Maryland Live! Courts Asian Market

Maryland Live! emphasized a new marketing focus on Asian players with a Lunar New Year celebration in the foyer of the casino.

Maryland Live!, the casino adjacent to the Anne Arundel mall in a Baltimore suburb that is the state’s largest gaming property, held a ceremony in its foyer to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, part of a new effort to court Asian players.

Rob Norton, president and general manager of the casino, conducted an elaborate ceremony in which he fed a ceremonial head of green lettuce and a red envelope to one of the “lions” in a procession of ceremonial costumed dancers, to a backdrop of drums, cymbals and gongs.

“We want to wish everybody a happy and prosperous new year with good luck, Norton said as he ushered in the Year of the Horse.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Norton said that Asian customers, with their deeply ingrained gambling culture, have become an important segment for the casino, particularly since table games were added last year. “All of our customers are important,” he said. “But our Asian customers have become a very important segment of our business.”

The casino recently put all front-line employees through a cultural training course to cater to Asian clientele, reinforcing signs of respect, superstitions and customs expected by members of the Asian culture, “to understand the differences of our Asian customers, their superstitions, things they may find rude or that may come across differently,” Norton told the Post.