All Star - Blog

    Mass. gambling panel hears casino pitches

    Posted by tim on 01.31.2014

    Mohegan Sun, Wynn pitch eastern Massachusetts casino plans before gambling commission

    Associated Press
    By Bob Salsberg, Associated PressJanuary 23, 2014 9:37 AM

    BOSTON (AP) -- The two companies competing for the coveted license to operate the only resort casino in greater Boston delivered high-powered presentations to the state gambling commission on Wednesday, with both promising to be the superior choice to create jobs, generate tax revenue and attract tourists from around the world.

    Mohegan Sun has applied to build a casino on land owned by Suffolk Downs in Revere, pending a Feb. 25 referendum, while Las Vegas casino operator Steve Wynn has proposed a casino along the Mystic River in Everett. Both locations lie just outside the city of Boston.

    "We have the 'wow' that this market wants and what Massachusetts deserves," said Mitchell Etess, chief executive of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, during a 90-minute presentation that included charts, videos and architectural models.

    Wynn, by contrast, offered a less glitzy and largely unscripted presentation that lasted less than one hour.

    "I'm being hard-nosed today because today is not about theater, today is about how we get a destination resort up and running in Massachusetts," said Wynn, who openly mocked the Mohegan Sun proposal as a three-star resort compared to what he said would be a five-star operation if his company wins the license.

    Wynn said the hotel rooms in the Everett resort would be nearly twice as large and far more luxurious that the competing proposal. He also sharply criticized Mohegan Sun's architect for a low-rise, "horizontal" design, as opposed to the 19-story high-rise tower he has proposed, saying a "vertical" development is more user friendly for guests — making it easier, for example, for room service to deliver hot breakfasts.

    A spokesman for Mohegan Sun later said its primary hotel would be a four-star operation, while another, smaller hotel would be three-star.

    Mohegan Sun's Revere-only plan emerged after an earlier proposal by Suffolk Downs, a 78-year-old thoroughbred racetrack, to develop a casino on the Boston-Revere border was rejected last November by voters in the East Boston neighborhood.

    Etess acknowledged that the last few months had been a "whirlwind" for the company, which formed a partnership with Suffolk Downs after a failed attempt to develop a casino in the western Massachusetts town of Palmer.

    Etess said that while Mohegan Sun has expanded its reach — opening the first casino in Pennsylvania under that state's gambling law — its roots were in the region where it opened its first facility in Connecticut 17 years ago.

    "We have old-fashioned New England know-how and New England values," he said.

    The Revere casino would be easily accessible by several major highways, public transportation and nearby Logan International Airport, Etess said. He also called the site "clean," an apparent reference to pollution at the former chemical plant where Wynn hopes to build, and predicted that the Mohegan Sun' casino could be up and running six months sooner than Wynn's and generate more annual tax revenue for Massachusetts.

    Wynn, who has promised to pay for the cleanup of the Everett site, said his company would be the "worst nightmare" for Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, Connecticut's other casino operator, because it would siphon off revenue from table games that are not taxed in Connecticut.

    "If Wynn Resorts is selected, we have only one interest, this casino in Massachusetts," Wynn said. We don't give a damn about Connecticut."

    The meeting room at the Boston convention center was crowded with supporters of the two projects, including Suffolk Downs workers who stood and cheered loudly when Mohegan Sun officials repeated a promise to preserve racing at Suffolk Downs, which would operate as a separate entity from the casino.

    MGM Resorts International, which has proposed a resort casino in downtown Springfield, was scheduled to make a presentation to the commission on Thursday. MGM is the only remaining applicant for the western Massachusetts casino license.

    The panel has set a tentative date of May 30 for awarding the regional licenses.

    Click HERE to watch Mohegan Sun's Presentation

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    Topics: Player Loyalty, Blog, loyalty program, Massachusetts Casino

    Dell wins CES 2014 Best in Show Award

    Posted by sandy on 01.31.2014

    Dell has impressed us once again with their recent unveiling of the new Dell 28 Ultra HD Monitor P2815Q, retailing at an astounding $699.99!  Connect seamlessly to essential accessories and devices via a comprehensive range of connectivity ports (HDMI 1.4/MHL, DisplayPort 1.21/mini-DisplayPort, and 4 USB 3.02 ports including one 1.5A charging port). You can easily view content from select smartphones and tablets on the larger Dell 28 Ultra HD Monitor via HDMI/MHL connectivity.

