Page 7 - Mississippi/Louisiana Gaming News - Summer, 2021
P. 7

 5 Minutes With... Matthew Heiskell
 What, where, when was your first job in the gaming industry?
I started in Tunica, so I am back home. I was hired by Harrah’s Entertainment in their President’s Associate program, which hired individuals coming out of business school that were mostly new to gaming. I spent my first year and a half in Tunica working shift work as a slot manager at the Sheraton and the Grand, which was the best experience early on to really work on the floor and get a true sense for the customer and employee experience.
What do you like best about your current job?
It’s fun to try to solve problems for people, whether they be customers or employees. Ultimately, looking at an issue and working towards resolving
it can go a long way towards inspiring confidence and building relationships with people. And the trust that comes with that is rewarding.
What is the best piece of business advice you ever received and from whom did you receive it?
Hire hard to manage easy. It’s easy to want to fill an open position as quickly as possible but taking the time to find a person you can rely on can make your day-to-day more enjoyable and give you a chance to see someone grow as well. I think it was my Mom who told me that!
Name Matthew Heiskell
Current Title Vice President and General Manager
Company Hollywood Casino Tunica & 1st Jackpot Tunica, Penn National Gaming
 As a former educator, she always has solid advice.
What advice do you have for those just starting in the gaming industry?
Spend time in the operation. You
will learn more from understanding
how team members work together
in a kitchen or watching guest room attendants work and listening to
their opinions than just thinking that
you understand it, and you can build credibility by knowing the challenges that workers face on a day-to-day basis.
How do you define “success”? I think, ultimately, it’s just defining some goals and working toward them in the best way you can. Things won’t always go well, but believing you tried for an admirable goal usually will lead to more successes than not.
Years In The Gaming Industry 15 Years
What is something you do each day just for yourself?
Well, right now I am putting a lot into the business, but once I get my feet under me it’s usually spending time catching up with my wife, Barbara, or taking my dog Nugget for a walk.
What is it about the gaming industry that makes it a good industry?
The sheer difference in the types
of businesses that encompass what
we do means you can learn a ton of different things. Retail, gaming, food
and beverage, hotel, facilities... you name it. It’s all there to learn in terms of operation, and that doesn’t even include the aspects of how to market and the financials. It can truly prepare you for any number of industries if you are ever interested in other things. Plus, it’s a blast!

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