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Vegas Casino Hosts

Vegas casino hosts are valued by players for their ability to bestow free items. These men and women can often be seen walking the floor of the casino, smiling and shaking hands as they go. While their primary responsibility may include millionaire gamblers, hosts also take the time to ensure that penny slots players are also taken care of.

This article examines the responsibilities of a casino host, as well as detailing some of the challenges they face on a daily basis. We’ll also look at how they determine the distribution of comps, which can turn even the most unlucky Vegas vacation into a profitable trip.

Duties of a Casino Host

The overriding responsibility of the casino host is to keep customers happy so they’ll return to play in the future. In most casinos, the host is a member of management who reports directly to the head of marketing. For additional details about their responsibilities, let’s look at some excerpts from actual job postings:

Job Posting Excerpts
  • “Ensuring casino guests are serviced”
  • “Clearly communicates programs/services to customers”
  • “Maintaining and cultivating relationships with VIP customers”
  • “Developing and implementing new promotions”
  • “Filling slot special events”
  • “Providing casino floor coverage”
  • “Fix any problem or perceived guest inconvenience”
  • “Telemarketing”

When it comes to making customers happy, this often manifests in the form of “comps,” which is short for “complimentary.” While this can take the form of discounts, the most common comp is entirely free and may include tickets to shows, hotel accommodations, entry into exclusive tournaments, limousine service, and free meals.

How a Casino Host Determines Comps

When a host is deciding what comps to give you, they’ll most likely look at the following factors:

Comp Factors
  • Time spent gambling
  • Amount spent during a gambling session
  • Number of visits to the casino
  • Size of credit line opened at the casino

While the first three items are accurate reflections of a player’s habits, the fourth can be deceptive. If, for example, a player gets a $50,000 line of credit from the casino but only plays $50 per hand at the blackjack table, they may be trying to give the impression that they’re a high roller in order to score a number of comps.

If you want to be comped by the host, the best suggestion is to establish a relationship with them and become a frequent customer. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars each trip, as even a loyal penny slots player is valued by the casino and its employees.

How Much Does a Casino Host Make?

Like any job, the salary for a casino host often has to do with experience, so a first-year host isn’t as likely to get the same pay as a counterpart who’s been doing the job for decades. According to research, the advertised median salary for a casino host is $51,418, with a low of $31,258 and a high of $98,822.

Some individuals make far more than the amounts listed above, however. I’ve read reports of hosts earning into six figures and having their own assistants, but you can expect that these men and women have been doing their job for a long time and have built up a network of high rollers who bring a lot of cash to the casino.

While it might be assumed that hosts make a lot of extra money in tips, I’ve read interviews with current hosts who say that isn’t the case. If they do receive additional compensation, it tends to be in the form of cards, food and candy.

Even if they do receive a cash tip, it isn’t always as simple as it might sound. One host related a story in which a customer gave him a $200 tip only to ask for it back after a losing streak.

The average person might think the casino host is overpaid, but these individuals more than earn their money. While hosts are supposed to work rotating shifts, the reality is that it’s a 24-7 responsibility, especially when high-rolling clients are involved. These big spenders might drop into the casino at any time, and they’re likely to expect service from the host that they’ve established a relationship with, regardless of whether it’s supposed to be their day off.

The Dangers of the Job

While Vegas casino hosts are often insulated from danger due to their ability to cut a player off from comps, that doesn’t mean that duties are always free from confrontation. After reading the accounts of several hosts, I’ve put together a list of less-than-ideal situations that they’ve been exposed to.

Casino Host Dangers
  • Threatened with acts of physical violence and even murder.
  • Witnessed players brawling with security.
  • Saw multiple players become enraged and try to flip over blackjack or poker tables.
  • Witnessed players throwing chairs and/or drinking glasses across the room.
  • Witnessed pocket change, lit cigarettes and cards thrown at dealers.
  • Dealt with sexual advances made by customers.
  • Fielded requests for prostitutes and drugs.

While Vegas casino hosts make an above-average salary, their job isn’t always an easy one. Most customers are friendly when they arrive at the casino, but their mood can take a turn for the worse when a losing streak sets in. Hosts must also deal with constant pestering from small-time players looking for comps, even if they have no prior relationship with the resort.

The next time you see one of these people-pleasing individuals, the best thing you can do is shake their hand and give them a smile. It might not get you a free room, but it’s likely to make their day.