Two huge casinos in Connecticut–Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun–send more than 100 buses every day to pick up customers in predominantly Asian neighborhoods of Boston and New York. The number of buses doubles on Chinese New Year, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
In a Washington Post article titled “Casinos Are Aggressively Courting Asian Americans,” I learned that Foxwoods Resort Casino (the world’s biggest in terms of gambling floor space) estimates that at least a third of its customers are Asian. Mohegan Sun says Asian spending makes up one-fifth of its business and is growing. The casinos bring in Asian rock stars and entertainment personalities, sponsor the Boston Dragon Boat Festival and an Asian beauty pageant in Toronto, and shower their bused-in customers with coupons for free food and gambling.
If financial advisors knew as much about Asians as the casinos do, they’d have a much better chance of attracting them as clients. Casino dealers know not to touch Chinese customers on the shoulder — a sign of bad luck. They don’t say the number 4, which sounds like the word for death. (“Nine” also sounds to the Japanese like the word for pain.) At Pai Gow and baccarat tables, which have numbered seats, Foxwoods has even omitted the No. 4 seat. Talk about cultural sensitivity!