Casino dealers’ subjective career success significantly lower than work engagement – Study

A University of Saint Joseph study focused on local casino dealers argues that dealers’ subjective career success is significantly lower than their work engagement, and suggests casino management should improve its recognition of employee’s efforts.

This study conducted by USJ Associate Professor of Psychology, Angus Kuok examined 206 full-time casino dealers – 110 female and 96 males – with an average of 30 years of age in the local hospitality sector to investigate the extent of their subjective career success and work engagement.

Data was collected from dealers employed in the MGM, Wynn, StarWorld, Lisboa, Grand Lisboa, Sands, Galaxy, Venetian, Waldo, and Rio casinos, with an analysis of several variables, used to evaluate work engagement and subjective career success, such as emotion suppression, organization socialization, training, co-worker support and future prospects.

The profession is exclusively reserved to local residents under Macau law, and as of November, 2020 some 43,100 residents were employed as croupier or cage cashier clerks.

Subjective career success refers to an employee’s evaluation of one’s own career success with reference to self-defined standards, age, career stage, aspirations, and opinions of significant others.

‘Casino dealers’ work engagement and career success are very important for the casino management as it provides further insights for resolving the dilemma. In addition, information about employees’ work engagement and career success in gaming industry is missing from the literature. There is a gap in what is not known about the employees in gaming industry, not limited to Macau

In its conclusion, the study argues that casino dealers are willing to think of ways and ideas on how to improve their effectiveness at work, but they cannot perceive success in their career as working at casinos.

The study indicates that although the nature of work for casino dealers is fairly routine, their responsibilities are very challenging as they have to deal with different customers in a fast and dynamic environment, but market conditions deterr them from leaving their position.

‘Employees at Macau perceive that they ‘have to’ stay at gaming industry while they ‘want to” stay among non-gaming industries revealing that casino dealer are less likely to generate a sense of success at career,’ the study adds.

Kwok argues that is necessary for casino management to know how to increase their employees’ work engagement and subjective career success in order to minimize the dissonant feeling gelt by dealers concerning their career progress.

‘Casino management can improve the dealers’ work engagement by praising the employees who hold the great value of hard work, or with good performance, recognizing them as a role model of possessing good attitudes and behaviours at work.

‘Thus, when they receive appropriate training, being treated under a fair system of pay and rewards, and are able to regulate the emotions and maintain a healthier psychological state for working by providing social support (e.g. support from colleagues and supervisors), they are more work engaged’

Management was also encouraged to employ workplace counsellors to provide professional support, some kind of listening, reflecting and counselling, as well as making use of vocational assessments and programs to monitor employees’ work stress level and to assist them to resolve barriers at work.

The study was carried out pre-pandemic in 2019 and published in March 2020.