Can you introduce yourself? What is your background? How do you feel about becoming the new President of Ho Tram Resort Casino?
I have been in the casino industry for 37 years. In many ways, my career path has always been building up to a role like this. I started as a Croupier in one of London’s exclusive Mayfair Clubs in the late 1970’s and have spent my entire career working my way up from the floor. I have never forgotten what life is like on the tables however, and so I believe that gives me a perspective quite rare in this field. I have had roles in all aspects of gaming from operations, to development, to marketing, to online, to senior executive management. I most recently had a consultancy firm based in Macau that provided specialised management and consulting services to the gaming industry, both land based and digital. So with that kind of history behind me, I had been looking for an opportunity where I could use my extensive background knowledge and skills toward building and developing an organization. For me, that’s where both the real challenges and the real opportunities lie. So when I was asked to submit my name for consideration to take on the role of President of Ho Tram, and knowing some of the background of the project, for me it was just too good of an opportunity not to go after it. It’s such a beautiful property and one that has a definite “wow” factor, why would anyone not feel privileged to lead it and the team who have worked so hard since its opening? It’s a great challenge.
Can you tell us a bit more about the venue and the challenges you had to face since you arrived?
There are always challenges with a property of this size. 1,600 people are currently working in the resort. There are many facets to a venue like this, gaming is only one component. There is Food and Beverage, entertainment, Conferences, our Golf Course The Bluffs… Each element of the complex has its own role. Vietnam also has it's own particular challenges, especially the fact that we can only accept international customers in the casino. We have a lot of staff who have worked here since the early days and continue to make sure that we are going to achieve the goals we are aiming for. What I have found with Vietnamese staff is that they are eager to learn, and it makes our job much easier.
Shaun McCamley is the President of Ho Tram Resort Casino
What role will poker play at Ho Tram?
I am very supportive of poker. Poker will help us to present the Resort to a completely new market which hasn’t been targeted. We changed our strategy planning to focus on events. Poker events like the Asian Poker Tour help to generate publicity for an international audience. We are committed to support both poker events, and Cash Games.
What is your personal view on this first poker event?
This first APT has been incredibly successful. It has been well received by the players. The feedback and comments are great; We couldn’t have hoped for a better start. APT set many records during this event. 146 individual players from 36 different countries took part in the event. Hosting poker events like these are a tremendous marketing tool for us and they are bringing us side game players (Cash Games and table games).
What about upcoming tournaments?
To be fair we will do a complete debrief at the end of the event. We are definitely looking at future events.
What is your personal experience with poker?
I am probably the world’s worst poker player. It’s for this reason that we have signed an agreement with World Gaming Group to develop poker at Ho Tram with Andrew Scott. I am very happy to have them on board for a long term partnership.
There are rumours in Vietnam about a casino bill which would allow locals to play in casinos. Can you tell us more about that?
Locals gaming is very high on our agenda. We have been very public in saying that we support well regulated and properly formulated gaming here in Vietnam. We have a lot of expertise in this area and we are happy to share this knowledge with the highest levels of government.