He was introduced to the gaming industry during his business studies at the University of Western Australia when he took on a part-time job as a dealer at the Burswood International Casino just after it first opened.
Little did he know, it was the start of a glittering career in one of the world’s most competitive industries.
“I was a young guy studying and needed the money,” he says of his entry to the gaming industry. “It’s as simple as that.”
After his time at Burswood, Mr Knights was recruited to work for Star Casino in Sydney, where he served as a trainer and worked across various gaming support and service roles.
In 2006, he moved on to the role of General Manager of Gaming Operations at Conrad Treasury in Brisbane for two years. In 2008, he became the Managing Director of Jupiters Townsville, in North Queensland, accumulating crucial industry knowledge over four and a half years.
Armed with this experience, Mr Knights moved to Singapore in 2012, taking on the role of Vice President of Electronic Gaming at Resorts World Sentosa.
His remarkable ascent saw him promoted to Senior Vice President of Casino Operations within a year, reflecting his exceptional leadership in the gaming industry. From here, he moved to Crown Resorts in Melbourne before undertaking his most recent position as Executive General Manager of Gaming at Crown Casino in Sydney.
Bringing more than 20 years of executive level experience in the hospitality industry, Mr Knights is excited to take on the role of General Manager at Mindil Beach Casino Resort.
“I am keen to ensure that Mindil Beach Casino Resort, in its role as an integrated casino resort with worldclass facilities, continues to be a respected local community partner and major contributor to the Northern Territory economy through direct employment and engagement with local businesses.”
He says it’s critical for Territory leaders and businesses to push for more interstate and international flights to Darwin.
“There is extraordinary potential for the Territory – both from within Australia and right on our doorstep, in Asia. One of the ways to achieve this potential is through tourism, specifically via additional flights to Darwin, which will in turn generate economic activity and further stimulate investor confidence.
“Even though it’s only early days for me, it’s clear the Territory Government has been proactive in this space – but we need to maintain the momentum.”
Mr Knights is acutely aware of two things: that the resort is a hugely important part of the Northern Territory’s economic and social livelihood – and that effective team engagement enhances guests’ satisfaction.
The 500+ staff know the business’ mantra: the guest is at the forefront of everything we do and that our role is to provide memorable experiences.
“We continue to promote the value of having passion and pride in your work to all our team members,” Mr Knights says. “My role is to lead by example in showing the team the same level of passion and pride that I expect of them.
“We all have a part to play in striving to exceed the expectations of every guest who walks through our front door.”
Beyond the gaming floor, the casino resort provides a diverse range of amenities, including a hotel, resort, two pools, three restaurants, several bars, a ballroom, and a convention pavilion.
In less than four years, Delaware North has invested more than $20 million into the Mindil Beach Casino Resort.
“This investment reflects the confidence that a global company such as Delaware North has in this property and the Northern Territory as a destination,” Mr Knights said. And the reinvestment will continue.
In March 2024, nearly three million litres of water will be drained from the Lagoon Pool to allow works to the shell and pool equipment.
“Over a few months, these works will be undertaken to ensure our guests continue to enjoy the best experience and quality during their stay.”
Delaware North, which acquired the casino resort in 2019, is delighted to have recruited Mr Knights.
Managing Director – Australia/New Zealand, Gary Brown, says: “Sean has been appointed as new General Manager of Mindil Beach Casino Resort based on his impressive track record, leadership, experience and demonstrated ability to effectively manage large teams and deliver strong outcomes for companies, customers and communities.
“Under Sean’s leadership, Delaware North looks forward to Mindil Beach Casino Resort contributing to be the Northern Territory’s ultimate entertainment destination, where the local community – as well as interstate and overseas visitors – can come together in a safe environment.”