Gareth Kaschula, Montecasino’s Marketing Manager since August 2018, is in his element – in “undoubtedly the finest casino in South Africa,” he states, and in an industry and a career he loves.
Gareth has been in marketing in the casino industry for 24 years. “Apart from the casino offering, there really is no other industry that offers the entertainment and escapism quite like the gaming industry does,” he says.
Marketing is Gareth’s second career; he made a quick decision that electrical engineering wouldn’t hold his interest, and when he started his first “real” job in public relations, he knew that the variety, the people, the different facets and activities in marketing would give him the challenges he was searching for.
Gareth grew up in Pietermaritzburg and matriculated from Alexandra Boys High. He spent most of his career in various casinos around the country and he has worked in every aspect of the casino marketing industry, “from being an entertainment manager, promotions manager, marketing manager, to group marketing manager. I’ve had the pleasure of being part of small and big casino builds, launches, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have travelled the world within this industry.” Prior to joining Tsogo Sun, Gareth spent seven years with Peermont’s Emperors Palace casino on the East Rand, where he was employed as the Group Gaming Marketing Manager for Peermont.
Over the years, his continued education has included an Executive Management Programme through the University of Cape Town, and he has received certification by UCT in Digital Marketing.
In October 2013, he joined Tsogo Sun as Marketing Manager at Gold Reef City. The big lessons he learned there included “the need to embrace change, to always try your best, and that you are never too old to learn new things.”
At Montecasino, Gareth’s primary role is to develop a cohesive marketing strategy that provides strategic direction for Montecasino and the collective precinct. The strengths he brings to this new job include his extensive experience in marketing and promotions from a wide range of casinos, as well as his creative skills and boundless enthusiasm.
The best things about his job at Montecasino, Gareth says, are “my team and fellow colleagues – who are super focused on working toward a common goal. It obviously also helps that we come to work at this award-winning Tuscan themed marvel, which is the finest casino in South Africa.”
In the ever-changing entertainment environment and with visitors’ expectations for constant fresh new excitement at Montecasino, Gareth acknowledges that “remaining relevant and appealing” is a challenge, but not one that he finds daunting.
His appreciation for Montecasino is authentic. “On a personal level I appreciate the entire Montecasino environment. It’s not only a great place to come to work every day, bearing in mind the aesthetics and location, but most importantly, it is surrounded and filled with great people who contribute to this incredible culture here at Montecasino – and I’ve learned that this culture is actually an inherent part of the Tsogo Sun DNA.”
Reflecting on his career, Gareth says he regards his greatest career achievement as being part of the nurturing and building up of the various teams he has managed and worked with over the years. “While I’d like to think that I contributed, albeit in a small way, to each person I’ve worked with over the years, they too have contributed in their own way to my life and allowed me to grow and achieve and learn over the years. That’s significant.”
Gareth’s advice to a young person starting out in a career in marketing is, “Take everything in, open your mind to all ideas and possibilities. Be prepared to put time and effort into your work. Not every idea is going to work, but that is how you will learn. Don’t be scared to try new things and most importantly, enjoy the ride.”
While he’s not big on role models, Gareth does admire Elon Musk for proving that anything is possible with a little determination and focus. Gareth is currently reading Simplicity by Edward de Bono.
His life beyond the work place is with his “beautiful, talented wife, who teaches ballet, and three healthy children – two sons and a daughter – who thankfully all love being outdoors and respect and connect well with nature. I spend as much time as humanly possible with my family – they mean the world to me.” He loves any outdoor activities, including motocross, and says, “the more extreme the activity the better, and if it involves speed and a bit of dirt, better still!”