Robert De Niro Promotes Korean CasinoMarch 23, 2012 2:26 pm
Robert De Niro played the part of Sam “Ace” Rothstein in Casino (1995), in which the top gambling handicapper was brought in to the Tangiers Casino to help improve the business, before eventually doubling the casino’s profits.
Now the Paradise Walker Hill Casino in Korea, is hoping he may have a similar affect on their operation after contracting the New York City screen icon to be its official model.
The Paradise Walker Hill Casino is the country’s longest running casino and plays host to the five-day APPT Seoul Festival of Poker. Now tourists arriving at the Incheon International Airport are greeted by a billboard of De Niro sharply dressed in a tuxedo, holding cards and beckoning tourists to come play at the Paradise Walker-Hill Casino. Similar posters can also be seen at other major tourist spots.
For those of you wondering why a US actor would be chosen to promote a Korean casino, the answer lies in the fact that the East Asian country only permits non-nationals to gamble, with APPT President Danny McDonagh explaining:
“It’s illegal for nationals to gamble in the casinos here. The numbers [at APPT Seoul] would be nuts if they could. Only internationals can play. We have a few Koreans in the field, but they hold multiple passports.”
Still, despite restrictions the APPT Seoul continues to grow and this season attracted 268 players, although the 68 year-old movie icon was not amongst the field. The figures were also markedly up from 166 in season 2 and 186 the season before. Furthermore, this years winner Andrew Kim from the USA, picked up a record KRW 145 million ($128,914) for his victory in the Korean capital.
Other top celebrities who have promoted overseas casinos in the past, in this instance the online variety, is Nicholas Cage, who appeared in a Japanese television advert for a pin ball/slot machine game made by Sankyo. For those interested, the rather sensory overloaded advert can be seen here.