service. Like an aura, not requiring definition or needing constant reference to. Trust would then be like air, assumed and not sought or sold as a commodity to only the highest bidder.
As online gaming evolves, it would do well to re visit its roots in the hopes that it moves forward in every aspect and not backwards in the basics. After all they are not re-inventing the wheel. They are merely personalising it. So why deliberately devolve Customer Services.
In Vegas they use expensive Cars, Big shows, scantily clad models to distract your attention from the assault on you wallet. But you know it will be you that has control.
You will not fall over a faulty floor board (or technical issue) and then be repeatedly kicked in the head by the Casino staff, just because the opportunity to do so presented itself.
Maybe as online gaming is a faceless business, something is being lost? Maybe, it is ok to act inappropriately as you are not looking into the eyes of a person. Therefore, lying to someone’s face, has no meaning as you are not technically lying to their face.
This is not aimed at any specific online gaming entity, but my observations from playing at 3 of the largest and ‘‘TRUSTED’’ casino’s online and having in the past, played at Casino’s in London and Las Vegas.
To date I play via 2/3 of the sites. Having said that, if I were truly as smart a man as I think I am, based solely on real life personal experiences of issue resolution, I should not be playing online at all.
Where my focus should be on winning, instead a very small part of my mind is hoping that I do not experience any technical issues requiring contact with Customer Services. I have even gone so far as to not report issues as I had enough things going on in my life at the time. Un-reported, but not forgotten!
Which ultimately leads me to question why I gamble online in the first place………
as I stick another virtual coin in the virtual slot
TRUST is not something that is taken for granted anymore. We have learnt that the hard way from BANKers. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet"
Having said the above, I must say that I find the fact that 888 have a forum, both admirable and if I am honest, slightly confusing. Not being able to fully explain why and being a man of few words, I will leave it there.