Greg Lotriet is reaching a dream that started as a teen when he first saw the classic Al Pacino movie, Casino. As a gifted people’s person, he is thriving in his new position as VIP Services Manager at Montecasino, overseeing the Privé and ensuring memorable guest experiences for casino players.

Lotriet’s trajectory through his working career has bordered on the unconventional. In 2002, Lotriet had achieved his South African colours in boxing, and he joined Sun International’s Sibaya Casino security team as an MIB. Within three years he was Casino Complex Security Duty Manager and had achieved a diploma in Hospitality Management from the International Hotel School.

Lotriet was then headhunted and he quickly embraced his new career direction into F&B. In 2015 he grabbed the opportunity to move into the casino world and he joined Gold Reef City as F&B Manager, giving him the opportunity, says Lotriet, to move into the best possible organisation to further his career.

He was responsible for implementing a strategy for staff to engage with customers, to fully understand the needs of the casino’s clientele – which saw the property improve its ratings according to electronic guest service comments.

This year he was invited to apply for the position he now holds, and was appointed VIP Services Manager of Montecasino, creating an anomaly as staff movement in casinos from F&B into gaming is extremely rare. Lotriet is extremely enthusiastic about his new job, which he started in July. “Montecasino really is the flagship casino of the group – it’s a beautiful property and it’s a huge personal achievement to be here. This is the A-team; they are all specialists in what they do and it feels great to be a part of it.”

Lotriet has a staff of 18 looking after VIP guests in the smoking and non-smoking Privés at Montecasino, covering 270 slots and 25 tables, and extending onto the main floor when VIPs choose to play there. “The Montecasino VIP staff is excellent. They are highly trained in every aspect of customer service and are skilled at reading people and situations, at conflict resolution, and at meeting the needs of the players under their care.”

His advice to youngsters starting out in the industry is down to earth. “Every day is different so be prepared for anything. Remember that perceptions don’t equate to reality; manage them and don’t allow other people’s perceptions of you to determine who you are. Be different if that’s who you are.”