Weblog: Betting Shop Manager of the Year
Paul Bittar highlight in hectic second ICE day
OK, Day two at the ICE Totally Gaming Exhibition.
After a sleepless night, albeit at the fantastic Royal Garden Hotel where SIS and the Racing Post kindly put me up, I arrived a day more experienced and wiser to what I was to find ahead ... or so I thought.
Who was I kidding? This place still takes your breath away as you enter to the bright lights and noise that is this fabulous occasion. After finishing yesterday I decided to walk back to the hotel. It was a lovely evening, compared to the chill and snow they are having back home and I thought it would be a good idea to try to relax and take in all that I had seen over the previous eight hours. Half an hour later I arrived back still buzzing and poor Tracy, my longstanding and very tolerant girlfriend suffered the outpouring of my day.
After about ten minutes she told me to shut up and stop for breath! That, dear punters of Selkirk, is what you have to look forward to when I return to work this weekend; my apologies in advance.
A mixture of that, and the fact that I find it difficult to be away from the family back home, meant I only managed four hours of broken sleep last night. Not ideal preparation for today, but as I stepped over the door the adrenalin kicked in and I was like a kid in a sweetie shop again.
I had noticed from a tweet that Paul Bittar, new head of the BHA, would be attending this morning, and I couldn’t help but think what a huge task the man has ahead of him. I never dreamed I would get the chance to speak to him though so you can imagine my surprise when I got a call from the Racing Post's Jim Cremin asking me to come and meet Paul at the Racing Post Café.
We chatted for a short time and it is clear the man is not only totally aware of the size of task that lies ahead but that it also holds no fears for him. I was particularly impressed when he asked about my punters’ opinions. He is focused, but also patient. On behalf of all shop managers, I wish him the best.
One of the newer additions to the Racing Post website is the RPJobs section. It is a tremendous way of finding opportunities in our industry and I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar on the subject Wednesday afternoon. I don’t often look through the jobsites (honest boss!) but I was particularly impressed with how professionally the site is run.
Then there is the fact that a huge majority of betting shop staff have access to and read the Racing Post on a daily basis. So even if you were not actively looking for a job, having it in the paper seems like it would be the way forward if I were recruiting.
It was interesting to see the different points of view though and there was an agency representative who put their case across; personally I preferred the RPJobs offering via the paper/web.
I am fortunate to work in a shop where banter is the norm.
Looking forward to being overwhelmed again Thursday!
ICE's final day is Thursday