The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa recently brought on board Dan Ingster, the new Vice President of Slot Operations.
Ingster brings 15 years of experience in slot operations, slot performance and sales/marketing to Seminole Gaming. A Philadelphia native and Cornell University graduate, Ingster will report directly to the property’s General Manager, Pete Wu, and will oversee all aspects of slot operations and slot performance.
Ingster was most recently Vice President of Sales at Rocket Gaming Systems in Las Vegas, where he managed the company’s sales team and assisted in slot machine game development. Prior to Rocket Gaming Systems, he spent 12 years at MGM Resorts International properties on the Las Vegas Strip.
He started his Las Vegas gaming career as a slot floor attendant at Treasure Island and worked his way up through slot management at New York-New York, Luxor and the Monte Carlo.
Ingster spent seven years at the Monte Carlo as its Executive Director of Slot Operations and Marketing where he designed and led the remodel of the entire casino floor, along with the implementation of new casino systems.
We sat down with Ingster to discuss his role and his vision for the future of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa.
- What inspired you to break into the casino industry?
I originally moved to Vegas to work in the hotel side of the industry. When I got to Vegas, I realized the slot industry is all about numbers and people. I’m a numbers guy and a people person so it worked out.
- What has the transition from Vegas to Tampa been like for you?
The main differences: it’s a lot more humid and there are a lot more bugs. But I have found that the people and the city are amazing.
- What do you like best so far about Seminole Hard Rock Tampa?
The people. I feel like I know everybody and that everyone has welcomed me. There is a great feeling of family across the property.
- What do you see changing in the future at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa?
We are going to continue to work on customer service, building up the higher end business, and making sure that we’re more visible within the overall gaming community. We’re always looking at new technology and seeing what we can do differently. We want to be pioneers in the gaming industry with new slots and new technology.
Out of the seven restaurants on property, which one is your favorite and why?
No question, Council Oak. One word: Bacon.
- What are some of your goals for Seminole Hard Rock Tampa in the slots department?
We will continue to make Seminole Hard Rock Tampa a fun place for our team members and guests. I love walking into the HL room and seeing our team members dancing with our guests and high fiving them when they hit jackpots. We will also focus on training and development. We have so many great people and I want to help them to continue to grow and be the future leaders of our property.
- What is your all-time favorite movie or song?
I’m a big music person so there is no way I could pick just one song, but if I had too: Pearl Jam – Release….or Metallica – One…or Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil
- Who do you count as your mentor(s)?
Ultimately my Dad was my greatest mentor as he taught me the key life lessons but when it comes to work mentors, I have made it a point to learn something from everybody that I have worked for along the way. Probably the most valuable lessons were from two former bosses. First was Kerry O’Donoghue who taught me the importance of knowing your employees. Second was Patrick Miller who taught me how to interact with and listen to players. Managing the slot machines is one thing, but managing people is another and building relationships with your employees and customers is the key to success in this business.
- What do you consider your greatest success?
I would say being selected for this opportunity in Tampa. This is probably one of the most sought after positions in gaming and I feel honored to be here today. I feel that everything I have done up until this point has paid off.
- Tell us something about you most people don’t know?
Something most people wouldn’t know: I am a big traveler and I have been to all 50 states. I finished that actually right before I started this job – I went to Alaska. Also, I am a live music junkie and have been to close to 1000 concerts.
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