Getting Lucky With Lunar New Year

Written By Andrew Champagne on January 19, 2022
Lunar New Year 2022 CA Casino Events

The celebration of the Lunar New Year is coming up on Tuesday, Feb 1. Better known by some as Chinese New Year, it’s one of the most important holidays of the year for hundreds of millions of people.

Celebration plans around the world, and casinos in populations with heavy Chinese and Asian representation are getting in on the fun. This, of course, includes the state of California, where more than 15 percent of the country’s most populous state identifies as Asian.

Let’s take a look at some of the events on the calendar!

Red Envelopes, Giveaways Galore at Pechanga

One of the customs of Chinese New Year is the passing of red envelopes, which usually contain money. Guests and visitors will be able to enjoy the fun by visiting Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula.

The casino is running a promotion each Tuesday in February, one where players can visit the promotional area for a chance at up to $5,000 in free play.

In addition, Pechanga will host lucrative drawings on back-to-back Fridays during the middle of the month.

Players can earn entries with play at slots or table games, and drawings are hourly from 7-10 pm on Friday, Feb. 11, and Friday, Feb. 18. The 10 pm drawings will reward one lucky player each night with $25,000 in cash.

Like Pai Gow? Don’t Miss This Game!

The number 8 has a special meaning in Chinese culture. It’s often tied to good fortune or spiritual enlightenment, and it’s not surprising to see some casinos taking that and running with it.

The Gardens Casino, located just a few miles south of Los Angeles, is hosting a special $8,888 Pai Gow Poker game at 5 pm on Saturday, Feb. 17.

Gifts and prizes will be up for grabs during the game, which comes on the fourth of five days of VIP red envelope drawings (which will be held every two hours from 2 pm to midnight from Wednesday, Feb. 14, through Sunday, Feb. 18).

In addition, the casino will host a traditional Dragon Dance on Friday and Saturday nights. That spectacle begins at 9 pm both evenings.

Lucky 8s Giveaway at Jamul

Remember what we said about the number 8? There’s another casino capitalizing on that theme in early February!

Located near San Diego, Jamul Casino will celebrate the start of the Year of the Tiger with a day of “hot seat” drawings on Saturday, Feb. 5.

Slots and table game players are eligible for hourly giveaways of $888, and one player will win an $8,888 grand prize. Drawings start at 12 pm and end at 8 pm.

Week of Promotions at River Rock

The Lunar New Year isn’t just being celebrated in Southern California. River Rock Casino, located in Napa Valley’s Geyserville, is celebrating with several different promotions sure to draw attention from local revelers.

Like Pechanga, River Rock will be giving out red envelopes. Their distribution comes on Tuesday, Feb. 1, and those who earn 250 points through the casino’s rewards program will be eligible for hourly $100 drawings.

The fun continues on Wednesday, Feb. 2, with the start of a Lucky Fortune Cookie promotion.

Players who earn 500 tier points between 8 am and 8 pm each day through Sunday, Feb. 6, can redeem them up to three times each day for fortune cookies with $10, $25, $50, or $100 inside.

Finally, frequent players won’t want to miss six different drawings on the night of Saturday, Feb. 5. Three of those boast grand prizes of $250,000, and tickets can be earned by playing slots and table games before that date.

Photo by Wong Yu Liang /
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Andrew Champagne

Andrew Champagne is a former content manager at Catena Media, as well as an award-winning writer and producer. A passionate storyteller, Andrew boasts a career that has included stints at The Daily Racing Form, TVG Network, and HRTV. Born and raised in upstate New York, Andrew now resides in Northern California's Bay Area. You can often find him handicapping horse races, planning his next trip to Las Vegas, bowling reasonably well, and golfing incredibly poorly.

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