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Judith Kiragu, Director Golden Key Casino, Mombasa- Kenya

Judith Kiragu is currently a Director of a gaming establishment, Golden Key Ltd – Tamarind.

Past Chairperson – AGoK (Association of Gaming Operators in Kenya) and has been very active in lobbying the government on tax and regulation matters. At present Judith is the Secretary to AGoK. Speaker at Gaming Africa 2017 in Nairobi and Johannesburg. Speaker at the BiG East Africa Summit in Kampala in 2018 hosted by Eventus International Limited and Master Class presenter at the same summit on ‘Taking Your Business to the next level’.
Judith also runs a Training and Management Consultancy firm called Forte Management Consultancy.

Eventus International reached out to Judith Kiragu to gain her thoughts on the following matters leading up to the 6th Annual BiG Africa Supershow which will be held at Emperors Palace from 5-6 November in Johannesburg, South Africa. The responses below are entirely her own.

You are a very active member of the Association of Gaming Operators Kenya, what are the main challenges that your members currently face in Kenya?
Hello Jordan, I am part of the founding members of the Association of Gaming Operators. Taxation issues in Kenya have been very erratic and unconstitutional. The government has raised taxes or brought in new taxes without notice thus creating an unstable and uncertain gaming environment with members having to deal with unexpected changes each year and not being able to concentrate on growing their business.
Secondly, the public perception of gaming is skewed towards the negative effect of sports betting and the public has not been able to distinguish the various forms or subsectors of gaming and this negative perception is causing a lot of harm to the sustainability of casinos and lotteries, forms of gaming that have been in existence for over 50 years now in Kenya are staring at looming crisis.
Lastly the influx of amusement machines in the guise of gaming machines operating without regulation has led to a tarnished gaming reputation as they are substandard causing the government to lump all operators together with these unregulated operators.

One of the topics you will be speaking on at the BiG Africa Summit this year is How other forms of entertainment boost casino revenue, can you give us any hints as to what you will be discussing?
It is important to know your clientele and develop a mix of activities that would capture the regular attendance of your clientele. At the Golden Key Casino, for very many years clients have felt very much at home. They term it ‘their second living room’ . Creativeness and innovation is important and our clients love to be acknowledged. We have a very personal approach probably because of our size but they look forward to the surprises we have in our hats. That regular attendance by repeat clients places an enormous obligation on the team to generate ideas. It’s always pleasant to watch the expressions of new clients when they are confounded with something extra or unexpected.

What are some of the core skills and traits that you believe all casino directors should know?
Directors bring together different minds and competences a combination of which generates best practices and strategic initiatives. It is important for directors to have corporate governance principles that enable them to run the establishment authentically and and ethically (with integrity). Directors mitigate risks and optimize opportunities. One of my favourite phrases as a director is ‘ Do not mess around with the Merchandise’ Directors are trustees of the establishment. They should be reputable. They are role models to the staff. Secondly, customers are selective of the values an establishment espouses. Being professional and having a good PR is very important. People skills in directors plays an important role in bringing back clients. It’s about the experience and ambience that a client will be exposed to and this is a reflection of the directors.

What do you look forward to by being a part of the 6th Annual BiG Africa Supershow?
I look forward to identifying a futuristic product that espouses the values of our organization The clients of yesteryears are different to the current customers. Population characteristics and preferences are changing. One needs to select carefully products that blend well and fits within the establishment without upsetting the overall status of the establishment operationally and culture-wise as well as provide an opening to move towards neo gaming forms. It is important to appreciate the direction that technology is going which will take care of the electro-savvy millennials whilst still taking care of old customer. This blend will provide a smooth transition and ensure business continuity.
Judith looks forward to meeting you all in person at the 6th Annual BiG Africa Supershow. See more information on the 6th Annual BiG Africa Supershow. and how you can register below.

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Eventus International is proud to present the 6th installment of the BiG Africa Supershow, which will be held at Emperors Palace from 5 – 6 November 2018.
We can proudly say that we have the longest and best reputation for hosting gambling conferences and exhibitions in Africa and are well-known for presenting innovative ideas to our audiences
Operators, regulators, affiliates, marketing companies, software providers and investment firms will be coming from across Africa for the BIGGEST African conference and exhibition of the year, the BiG Africa SuperShow.
Just this year alone, our Sports Betting East Africa and Sports Betting West Africa Shows have been attended by over 600 delegates, had the participation of over 40 Sponsors and Exhibitors and brought together over 60 speakers. Be sure to register your all access pass