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    Topics: Blog

    Perks and Purpose….Not Mutually Exclusive

    Posted by tara on 01.30.2014

    Highlighted in this month’s Engagement Strategies Online Magazine is a snippit from BlessingWhite’s website regarding a Perks Culture vs a Purposeful Culture.  My first observation of the author’s comments is why do these two things have to be mutually exclusive?  In fact, we at All Star would recommend that you do everything in your power to intertwine your company culture with your rewards program.  Utilize your program messaging to not only emphasize reward program features but also highlight company milestones, new business achievements, and corporate responsibility initiatives.  Rewards programs will not work in a vacuum.

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    Topics: Engagement, Perks, Blog, Motivating Employees, Rewards Program

    Campbell's Soup - From your Keurig?

    Posted by sandy on 01.30.2014

    Campbell_Soup_CompositeKeurig Brewers make an excellent incentive reward – whether you are awarded one from a sales contest, a promotion offered by your local bank, or visit a casino special event, everyone seems to be wowed by a Keurig.  You can make a lot of different things with your Keurig, not just coffee or tea, but it can be hot or iced, or even a yummy hot chocolate or latte. How do you feel about soup?

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    Topics: Blog, Incentive Reward, Keurig

    Seiko Announces new partnership with Novak Djokovic

    Posted by sandy on 01.29.2014

    novak-djokovic-5aSeiko Announces new partnership with Novak Djokovic, Pro Tennis player: a Perfect Match

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    Topics: Novak Djokovic, Blog, Seiko, Special Markets

    ASI Orlando 2014 - Show Recap

    Posted by mike on 01.28.2014

    Attending this particular show for the sixth time, the term I came up with to describe this show is "Super Regional," meaning that being held at the Orange County Convention Center, it is a sensible, affordable, manageable and very worthwhile choice for all Eastern U.S. distributors.

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    Topics: ASI, Blog, promotional products

    Are you sticking to your New Year’s Resolution?

    Posted by sandy on 01.27.2014

    Many of us say weight loss… again… every year! The best method is to change our ways to incorporate healthy eating into our everyday lives and still enjoy many of the foods we love. T-Fal offers a great line of Balanced Living appliances that allow you to enjoy many of your favorite foods prepared in a way that will be sure to cut down on some unwanted calories. We love these cool appliances from T-Fal. The curved gill keeps the flavor and drains away the unwanted fat with specially shaped grill plates. The Wok with Steamer brings well balanced meals to your family by creating fun and healthy stifry's & steamed dishes everyday. Try something new - what do you have to lose?

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    Topics: Blog, Healthy Eating, T-Fal

    Limited Edition SMS Audio

    Posted by lynn on 01.24.2014

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    Topics: Blog, CES 2014, SMS Audio, Star Wars

    How do you Brookstone?

    Posted by sandy on 01.23.2014

    As a New England Rep, we have tested and loved many great items from Brookstone over the years - cool tech items like the app-controlled spy-cam Rover and the Boogie board; Comfy items, like the luxurious nap blankets, BioSense pillows, massagers, and many unique wine and travel accessories.  And now, the sound collection of Big Blue Wireless Speakers has blown us away. We were excited when we saw the new introduction colors to the Big Blue Studio and Big Blue Live, the new hands free Big Blue Go, the full experience Big Blue Tower… and now Big Blue Party is ready for the backyard!!!  I just can’t wait for summer time!  What is your favorite Big Blue?

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    Topics: Blog, Brookstone

    Hey, big boss guy ...

    Posted by gary on 01.23.2014

    Why don't you and I settle the score?

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    Topics: Employee Wellness, News, Blog, Casino Gaming, employee engagement

    Why Are So Many Casinos Bulk Buying Promotional Items ...

    Posted by gary on 01.10.2014

    Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 2.06.19 PMWhen giving your players a lot of choices is better for everyone?

    Flashback: Atlantic City, 1984. Come to Boardwalk Casino on Saturday, November 18th, and pick up your turkey basting pan (while supplies last)!

    Flashback: Las Vegas, 1994. Cordless phone Friday! First 1,500 patrons to enter the casino ...

    Flashback: New Mexico, 2004. It’s burger time with our George Foreman grill giveaway!

    Flash-forward: Any Casino USA, 2014. Come visit us on Sunday, June 22nd, and choose a gift from a collection of ...

