A new study says mainland Chinese gamblers lack social graces but the problem may also lie with Macau casino dealers’ prejudicial outlook.
The School of Hotel and Tourism Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University interviewed 300 veteran Macau casino staffers to determine if there were discernible differences in the behavior of different Chinese subcultures.
The study involved casino staff’s perceptions of mainland Chinese gamblers versus those from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Study author Dr. Samuel Seongseop Kim said the intent was to see whether Chinese subcultures that had “lived through different pasts” displayed common behavior while at the baccarat tables.
Participating staff all had at least three years experience on Macau casino floors, while nearly one-quarter had at least six to eight years service. The staff were asked to rate gamblers in seven areas, including how passively they participated, how disruptive they got, how much they complained, their chip/money holding and how cautious they were.
Chinese gamblers were found to be the least tidy and the most disruptive. Most of the time, they want what they want. They’re not completely against the introduction of any novelty into their game, but only if its preceded by detailed explanation.
The study’s authors believe the staff shared “negative perceptions” of mainland Chinese and – given that mainland China is Macau’s biggest traffic source – suggested sensitivity training. The casino staff interviewed for the study were 81.3% ethnically Chinese, with the rest comprised mainly of Portuguese (11.7%) and Malaysians (6%).
Hong Kong gamblers were deemed most likely to complain and ask for favors or comps, but they were also most likely to respond to a dealer’s guidance. They exhibit a “peak and valley” betting pattern and enjoy trying new games, provided the service is good. If not, staff will hear about it. If you want to attract more of them, good promotions are key.
Taiwanese were dubbed to be lone wolves when it came to gambling but they’re also the most passive and the best tippers. They don’t spend as much as the other two groups, but their tidiness and their “game-focused” nature make them preferred customers among the staff.