You are a Professional Accountant by trade. How did that training prepare you for your current role?
I was hired by SaskGaming in 1995 as its first CFO prior to the opening of Casino Regina. I knew nothing about the casino business but I quickly learned. Being a professional accountant not only provided me with the skills required to set up the administrative side of the business but also to ensure we developed a strong system of internal control that was required in a cash based and highly regulated business.
I was promoted to the President and CEO role in 2009. Once again the accountancy training and experience assisted as I transitioned into a role which primarily focuses on strategic thinking, risk management and leadership.
What do you believe is SaskGaming’s greatest growth opportunity and why?
As I previously mentioned, in a mature market, it will be a challenge just to maintain our current revenue levels. We plan to do this by ensuring our marketing strategies focus on retaining our existing guests and attracting new guests. We will ensure our guests are provided excellent customer service while they are enjoying the latest gaming products, dining or enjoying a concert. In short, we want to re-focus on our guests and ensure we give them what they want so they keep coming back.
What has had the most significant impact on your growth as a leader in the Saskatchewan gaming industry?
I have been very fortunate to have grown in concert with the Saskatchewan gaming industry from its birth, its infancy, its rapid double digit growth and now its maturity. Each phase has had its management challenges but SaskGaming has always been a leader in the Canadian gaming industry and has always been well managed. This will continue into the foreseeable future.
There have recently been a lot of developments within SaskGaming with respect to Responsible Gambling and associated programs. What will be the biggest impact of these programs and developments for both your organization and gaming in Saskatchewan?
SaskGaming has always been a leader in Responsible Gaming in Saskatchewan and we have recently become the first organization in the province to receive the RG Check accreditation from the Responsible Gambling Council. In addition, we have also recently adopted the internationally recognized Game Sense responsible gaming program developed by BCLC which has been well received by our guests.
What is your vision for SaskGaming?
Our marketing tagline is “Always Entertaining.” That is what this industry is all about and I think it sums up my vision for Casinos Regina and Moose Jaw. Both casinos will continue to be good corporate citizens in their communities while providing our guests with fun and unique entertainment options in beautiful facilities.
What are the most personally rewarding aspects of working with SaskGaming and why?
Without question, it’s the people. From staff and colleagues, to guests and suppliers, to other gaming professionals in Canada and around the world, gaming is a people business. I have been fortunate to have been in this industry for close to 20 years and I have had the opportunity to meet many great people over the years that I now consider friends. It’s been a great ride!
For more information, please visit www.casinoregina.com.