Interview

Behind the scenes jobs at Monte-Carlo Casino: Mike, who assists the slot machine players

Casino de Monte-Carlo
Mike Manfredi © Casino de Monte-Carlo

The famous casino is full of jobs that the general public are unaware of. Monaco Tribune, in partnership with Monte-Carlo SBM, explains the function of automated machine supervisor. 

Put simply, the job is about room management. “I sometimes have to settle arguments. If there is an issue between two customers, I gather the basic information, then I use the camera footage. If there is a technical issue, I contact the workshop,” explains Mike Manfredi, 45.

What types of arguments?

“It is quite common for someone to leave their gaming card in a slot machine while there is still credit on it, and for another customer to take over the machine and start playing. In this case, we ask the new player to reimburse,” says Mike. “In the case of small disputes, we try to settle them amicably, we are understanding. In other cases, the customer may be banned from entering the casino for a certain period of time. Sometimes bags or phones are stolen too, but this is extremely rare. Most of the time things run smoothly, whether it’s the evening or daytime.”

Having studied hotel management in Monaco, and carried out most of his internships at SBM, Mike first joined the Casino as a money changer. “I worked my way up little by little,”he says proudly. What he likes about the job is the contact with the customers. Because contrary to what one might think, there is a lot of interaction involved in slot machines.

“Of course the customer spends time on the slot machine, but there is a whole other side to it. The customers know each other and the employees. We can work with certain customers for years,” he says, adding that “each casino has its own atmosphere and type of clientele.” In his opinion as a gaming professional, the Café de Paris will attract a “regular” clientele, while “the Casino de Monte-Carlo – even if we have a dedicated VIP room  – attracts the “fun player” clientele and tourists instead.”

Meeting celebrities

Thanks to the many events organised in the Principality, Mike has had “the chance to rub shoulders with a lot of sportspeople, actors and other international stars”, to whom he has explained how a machine works. There can be 80 games on a given machine, and there are 460 machines at the Café de Paris and 180 at the Casino de Monte-Carlo.

machines-casino-cafe-de-paris-monaco-compressed
© Casino Café de Paris

Apart from meeting personalities, Mike has been impressed at times by the amounts some people may gamble. “To give you an idea, we have machines at 1,200 euros a go. That’s 8,000 euros per playing minute. We deal with very large amounts of money.” The Casino de Monto-Carlo also has more affordable machines, “beginning at 0.80 euros a bet”, so that anyone can get started without too many problems.

If he had to name one thing that was inconvenient about his profession, it would be working at night. “It’s more tiring, that’s for sure. And the daytime clientele is different from the night-time clientele. There will be more disputes at night, for example. It’s not the same deal in terms of amounts gambled, or the number of people in the rooms. The big clientele arrives in the evening, around 5-6pm, until the end of the night.”

The changeover to the Euro was ‘interesting’!

In any case, “enjoyment, communication and empathy”are always required. “Because we have to support the customers when they win, but also when they lose. I also think you need a lot of curiosity, a bit of firmness but not too much, and a healthy measure of diplomacy.”

When asked about a significant event in his career, Mike answers without hesitation: “the changeover to the Euro in 2000”. “We ended up having to handle two different currencies: francs and euros. It was ‘interesting’ “, remembers Mike, who now needs to attract a new, younger clientele. A new challenge on the table!