With all the Las Vegas economic gloom and doom prophecies running rampant, the city is hoping that the Year of the Ox Chinese New Year, which normally brings in millions of dollars annually to Nevada coffers, will be just what is needed again to boost business revenues and spirits.
The actual holiday starts on January 26 and runs through February 28.
But Chinese fortunetellers and seers have their doubts that the festive event will bring a much needed economic bump. The mystics say that fire is essential for financial well-being. And it is nowhere to be found in the mythology of this Year of the Ox. Rather, Chinese soothsayers see a deepening recession, with millions more losing their jobs, and stocks and home prices continuing to plunge.
Even newly elected President Barack Obama, born in a prior Year of the Ox, has mystics worried. His bad omen is that he’s the 44th president- a number the Chinese deem extremely unlucky because “four” is pronounced the same as “death” in Chinese.
If positive economic karma doesn’t win out, it’s not because local businesses haven’t tried to lure in revenue. Virtually everywhere in Las Vegas something is going on at some time, as was previously posted in the Las Vegas Backstage Access blog: Top Five Picks for Chinese New Year Celebrations in Las Vegas
One of the best indicators of the rise of the Chinese New Year in Las Vegas is the revenue coming from baccarat play. The amount dropped on baccarat during the Chinese New Year’s celebration has increased from $455.6 million in 1996 to more than $1 billion last year.
That was last year- before our global economic bubble burst.
With the disturbing trend of more and more Chinese high rollers – commonly referred to as “whales” – ending up dead, imprisoned or just broke because of corruption schemes gone bad and prosecuted, only time will tell if Asian wealth will pour into Las Vegas this year. Or will it merely trickle?