Only in Vegas

November 23, 2004

I just got back from Sin City, and I couldn’t help noticing the large numbers of Asians, Asian Americans and Asian Pacific Islanders in Las Vegas.

APIs have some gene that makes us gamble, and we go to Las Vegas by the plane load. The casinos have noticed, and many of them bring in big-name entertainers from Asia to perform. But it's not just visitors, so many of the dealers, waiters, hotel workers and bartenders in Las Vegas are Asian or Pacific Islander.

The Las Vegas metro area has one of the fastest growing Asian Pacific Islander populations in the country. The number APIs in Nevada rose from 33,000 in 1990 to 112,000 in 2000, including people that count more than one race in their background, according to the Population Resource Center. In Clark County (where Las Vegas is), the number of Asians and Pacific islanders grew from 26,000 to 79,000, an increase of more than 200 percent.

Over the last decade, so many Hawaiians have moved to Las Vegas that it is known as the Ninth Island (Hawaii has eight islands).

Now if I can just get a little bit of aloha when I’m at the craps table.


Harry Mok

Editor in chief

Editor in Chief Harry Mok wrote about growing up on a Chinese vegetable farm for the second issue of Hyphen and has been a volunteer editor since 2004. As a board member of the San Francisco and New York chapters of the Asian American Journalists Association, Harry has recruited and organized events for student members. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also a graduate student instructor in the Asian American Studies Department.