‘The Special One’ to lure Chinese gamblers

South Korean casino operator Paradise Co has hired Jose Mourinho, the outspoken manager of English football giant Chelsea, as the face of its new advertising campaign to lure punters from China, where the sport is increasingly popular. He replaces Hollywood superstar Robert De Niro as Paradise’s brand ambassador. Paradise is teaming up with Japan’s Sega Sammy Holdings Inc to build a US$1.7 billion casino resort in the coastal city of Incheon, near the country’s main international airport, with construction to be completed in 2017. Paradise hopes Mourinho will now kick goals for the casino and win over Chinese customers. It expects the Incheon resort to attract 160,000 visitors a day, of which two-thirds are likely to be Chinese. The number of Chinese tourists to South Korea surged 52.5 percent to 4.3 million last year, according to the Korea Tourism Organization. ‘The growing interest in football in China, and the fact that a significant number of casino customers are Chinese, was the main reason behind naming Mourinho as the model,’ Paradise said in a statement.