Focus on Raving: Chris Archunde brings gaming expertise and a passion for data to Raving

November 10, 2023 8:00 AM
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
November 10, 2023 8:00 AM
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports

Raving CEO and Owner Deana Scott jokes that she’s glad Chris Archunde has returned to the company because she will improve the company’s golf team. But there’s something about Archunde’s prowess at golf – notably how she keeps score – that illustrates why her return is being met with enthusiasm.

Archunde not only keeps track of her score, but makes notes about each stroke, whether a drive landed in a sand trap or if she sank a long putt.

“My scorecard is probably five rows,” says Archunde, who has played rounds with LPGA professionals Michelle McGann and Juli Inkster. “My friends laugh at me, but I like to go back and see what I did. If you hit 18 fairways but still shot 20 over par, you’re probably a bad putter.”

Archunde recently was named Raving Partner, Strategic Operations & Marketing Performance.

Archunde has applied her attention to detail to various roles throughout her career in the gaming industry. She’s worked for Tribal operators in Arizona, New Mexico, and Washington state, with a two-year sojourn to work at a commercial gaming operation in Puerto Rico sandwiched between those experiences.

Scott was working on the operator side of gaming when she first met Archunde. She remembers Archunde being passionate and well-versed in all aspects of gaming.

“She understands what it’s like to be speaking to a guest and explaining why their points didn’t add up to what they thought,” Scott says. “She can speak the language throughout the organization, and she’s passionate and caring and really committed to helping people, which makes her such an asset. She’s the perfect example of the Raving team.”

Archunde’s attention to detail is mirrored by her passion for working with data, which she says she could “work on all day.” Compiling and formatting numbers allows her to talk to gaming industry executives using concrete information that gives credence to her counsel.

“I’m not trying to make their decision,” Archunde says. “I’m there to give them confidence in their decision.”

She recalls being asked by one operator to help re-open a property in Aruba that had been seized by the government. Archunde had a mere 30 days to check off a list of tasks she was given.

When she told the operator that it felt like being a reality show, Archunde was told only to make “yes/no decisions.”

“That really resonated with me,” Archunde says. “To be very useful at the highest level, as a VP, your job is not to come in and ask the stakeholders, what do you want me to do, assign me something. That’s not your job. Your job is to develop the business and the foundation of that business, to make yes/no decisions that are within your purview. But even more so, to come up with A, B, and C solutions that you vetted that fit the time and the place and the finances of that organization.”

Archunde says it’s important to understand the “DNA” of the properties she’s working with when applying statistical analyses and data. For instance, what works at Gila River Resorts & Casino’s four properties in Arizona might not be applicable to a smaller Tribal casino with a mere 600 machines.

“My job is to holistically find out where are the opportunities, where the black holes are, where the ball is being dropped, and then jump in and support them in a way that is no nonsense, even-handed and confident. I’m not going to give you advice, I’m not going to give you an answer unless I’m sure of it.”