Big Trouble in Little Saigon?
The O.C. Register reports that hundreds of Vietnamese openly gamble in Little Saigon during the Lunar New Year, in "unofficial, makeshift casinos started operating in parking lots surrounding the Asian Garden Mall." The dice game of choice is Bao Cua Cao Cop -- and speaking of cops, they've been busy issuing citations and warnings.
Photo: Ana Venegas/OC Register
However, the ineffectiveness of their warnings to Westminster's
oblivious throngs, who view the Tet gaming as a luck-bestowing rite,
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shows who wins when one country's ingrained tradition is a violation of
law in another.
The OCR piece noted that in 2007 crowds of Vietnamese Americans came to
Garden Grove's City Hall to protest -- successfully -- against a
proposed Indian casino in town on the grounds that gambling had
destroyed their families. (Even local senior citizen centers have been
used as gaming operations.) See John M. Glionna's 2006 L.A. Times feature for a profile on Asian American gambling in California.
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