Jackpot!: Harrah's Winning Secrets for Customer Loyalty

Overview

Praise for Jackpot!
Harrah's Winning Secrets for Customer Loyalty

"Any gambler knows the importance of a trustworthy house, and Harrah's has certainly earned its reputation for integrity." -Alan C. "Ace" Greenberg, Chairman, Bear Stearns

"Jackpot is a fast read about a fascinating industry, packed with marketing and operational nuggets that every business leader should know." -Sergio Zyman, Author, The End of Advertising As We Know It

"In Jackpot, Robert Shook has adroitly ...

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Overview

Praise for Jackpot!
Harrah's Winning Secrets for Customer Loyalty

"Any gambler knows the importance of a trustworthy house, and Harrah's has certainly earned its reputation for integrity." -Alan C. "Ace" Greenberg, Chairman, Bear Stearns

"Jackpot is a fast read about a fascinating industry, packed with marketing and operational nuggets that every business leader should know." -Sergio Zyman, Author, The End of Advertising As We Know It

"In Jackpot, Robert Shook has adroitly described how Harrah's, under the leadership of Phil Satre and his team, have moved this company into the forefront of the gaming industry by implementing modern technology and initiatives without compromising the vision and culture of Bill Harrah." -Frank Fahrenkopf, President, American Gaming Association

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Tourists who visit many casinos are considered "promiscuous." How, then does a casino foster "customer monogamy"? Business book veteran Shook (coauthor, Longaberger) examines gaming behemoth Harrah's to find out. Based in "clean Reno" (as opposed to "dirty" Las Vegas), Bill Harrah began in the mid-1930s, combining a risk-friendly outlook with customer-service fanaticism. Indeed, Shook attributes Harrah's success primarily to its founders' ironclad adherence to the golden rule. Harrah insisted that his casinos ban "shills" (house players), instituted detailed employee background checks and installed the "eye-in-the-sky," all of which eventually became Nevada gaming law. Harrah's is a transitional organization, bridging shady Las Vegas with legitimate, family-oriented corporations. After the founder's death in 1978, pragmatic successors Mike Rose and Phil Satre shepherded Harrah's toward wider expansion by partnering with Holiday Inns, moving into new territories, imposing a corporate structure and using IT to back customer activity. Among the book's lessons: think long-term, understand your market and, most emphatically, watch that customer - he has much to teach you. Largely a story of horizons identified and conquered, there's virtually no conflict here. But Shook spins a well-researched, focused account that offers uniformly sound advice, although its applicability to other fields is open to questions. At times the book reads like a product of Harrah's own PR department, perhaps an unavoidable pitfall for a book about a company as worthy as emulation as this. (Dec. 20) (Publishers Weekly, November 11, 2002)

How does one casino differentiate itself from another? Harrah's does it by developing customer loyalty instead of theme casinos. Shook, a prolific business writer, has detailed the history and business strategy of the Harrah's casino organization, from its 1937 founding to the present. If the reader can ignore the exclamation points at the end of many sentences, this book provides a fascinating look inside the gambling industry. The author arranges the story in three sections: Part 1 covers the establishment of Harrah's first casino in Reno, Nevada and the running of the company until the death of its innovative founder, Bill Harrah. Harrah's took its first risk by establishing itself in Reno when all other casinos were in Las Vegas. Part 2 chronicles the sale of the company to Holiday Inn and its expansion into Atlantic City. Part 3 details the spinning off of Harrah's into a separate company again and its continued growth as more states legalized gambling. Throughout the book are extensive interviews with Harrah's employees from top management down to card dealers and wait staff. An index would have been useful, but this is otherwise an excellent purchase for business collections of all libraries. —Stacey Marien, American Univ., Washington, D.C (Library Journa, December 15, 2002)

Publishers Weekly
Tourists who visit many casinos are considered "promiscuous." How, then, does a casino foster "customer monogamy"? Business book veteran Shook (coauthor, Longaberger) examines gaming behemoth Harrah's to find out. Based in "clean" Reno (as opposed to "dirty" Las Vegas), Bill Harrah began in the mid-1930s, combining a risk-friendly outlook with customer-service fanaticism. Indeed, Shook attributes Harrah's success primarily to its founder's ironclad adherence to the golden rule. Harrah insisted that his casinos ban "shills" (house players), instituted detailed employee background checks and installed the "eye-in-the-sky," all of which eventually became Nevada gaming law. Harrah's is a transitional organization, bridging shady Las Vegas with legitimate, family-oriented corporations. After the founder's death in 1978, pragmatic successors Mike Rose and Phil Satre shepherded Harrah's toward wider expansion by partnering with Holiday Inns, moving into new territories, imposing a corporate structure and using IT to track customer activity. Among the book's lessons: think long-term, understand your market and, most emphatically, watch that customer-he has much to teach you. Largely a story of horizons identified and conquered, there's virtually no conflict here. But Shook spins a well-researched, focused account that offers uniformly sound advice, although its applicability to other fields is open to question. At times the book reads like a product of Harrah's own PR department, perhaps an unavoidable pitfall for a book about a company as worthy of emulation as this. (Dec. 20) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
How does one casino differentiate itself from another? Harrah's does it by developing customer loyalty instead of theme casinos. Shook, a prolific business writer, has detailed the history and business strategy of the Harrah's casino organization, from its 1937 founding to the present. If the reader can ignore the exclamation points at the end of many sentences, this book provides a fascinating look inside the gambling industry. The author arranges the story in three sections: Part 1 covers the establishment of Harrah's first casino in Reno, Nevada and the running of the company until the death of its innovative founder, Bill Harrah. Harrah's took its first risk by establishing itself in Reno when all other casinos were in Las Vegas. Part 2 chronicles the sale of the company to Holiday Inn and its expansion into Atlantic City. Part 3 details the spinning off of Harrah's into a separate company again and its continued growth as more states legalized gambling. Throughout the book are extensive interviews with Harrah's employees from top management down to card dealers and wait staff. An index would have been useful, but this is otherwise an excellent purchase for business collections of all libraries.-Stacey Marien, American Univ., Washington, DC Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471263234
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/23/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT L. SHOOK is a seasoned author, former salesman, and founder and former CEO of Shook Associates and American Executive Life Insurance Company. He is also the author of forty-five books, including The IBM Way, Honda: An American Success Story, and Turnaround: The New Ford Motor Company.

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Read an Excerpt

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Table of Contents

Introduction.

PART I: THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT (1937-1978).

A Risky Business.

The House That  Harrah Built.

PART II: MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS, AND EXPANSION (1979-1994).

The Holiday Inns Influence.

Leaving Nevada.

PART III: HARVARD COMES TO VEGAS: HARRAH'S UNIQUE MARKETING STRATEGY (THROUGH THE PRESENT).

Formulating a Marketing Strategy.

Winning with People.

The IT Commitment.

 All Customers Are Not Created Equal.

There's No Business Like the Gaming Business.

Notes.

Corporate Milestones.

Index.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2003

    Very funny book

    This book is a riot! I could not put it down. One of the funniest books on gambling I have ever read.(and I've read 100 books on Vegas/Gambling.Go straight to page 43 first- "there is no underworld presence today in Las Vegas"- this author really knows how to write satire.The book is just filled with one funny story after another about how everything now in gambling is on the up & up.Robert Shook is more humerous than that Connecticut Senator whose trying to protect children from the entertainment industry.Another fun thing to do with his book- circle the word "lawyer" and then underline all the Federal & State laws that his book exposes.God Bless America! We should all feel blessed to have a comedy writer like Robert.

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