High Rollers

If you ask the people running the casinos in Las Vegas, "Who do you love?" the answer you'll get is "The Chinese." It's Chinese New Year, you see, and Las Vegas is a very popular tourist destination for Asians and Asian-Americans during the two-week-long celebration. I read an interesting article about this earlier today, which noted that 90% of Chinese tourists spend at least a portion of their vacations in Nevada. And as the title of this posts notes, they're big spenders, due to the Chinese tradition of playing games and gambling during the Chinese New Year celebration; indeed, there was more action during the first weekend of the Chinese New Year than on the Super Bowl, at least at the MGM Mirage's nine properties.

This New York Times article on the same subject mentions the cultural changes that Vegas has made to accommodate their visitors from the Far East, including hiring feng shui experts to have "lucky" numbers of lanterns hanging and "lucky" numbers of koi in the reflecting ponds, and getting rid of the huge lion's mouth gate because the Chinese considered it to be unlucky. However, no matter what the feng shui aspects of the casino may be, there is one iron law: The House Always Wins. Remember that, if you choose to wager your hard-earned money at a casino. You may beat the odds for a short period of time, but ultimately, the odds always favor the house. They didn't build that fantastic city in the desert by losing, you know.