Everything About Casino Talent Bookers

September 20, 2020

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The Era Of Change


Where Do Casino Talent Bookers Come From?

The path to becoming a successful entertainment professional varies greatly. And similar to every other industry, not all experts are formally educated. If you ask me, that fact really levels the playing field. The truth is, the only way to become a casino talent booker, is to work hard and never give up until you achieve your goal. Ultimately, you only have a 50% chance at succeeding at anything right? So, either something works or it doesn’t. And no amount of education or experience can really affect the odds or those two outcomes. 

According to Statista, 63% of 1,000 casino patrons surveyed in 2019 agreed that casino bookings are becoming more innovative with the types of entertainment being booked each year. 37% or the remaining 370 people believe there is a lack of innovation amongst casino talent bookers and bookings. What does this mean? It means that the traditional industry ideas, programs, and systems are being challenged every day. The standard methods of interning your way to the top or joining a large agency’s training program are still some of the most viable options (don’t get me wrong). But with the recent surge in digital marketing and available tools online, there are countless other ways to leverage resources while starting and/or maintaining a successful career as a casino talent booker.


How To Become A Talent Booker.

Ultimately you cannot go wrong with moving to a city with a bustling music scene. Living within the geographical proximity of musical meccas such as; Chicago, LA, Seattle or NYC is a great way to increase your chances of finding relevant internships or other significant opportunities. If anything, you will have a better chance of getting your foot in the door somewhere. To be honest, though, a degree and living within proximity are probably only going to do just that. If you really want to land a gig you will also have to sell yourself, your personality, and your skills at the appropriate times while networking tirelessly. 

Here’s a General Guide To Becoming A Casino Talent Booking Professional

  1. Identify your ideal position/title i.e. casino talent booker, casino booking agent, etc.
  2. Learn general ticketing, budgeting, and entertainment marketing concepts
  3. Pursue a relative entry-level job or applicable degree 
  4. Continue to build your network of industry contacts
  5. Take calculated risks & create your own opportunities
  6. Co-produce events with reputable venues, buyers, and agents 
  7. Never stop learning about industry trends, artist, and regional culture



What Strengths Do Casino Talent Bookers Have?

In a perfect world, the ideal casino talent booker will have strengths that will compliment your property’s objectives. He or she must be able to develop strategies, maintain relationships, and drive profitability. It doesn’t matter if you want to save money, make money or blow the competition out of the water. If you cannot curate the right acts or think about the big picture, you may fall short of your client’s goals.  

To find more information to help you determine who is the best booker for your venue, use our 66 talent buyer interview questions guide. This powerful collection of categorized questions will help you decipher who is the best fit for your casino entertainment program.  

What Kind Of Personality Do Casino Talent Bookers Have?

This is a loaded question because there is no magical personality formula for casino talent bookers to drink. The perfect candidate should have integrity though. Far too often casino talent bookers are unethical. And the sad truth is, Native Americans and our Casinos are still being taken advantage of. 

The Top 4 Personality Traits Of Casino Talent Bookers:

  1. Trustworthy 
  2. Personable 
  3. Empathy
  4. Respectful

In the end, I ask myself two important questions before hiring any new casino talent bookers. 

  1. Can I trust this person with my family business? 
  2. Would I want to hang out with this person for an extended time in a runner van?

What Skill Do Casino Talent Bookers Need?

Skilled casino talent bookers have strong negotiation skills, possess the ability to always follow-through/execute, and are capable of maintaining a positive outlook in every situation. 

These three skills aren’t the only skills required for success, but they are the most important in my opinion. It is also important to be reliable, cooperative, and enthusiastic. In the end, it will help you be more likable. Try to remember, people are social creatures but they are only going to help you for one of two reasons. They either like you, or you have something they want. The key to getting what you want in a relationship is giving other people what they want as well. 

In the entertainment business relationships and trust is everything. If you are capable of fostering trusting relationships, then respect and support are likely to follow. And that is exactly what you want with talent agents and clients.

Top 3 Talent Booking Skills:

  1. Negotiation 
  2. Execution
  3. Positive outlook

The Process For Booking Casino Talent

There’s a lot of different ways a venue could manage their casino telnet booker’s workflow. I have found that this is the most simple and effective. If you want smooth operation, systems are your friend. Sometimes you get to build your own, others you inherit and must follow as gospel. 

5 Casino Talent Booking Best Practices:

    1. The venue and talent booker agree on the artist/act. Then an authorization form is signed by the venue so the talent booker can pursue the deal.
    2. After the casino talent booker receives the signed authorization, an offer is sent to the talent agency with proposed ticket scaling which usually has up to a 2-week expiration.
    3. When the offer is accepted, the talent booker will review and redline the contract. 
    4. After terms are agreeable, the casino talent booker will issue an invoice and a copy of the contract and tour rider. 
    5. Typically the client (casino) will pay the deposit and talent booking fee 45-60 days before the performance date and the casino talent booker is responsible for then paying the talent agency.

Depending on the relationship, the artist’s agent will request the deposit at least 30 days from the event. The talent booking agency will invoice the venue (client) at least 1 week before the event for settlement purposes on the day of the event.

Do I get to pick which acts perform?

Yes, you absolutely get to decide who we book. Limiting factors could impact confirmation.

Who selects what casino talent booker to use?

Often the CEO, marketing director, or tribal council will choose the best casino talent booker

How many casinos use a casino talent booker for their entertainment?

Hundreds of casinos use third party entertainment bookers for talent acquisition.

Why do I need a casino talent booker?

A good casino talent booker will save you time therefore money. A lot of money.

How do casino talent bookers get paid?

Typically people who book talent are paid on commission, roughly 10% of the artist’s fee.

How much do casino talent bookers earn a year?

Annually, a single talent booker can make as much as $1,000,000 (or more) or as little as $50,000.

What is the difference between casino talent bookers and casino talent agents?

Talent bookers are third party liaisons for venues & agents third party liaise for the artists.

Do Casino Booking Agents Work For The Casino Or The Talent Agency?

A booking agent typically works for the talent agency first, but also indirectly for the casino.

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