Attracting Asian Slot Players – More Than Just Luck

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Velvix’s Managing Director Chris Wieners knows a thing or two about attracting Asian players to a casino. Previously the Marketing Director for Sands China, operator of several casinos in Asia including The Venetian Macao and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, he now works in leading the charge for new slot manufacturer Velvix out of Los Angeles, California.

We sat down with Velvix to get insights on what attracts Asian players and how tribal casinos across the USA can learn from best practices to help build and maintain this highly sought-after customer base.

Insight #1 – Layout, Feng Shui and More

Understanding what makes a space ‘lucky’ is important to attracting and maintaining players. This is also highly dependent on the target market, but generically there are certain things operators should consider. The symbols (be it decorations, signage or other physical attributes) should match what your market considers lucky. For example, Chinese players will regard a number 4 as unlucky, so this should be avoided. Colors (such as red) and symbolism which promotes luck should be used in the areas that target Asian play. Many if not all casinos in Asia bring in a Feng Shui master to assist in layout of slot rooms (especially VIP rooms) – this may be something operators in the USA consider and promote to their targeted Asian customers.

Insight #2 – Authentic Game Design

Games that utilize traditional symbolism and realistic features will draw players. This means focusing on game that don’t make a mockery or cartoon-ish style of traditional symbols and themes. Similarly to the previous point, integrating colors, lucky numbers and other symbolism into slot games and then marketing these games to Asian players will help build credibility for the operator. As a Taiwan-headquartered gaming manufacturer, I also point out to our customers that Velvix utilizes themes that are traditional in Chinese cultural influences that resonate well with Chinese players.

Insight #3 – Host Management

For VIP customers, integrating hosts into the ongoing player communication structure is critical. Bonus points if you can integrate hosts that speak the native language of players, making it easier for them to clearly and comfortably communicate and therefore build a lasting relationship with the operator. Taking it a step further, offering simple things including business cards, collateral and other marketing materials in native language for the target market will further help build loyalty. Asian players enjoy being catered to, and the ability to communicate in-language will be a significant ‘wow’ factor for your operation. Hosts should also communicate via relevant channels with players (i.e. LINE, WeChat, Kakao Talk, etc.) as these may be preferred over other standard forms of communication.

Insight #4 – Tailored Events

These can be as large or as small scale as is called for based on the size and profitability of your Asian player community base. Intimate dinners for VIP guests are common, which are often accompanied by culturally relevant entertainment (think specific singers, dancers, or other forms of entertainment). It is important to understand what culture you are playing to – market size should help dictate this. Hosts play an important part at these dinners, allowing them to form deep personal bonds with players.

Insight #5 – Holidays, Festivals and More

Asian culture is full of fun and exciting events, festivals and holidays which should all be celebrated at the casino. Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year in other parts of Asia) is incredibly important and considered one of the luckiest times of the year, attracting significant play. Spring and autumn festivals are often accompanied by hosted dinners or events. Additionally, providing gifts or other culturally relevant items to players during these festive periods will further develop your bond with players (think mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival). Operators should study and embrace these various cultural events based on the target market and ensure they are well promoted in advance.

Looking for authentic slot products that will WOW your players? Velvix is a new manufacturer based in Los Angeles that offers Class III slot products to tribal casinos throughout the United States. Get in touch with us to learn more about our catalogue of products and schedule a visit to our California showroom!