Happy New Year!

In Las Vegas, it’s New Years all right…Chinese New Year. I’ve often said that casinos are in the forefront of commerce-driven multi-culturalism, and this is yet another example: Strip resorts are proclaiming, at considerably expense, their jubilation at the advent of the Year of the Dog. From the LV Sun:

Marketing to Asian — particularly Chinese — gamblers is Management 101 for casino bosses. Just about anybody who works in a casino knows that many Chinese believe the color red and the number 8 are lucky and that the number 4 is unlucky.

Many Las Vegas Strip properties have decorated their lobbies and casinos with orange trees, red lanterns, gold coins and other Chinese symbols of luck and prosperity.

Caesars Palace’s top executive will be on hand Feb. 4 for a traditional “painting of the eye” lion ceremony in front of the property. The Venetian will host a dragon dance, complete with firecrackers and traditional music, in its casino on Saturday. At the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Chinese singer Paula Tsui will perform in Mandarin and Cantonese on Saturday and Sunday.

For non-Chinese, the public displays are an intriguing and colorful nod to an important ethnic group. For Las Vegas casinos, it’s a business imperative.

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year, has grown from a small, private welcome for Asian high rollers to a more mainstream event for middle-income Chinese and Asian-Americans.

It now ranks as one of the biggest gambling events of the year for Las Vegas, vying for second place with the Super Bowl, behind New Year’s Eve, experts say. Hotels are expecting 100 percent occupancy this weekend in advance of the celebration, which begins Sunday and lasts for two weeks.

A Chinese propensity to gamble is a long-held truism in Las Vegas that has yet to be documented with any accuracy. But some say there is a cultural basis for gambling during Chinese New Year — a holiday that is inextricably tied to testing one’s luck.

If a person wins a wager, it could bring new luck for the rest of the year, or so the tradition goes. Losing a bet could rid the bettor of bad luck that’s accumulated over the past year.
Las Vegas SUN: Casinos open arms for Asians with open wallets

I like how winning a bet is good luck, but losing is good luck as well. It’s very optimistic.

The rest of the story is very good, so click on through.

Just so I’m not left out, I’d like to extend my warm wishes for a lucky and healthy New Year to everyone:
Happy New Year!

Here’s a hot tip: check out the “Strip Tease” column in Monday’s Business Press. There will be an item about the impending demise of a storied Strip resort.

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