an amateur aviator, John Gallaway has often watched the changing
landscape of the world beneath him. As a professional businessman,
Gallaway has also watched the changing landscape of the gaming industry.
Executive-on-Campus Lectures Series, sponsored by The University
of Southern Mississippi's College of Business Administration Wednesday,
the current president of Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. detailed the
gaming industry's transition from a Mob-dominated cabal of small,
illegal casinos in the 1950s to a smorgasbord of legitimate, corporate-owned
entertainment destinations today.
businessman with a hospitality background whose theory is that it's
honorable to serve the people," said Gallaway, who entered
the Las Vegas gaming industry in the late 1970s as legislators were
trying to remove the last criminal vestiges from what they considered
a jackpot of state tourism.
later, Gallaway became the president of Isle of Capri Casinos Inc.
Using his "Isle Style" operating philosophy, he has grown
the nine-year old company into the seventh largest casino in the
industry and turned it into a billion-dollar revenue producer. The
Isle of Capri got its name from a small, Prohibition-era casino
on an island in the Mississippi Sound called the Isle of Caprice.
the secret to success in the gaming industry hinges on the "80-20
rule," as do most businesses. "Twenty percent of your
customers do about 80 percent of your business," he said. "So
we pay attention about whom those customers are. In this industry,
where people might lose their money and go try their luck somewhere
else, we're always in the business of re-selling our product to
keep them coming back."
examples from his own experiences in the industry, Gallaway explained
how the gaming industry moved out from under mafia control in the
'50s and '60s and eventually into corporate control in the '80s
an interesting time in the business as it started to become legitimized
during the '80s," Gallaway said. Today, government regulations
keep close reigns on the industry, which Gallaway said is still
changing, even in the new millennium. Indian-owned casinos on reservations
and increased competition have driven profit margins down. Despite
the competition, Isle of Capri has become the No. 1 publicly traded
corporation in Mississippi after the recent demise of WorldCom Inc.
Isle of Capri, Gallaway served as deputy managing director for Gaming
for Sun International in Johannesburg, South Africa. From 1981-92,
Gallaway served as president and general manager of the Tropworld
Casino & Entertainment Resort in Atlantic City, and president
and general manager of the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
A native New
Yorker, Gallaway received his bachelor's degree in economics from
Cornell University and an MBA from the Columbia University Graduate
School of Business. He currently resides with his wife, Grace, in
Two more lecturers
will participate in the series this semester. On March 27, Perry
Parker, managing director for foreign exchange trading at Deutsche
Bank in New York, will discuss "Foreign Exchange: From Theory
to Practice." On April 16, George J. Newton, president and
CEO of Burrus Investment Group Inc. of New Orleans will wrap up
the series with a lecture called "Important Business Lessons
not Learned at Southern Miss or Harvard."
all lectures is limited. For more information call (601) 266-4659.