Effective Communication in the Midst of Stress



Working in a casino can mean being in many high stress situations every day. Emotions are high and can change without warning.

As a result, there’s a high risk of conflict.

Routine interactions with customers can cause tempers to flare, and this hazard escalates when employees:

  • Respond to service complaints
  • Interact with intoxicated/disruptive customers
  • Confront underage drinking/gambling
  • Implement alcohol cutoffs
  • Intervene in customer/employee arguments
  • Handle reports of slot machine malfunctions
  • Investigate missing/stolen property
  • Intervene in domestic disturbances
  • Approach suspicious persons


These are just a few of the many situations where casino employees face conflict and potential violence which, if not handled well, can drag down profits and increase the risk of violence.

Your employees must be able to interact with customers in a non-escalatory manner, effectively manage situations that get out of hand, and justify their actions – all with the goal of protecting the casino’s reputation and bottom line.

That’s why we developed Verbal Defense & Influence training for Casino Resorts and Hotels.

Verbal Defense & Influence has worked in the casino industry for decades (see partial client list below) so we understand your specific challenges.

We can help you develop procedures to standardize conflict response, ensure its defensibility, and prepare your employees to be true protectors of your customer service reputation.


Here is what people are saying about our programs:


Through Verbal Defense & Influence, officers learn in a safe classroom environment how their

words affect situations, how their body language can set the tone for their interactions with

others and how their use of appropriate and professional communication can keep a situation

from escalating. The information and skills taught in Verbal Defense & Influence classes help to

keep them safer while performing as officers of the department.

– Toni Crowfoot, Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise, Tucson, AZ


Verbal Defense & Influence really helps Security protect the company’s bottoms line by

giving us the tools to enforce policies without the patrons blaming us or the casino for

the problems they themselves cause. I once had to bar the arm of a patron who was

physically and verbally threatening to harm an employee when I arrived. When it was

all over and we were escorting the patron out voluntarily, he thanked me for watching

out for him, and not getting him arrested. The man and his family have since remained

regular customers to our casino. Witnesses were pleased and continue to come because they

feel safe, and the employee was pleased that we quickly gained control of the situation.

– Jeff Barrix, Ho Chunk Gaming Security, Baraboo, WI


I’ve worked at the Casino as a Security Guard for over 8 years. This has been the most informational and helpful class offered to me.

– Dale Bauman, Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, Mt. Pleasant, MI


Casino Resort and Hotel Partial Client List

Little River Casino Resort, Manistee, MI

Casino Arizona at Salt River, Phoenix, AZ

Four Winds Casino Resort, Buffalo, MI

Potawatomi Bingo and Casino, Milwaukee, WI

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Resort, Maricopa, AZ

Santa Ana Star Casino, Santa Ana Pueblo, NM

Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, MI

Ho-Chunk Bingo and Casino, WI



Confidence in Conflict Book