    In case you haven’t noticed, one of the most recent trends in gifting for casino event giveaways and promotions is the gift of “choice.” As we have become accustomed to in our real world purchasing endeavors, telling us what we want vs. asking us what we want or need is frowned upon (not a reference to Obamacare, but if the prescrip- tion fits ...). The idea that 4,000 of your patrons can show up for a Saturday gift event and all walk away happy with another toaster oven, 49-pc. tool set, or a no-name MP3 player, has long since left the building.

    Yet despite this trend, why are so many casinos still bulk buying a single widget to give away?

    Purchasing people hate choice. It takes the power out of their hands to negotiate amazing deals by dangling large orders in front of vendors and may involve cutting multiple purchase orders after the event. Truth is, with such low margins on most electronics and housewares today, there isn’t much of a cost difference between purchasing 200 or 2,000 of an item.

    Less thinking. It takes far less marketing time or merchandising skills to pick a single item, rather than display a number of items. Or to install web-based terminals for patrons choosing from hundreds or thousands of items, than it does to drag a bunch of pallets in to an event space, cut them open, and give the stuff away.

    The reality is that the gift of choice should be embraced because it is appealing to players and event coordinators alike.

  • Despite the uncertainty of what will be redeemed, there is no worry of buying too much or too little of an item.
  • Receiving staff will love you. If you’ve never been at a loading dock when a tractor trailer of“stuff”arrives, you’ve missed some serious grinding and gnashing of teeth, not to mention some colorful language. Unloading, storing, and eventually moving dozens of pallets of these priceless gems is difficult and tedious.
  • Event staff will love you. No need for an army of events and promotions staff with box cutters to arrive at the ballroom in order to break down the pallets and master cartons, leaving behind a mound of corrugated cardboard, shrink wrap, and shipping pieces, not to mention a few cuts and lots of dry hands!
  • • Most importantly, patrons love it! Instead of gambling on that 1 in 20 chance you’ll give them something they need, you are ensuring that they will choose something they want.    This item is not likely to be regifted, and will linger around the house providing “trophy value” for the recipient.

    The last thing you want your patrons to think is that they got stuck with a purchasing department’s closeout opportunity of the month from some shady product source. We’ve seen this stuff end up being refurbished goods, having scratched out retail tags on it (or worse, they are still there showing how they were marked down to half of their initial value!), in damaged packaging, etc. And most importantly, avoid no-name brands! We are a brand-conscious society, and offering patrons well-known brand choices will leave a better taste in their mouths and feeling more valued than no-name knock-offs will.

    To bulk ship or drop ship? Execution of gift events where choice is involved can get tricky. Ideally, you choose a vendor that can drop ship to the patrons’ homes, adding more value to their casino experience. This makes more sense as the value of an item increases. My gen- eral rule of thumb is that if the individual drop shipping charges exceed 20% of the value of the item (this typically happens at around $50), then drop shipping is not the most cost-effective way to go.

    Many clients want to offer choice and drive a second trip. In this scenario, the vendor would coordinate the order- ing from the event and ship in bulk back to the casino for patron pick-up. This even allows for the opportunity for individual gift wrapping, as was the case for a recent “Pick a Purse Party” at a Midwest casino. And for those casinos near the Canadian border, this is a cost-effective way

    to let your patrons from north of the border participate in your giveaways. Freight duty and taxes for a U.S. to Canada drop shipment are cost-prohibitive.

    So, get your merchandising hats on, or bring in those of that persuasion, and display a number of exciting gifts for

    your next giveaway. Better yet, create a cyber café with comfortable chairs and web portals in the event space where patrons can sit down and choose from dozens or hundreds of items at a product picking site in the budgeted price point. Now that’s a choice event!

    Written for the 2014 Raving Magazine

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    Topics: News, Blog, Casino Event Giveaway, shopping event

    Q&A with Brian Galonek of All Star Incentive Marketing

    Posted by brian on 01.06.2014

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    Topics: Employee Motivation, News, Blog, Motivating Employees, recognition, Rewards

    Fight Winter's Chill

    Posted by mike on 01.03.2014

    As winter's grip takes hold of the northern regions of the nations, one of our very best promotional product values right now has to be Made in America knit caps from one of our best headwear suppliers, Cap America.

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    Topics: Blog, promotional products


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