Fact-Check: Munchkin’s Claim that Asian Female ==> +$1 Million

Last time, we discussed the value of being female for an AP. Since female skill will tend to be underestimated by predominantly male casino bosses, females can be ringers at the game. Unfortunately for the female AP, that benefit is tempered by the increased visibility and memorability that they’ll have. But Munchkin’s statement was that being an “Asian female” would be worth an extra $1 million for an AP’s career. So let’s look at Asian-ness in the gambling world.

For my readers who are not Asian-American, I think you’ll never quite appreciate the role of gambling in Asian culture compared to the US, unless you travel widely and spend a lot of time in casinos around the world. If you think that Vegas is the capital of the gambling world, well, you really need to see Macau. Asians love to gamble. This isn’t a genetic or racial issue; it’s quite obvious from going to casinos that people of all races, genders, ages, and nations love to gamble. Humans love to gamble (and there’s an evolutionary benefit to our species that individuals are willing to gamble).

But while Americans like their sports betting, betting on football and baseball, and the Canadians bet on their hockey, and the Brits bet on their soccer, the Asians just say: “Why do we need the sports? We don’t need no stinkin’ sports!” Compare Sylvestor Stallone‘s prison escape to Jet Li‘s (watch until the end). Before Chow Yun-fat became a Hollywood icon as a swordsman in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, he was already a film star in Asia. His biggest role? The God of Gamblers.

Despite being the most boring game ever invented, baccarat is the most popular game in Macau. (Some of the casinos there don’t even offer blackjack!)? Baccarat is as simple and boring as a coin toss, but without the purity. But even a coin toss gets interesting if you bet enough on it. So the monstrous casinos in Macau have rows and rows of baccarat tables, with action and table limits that you wouldn’t believe. You could bet $2 million on the tie in baccarat. Despite Western media trying to suggest that the CIA was grooming Kim Jong-Nam to overthrow his brother, the reality is that Jong-Nam just wanted to play baccarat in Macau, and Jong-Un is too evil to let that continue.

The late BJTraveller played blackjack in well over 100 countries (130?), and he deserves credit for being absolutely fearless (Nepal threw him in jail for 76 days), but he was fortunate to be an ideal demographic: an older, overweight, Asian male, complete with Asian accent and Asian passport. Perfect! This man could bet in any casino, anywhere, for any stakes. The chameleons and salamanders are envious.

Would being female have been better for BJTraveller? I’d say no, because he went to many places where being female would stand out or pose a safety risk. But in the context of our US discussion (I don’t have much international experience), we saw that the main problem with being female was the heightened visibility and memorability.

But if we add Asian-ness, then that solves the exposure problem. An Asian female will not stand out so much, even if betting big, and would not be that visible or memorable to an American boss. Studies show that subjects have a harder time distinguishing faces among people of a different race, so a white boss looking at Asian gamblers sees nothing but a school of fish.

If we layer on a language barrier, or a perceived language barrier, a white male boss is less likely to flirt with or chat with an Asian female player. We see the same thing among casino staff—white dealers and bosses tend to not hang out with their Asian colleagues in the break room and after work.

I’ve had several Asian BPs over the years, both male and female, and of various Asian backgrounds: Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Japanese, Filipino, Korean. I can’t recall any of the Asian females ever getting backed off on a trip. The “Asian female” demographic has such complementary pieces: the benefit of being an underestimated female, while blending in and being unmemorable as an Asian.

In particular venues, other demographics could blend in quite well, like a Saudi in London, or a Greek in Cyprus, or a black person in Gary, Indiana. But being Asian is like having type O blood. An Asian is a universal bettor, blending in pretty well anywhere. If I had to pick the best overall demographic, I might still pick “Asian male” over “Asian female” (especially for nosebleed stakes or international play), but that’s like trying to pick between strawberries and blueberries.

As far as Munchkin’s original statement that “Asian female” would be a $1 million career boost, Snopes rates the statement as: True.