The increasing number of Asian high rollers traveling to Vegas for their gambling needs has been a boon to casino businesses in the city. With many high rollers staking several hundred thousand dollars on a single hand, the gambling experience is now on a whole new level. Vegas casinos are going the extra mile to attract more high rollers from Asia, especially China. In this article, let’s dive deeper into the trend and explore why it is here to stay.
The surplus of Asian high rollers or whales during the Chinese New Year
During the Chinese New Year, high roller casino players from Asia fly to Vegas to try their luck at gambling. The occasion is grandly celebrated in several parts of Asia, and many people find themselves fortunate at that time.
A high roller is known as a whale in Vegas. A whale is not the typical pro player. They play with massive amounts of money; research shows they wager more in a single night than an average American family makes annually.
The high rollers from Asia prefer to play baccarat than other casino games like blackjack and poker, which are popular among American high rollers. Baccarat’s popularity is largely owed to its feature in James Bond movies. Moreover, the gambling hotspots of Asia, Singapore and Macau are all known for prioritizing baccarat. Alongside baccarat, slot games continue to enjoy high popularity in Vegas.
Casino operators in Vegas state that baccarat brings the most money to their business. In fact, they claim that they would barely make any profit if baccarat were not available, with the majority of Asian high rollers choosing to play it.
How Vegas casinos attract Asian high rollers
As the profitability of casino businesses in Vegas is highly reliant on the involvement of Asian high rollers, several exclusive incentives are being introduced to attract new players. The following are some benefits high rollers from Asia expect at top casinos in Vegas.
- Exclusive gambling salons
- Massive minimum bets
- Special baccarat tournaments
- Luxury flights and stay
Exclusive gambling salons
A major perk that whales enjoy at high-end casinos is exclusive and opulent gambling salons. The players enter through a private hallway to avoid the crowds and enjoy maximum privacy.
To enhance the comfort of the players, the salon is furnished with high-end furniture and other amenities. The room is tastefully decorated to represent sheer grandeur. It typically has a thick door to keep prying eyes away. Some high rollers prefer to gamble in front of an audience, for which exclusive but open rooms are available. They are offered upscale dining options as they spend the night staking enormous amounts of money. The dealers are typically veterans in the industry with years of experience in managing elite customers.
Massive minimum bets
No average Joe casino player can join a high roller table. The casino operators set steep minimum bet limits in private gambling salons to keep the gameplay exclusive and exciting. Typically, the amount is at least a few thousand dollars. For instance, many Asian high rollers prefer gambling tables with betting limits of at least $10,000 per hand.
While it might seem excessive to a normal player, it is the norm among whales from Asia, whom casino operators try their best to retain. In a year, casinos in Nevada gained over a billion dollars from baccarat players alone. It is far more than any other casino game brings, even America’s favorite blackjack.
Special baccarat tournaments
Casinos in Vegas attract high roller baccarat players throughout the year by hosting special tournaments. Recently MGM Grand organized a major tournament for which high rollers from all over the world, especially Asia, flew in.
The cost to participate was $5,000, With a top prize of $750,000, seven prizes of $10,000 each, and rewards like a convertible sports car and computers for all the participants, it was an unmissable event for whales.
Such events help casinos in Vegas bring more players all year, and not just during the Chinese New Year.
Luxury flights and stay
Only a handful of players are high rollers who can place bets worth five or six figures. The casinos in the city compete to attract them with such experiences. The top players are flown in by private jets and provided accommodation in the grandest suits, all courtesy of the casinos. They are offered exclusive tickets to the city’s top parties, which many A-list celebrities attend. Moreover, they can enjoy in-room dining with a Michelin-star chef if needed. Other perks include exclusive discounts on losses, cashback, valuable poker chips, shopping money, and unlimited food and beverages. On average, casinos spend around $20,000 to cater to each player.
The cultural connotations of gambling for Chinese high rollers
Gambling is actively encouraged in many cultures across Asia during the festive seasons, particularly in China. Many Chinese people believe that fate is predetermined and have unique ideologies on how luck works. The festival period is special for Chinese people. Many of their ancestors were peasants who worked hard and got the opportunity to relax only on special occasions.
Therefore, high rollers flock to casinos during the Chinese New Year to test their luck. It helps them determine how their luck will be for the rest of the year, influencing important future decisions as well. All in all, Vegas casinos have a lot to benefit from attracting Asian high rollers, especially during the holidays.