Casino Industry Increasingly Advertises in Hispanic Media

The Gaming Industry's major players are increasingly launching advertising campaigns exclusively targeting Hispanics. The media vehicles they use include print and digital media as well as direct mail.

Marketing to Hispanics is an obvious exercise for an industry whose largest feeder market is one-third Hispanic.

Last year about 2.4 million U.S. Hispanics visited Las Vegas and spent some $1.7 billion in non-gambling activities, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which expects to launch its second flight of Spanish-language print and television ads next year at an extra cost of about $1 million.

Not only do Hispanics gamble at nearly the same frequency as the rest of the U.S. population, they also show more receptivity to advertising than the typical U.S. consumer and a tendency to try new products, said Mike Fitzpatrick, a vice president with market research company Cohorts, told Business Las Vegas.

Cohorts works with Target and Kohl's and has helped the Circus Circus casino in Reno identify and market to Hispanic customers in the property's database.

Fitzpatrick said his company, which will be helping Harrah's Entertainment create a comprehensive Hispanic marketing program, uses software to segment households by level of income, cultural assimilation and proficiency in English.

"What trips up many marketers is they try to market to the amorphous combination of any ethnicity," he said. "Hispanics aren't all the same. They are multi-generational, they are third and fourth generation residents and they are folks who came to the country to work for a summer."

Most Las Vegas customers come from California, where more than a third of the population is Hispanic and where Hispanics are expected to become a majority by 2040.

Casino giants such as Boyd Gaming Corp. and Station Casinos host more events for Hispanic customers and Strip companies such as Harrah's — working on its first comprehensive initiative — start to take notice.