Atlantic City, New Jersey (AP) – Casinos in this East Coast gambling resort are betting on Asian gamblers to help them overcome dipping slots revenue.
Casinos are taking steps to attract Asian gamblers such as hiring employees who speak Asian languages, adding Asian-theme restaurants and beefing up advertising in areas such as New York’s Chinatown.
According to a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sunday edition, Asian gamblers make up 15 to 20 percent of Atlantic City’s revenue.
They also make up one-third of the casinos’ table-game revenue, which is important considering that income from slots has fallen by about 8 percent over last year as neighboring states allow slots gambling.
“With all of the slots capacity in Pennsylvania and New York, we have to aggressively find a way to stem the flow out of Atlantic City,” Michael Asanloo, from Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., told the newspaper. “Asian customers and table games are a perfect add-on … This is one way to compete and is critical for Atlantic City’s success.”
To attract more Asian gamblers, the casinos have opened Asian restaurants such as Kwi at Caesars.
The Hilton has a seven-person Asian marketing team that includes Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Vietnamese speakers.
Eight of the city’s 11 casinos have beefed up their gaming areas to include traditional Asian games such as Pai Gow poker and Sic Bo.
In order to make their Asian clients more comfortable, the casinos have hired feng shui consultants to make their rooms more inviting and have put many of their employees through cultural training.