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California Casinos Target Asian-Americans

21 November 2005

CALIFORNIA – As reported by North County Times: "Business is booming for California's tribal casinos. National Indian Gaming Commission figures show that revenue for California tribal casinos ---- there are now 55 in the state ---- doubled between 2001 and 2004 to more than $5 billion a year.

"Hoping to add more oomph to that boom, officials with several local casinos are trying to attract even more business by targeting particular ethnic groups when marketing their casinos. First on the list for many marketers: finding a way to maintain and boost the large population of Asian Americans who gamble at their tables.

"Asian-American customers make up some 50 percent of the clientele at Pechanga Resort & Casino, a large casino near the Riverside and San Diego county lines, according to an official there. And officials at two other area casinos, while hesitant to specify how big a chunk of their business comes from Asian Americans, acknowledge that Asian Americans do make up a large part of their clientele.

"…To attract those coveted Asian-American customers, Pechanga and at least two other area casinos are doing everything from advertising in ethnic publications and hiring multilingual hosts, to offering Asian-American entertainment and in one case, redesigning parts of the casino with Asian themes.

"…Pechanga Vice President of Marketing Michelle Schilder said last week that when the casino recently embarked on a major upgrade of its high-stakes room, it brought in a master of the Chinese art of feng shui to oversee the project.

"…The entrance to the 14,000-square-foot, high-stakes room is guarded by pairs of fu dog statues, which many Chinese believe to be powerful, protective forces that bring good fortune. Earth tones dominate the room, table edges are all rounded and a waterfall provides a soothing soundscape to those who are betting a minimum of $100 a hand on games like pai gow poker or blackjack…"

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