I came to to the Czech Republic in November 1990 ( Czechoslovakia ) it was then, to work as part of a ‘ trouble-shooting ‘ team, opening several new casino’ s and training the staff. This was for a German – Czech company called Casino’ s Brno a.s., most of the cities and towns we opened had some quite unsavoury costumers and on more than one occasion my life was threatened in no uncertain terms, but as with most Brits in similar situations in Eastern Europe at the time, I bluffed or fronted my way through and lived to tell the tale. Although on the advice of my security people I did learn to shoot a 9mm, but I was only ever armed with a CS gas gun for self – protection !
In 1993 I began work for Novomatic Industries as a ‘ Casino Consultant ‘,for whom I designed one casino and Managed 4 others during my 18 months with them, which ended when they made management cut-backs whilst I was working for them in one of their Prague Casinos.
The following week I was employed as a Floor Manager at the Hilton Hotel, Prague , but unfortunately due to ownership problems together with the misfortune of having an American GM, who had no real gaming knowledge, especially when it came to A / R !!, along with the 3 other expat Managers I resigned after only 3 months.
A classic example of this poor mans lack of gaming experience, was when a quiet chinese player on A / R ( alone ) started to win 2 – 3 hundred dollars, he ( the GM ) came up behind me and said ” he’ s a wheel watcher Steve, can’ t you see that ?, you’ ve gota obstruct his view of the wheel, watch this ” . At which point, he picked up a tall glass containing pretzels and placed it on the roulette table, between the guest and the wheel and winked at me as he turned and walked back to me beside the inspectors chair ! The guest plastered 17 and the splits and we all waited with baited – breath, until ( yes you’ ve guessed it ) the ball landed in 17 ! ” I ‘ m impressed ” I said to my American GM, ” that ‘ s the biggest payout he’ s ever had ! ” , at which point my GM stormed off .
That final encounter of working under a completely incompetent arse, inspired me to start my own business !! ( but it was initially my wife’s suggestion ) to start the first private training school here in Czech.
We began in June 1996 and 10 years later we are still going strong, training dealers for casino’ s in Engalnd as well as here.