SoCal Casinos’ Diverse Entertainment Reflects Influx Of Multicultural Guests

Written By Hill Kerby on February 9, 2023
Southern California casinos diversifying entertainment lineups

Southern California has one of the most diverse populations in the country.

Shouldn’t its concert lineups, comedy nights and entertainment acts represent that? Southern California casinos seem to think so.

And as a result, they’re diversifying their entertainment calendars, bringing multicultural acts into the spotlight at events centers, theaters and other concert halls from Santa Ynez to San Diego. Musical artists, comedians and entertainers from around the globe have taken or will soon take the stage in front of hundreds, if not thousands, of guests.

Casinos booking artists from across the world

There are nearly 70 California tribal casinos. Many of them have made major renovations over the last few years. Some upgrades have included expansions to entertainment venues in an effort to attract top performers, with the ultimate goal of gaining more guests.

Along with booking top talent, casinos have noticeably diversified their entertainment lineup. For example, musical artists Carlos Santana, Banda MS, Insooni and Harlem Yu are on various casinos’ event calendars over the next few months, as are world-renowned comedians George Lopez and Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias.

Is the increase in booking Latin American, Asian and Middle Eastern acts merely a hunch that casinos are trying to take advantage of? Or are they onto something we can expect more of moving forward?

Rise in popularity of Korean and Latin music is more than a fad

Americans’ musical tastes continue to expand in search of new sounds, enabling artists from genres like K-pop (Korean pop music) and Latin music to emerge into the mainstream. 

And if you’ve somehow missed the emergence, it’s here in a big way now. Both genres have headliners at the upcoming Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival – Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny one night and female K-Pop group BLACKPINK on another. 

Say what you want about the festival, but it has found and promoted the best up-and-coming talent worldwide for over two decades. The undercard artists on its lineup become headliners at festivals across the country years later, and its headliners are trendsetters for entire genres.

The trends surrounding K-pop and Latin music hardly need setting, though. Latin music streaming rose by 33% last year, and K-pop listeners in the US represented the majority of the genre’s growth across the world.

Furthermore, American K-pop listeners have the most significant crossover to electronic dance music (EDM), the most streamed genre worldwide. Compared to the average US music listener, K-pop fans are 227% more likely to listen to EDM.

In other words, this trend isn’t going away anytime soon.

Multicultural acts fit casino goers’ demographics

In many ways, casinos have been at the forefront of showcasing multicultural talent. That’s especially true of Southern California casinos, as they’re close to the home of show business. Their venues are large enough to attract world-famous talent that might not fill an LA arena. And they come without the Hollywood price tag.

Most of all, these acts appeal to casino-goers, especially those of Asian descent.

Catering to Asian guests is common at casinos. Entire resorts are built to cater to Asian players. Some offer entertainment, decor, themed rooms for Asian games and, most of all, restaurants geared toward Asian culture. Simon Farmer, executive director of marketing at Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, said it’s all by design.

“It’s important because our Asian guests are a prominent part of our database and reflective of the general population. Southern California, as a generality, has one of the largest Asian cultural makeups nationwide, and that’s something we’re very mindful of.”

Will casinos compete with the bigger players in show business?

As multicultural music grows in popularity, will casinos fall to the wayside as artists search for stadium-sized venues?

Such a question is reasonable, but history shows that new talent will always be ready to shine. New artists will push the envelope as music evolves, and listeners’ tastes will adapt accordingly.

Other multicultural acts still need to be explored from different parts of the world, such as Middle Eastern music and entertainment. Pechanga Resort Casino is one casino exploring that genre and others, said Brian Cronenwett, entertainment manager at Pechanga.

“We recently dipped into Middle Eastern entertainment, and it did great. I would like to continue down that path, but also into the Persian and Indian market, but really anything that can bring more depth to our entertainment calendar.”

Upcoming event calendars prove multicultural acts’ popularity

The next few months are stacked with multicultural acts across various Southern California casinos. Check out the event calendars from some California casinos.

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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby is a proponent of safe, legal betting, and is grateful to be able to contribute to growing the industry. He has a background in poker, sports, and psychology, all of which he incorporates into his writing.

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