The Gaming Service Index (GSI) of the 2Q 2015 was 131 based on reference year 2013 of 100, representing an increase of 24 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 22 per cent year-on-year. The score is so far the highest since the survey was first conducted in 2013. The latest result was released this week. The index was compiled by the Macau Gaming Research Association (MGRA) and conducted by SGS Hong Kong Ltd. Undercover assessors rated staff in 11 casinos from all six gaming operators on ‘smile’, ‘proactive attitude’ and ‘patience’. The data was collected by undercover clients, recruited and trained by MGRA and SGS. The targets of assessment included the mass markets of Wynn, MGM Macau, Galaxy, Lisboa, Grand Lisboa, City of Dreams, Oceanus, Ponte 16, Venetian and Sands Cotai Central. The report did not identify which casino operators had the best or worse scores, showing that all six operators have improved since last year’s assessment. Historical peak According to the Gaming Service Index, results collected on weekdays outperform those on the weekend. However, the gap between the two timeslots started to narrow from the last quarter of 2014 while the two figures are nearly on a par with the second quarter of 2015. In terms of different criteria, the ‘smiling’ index keeps climbing, standing at 110 in the first quarter of 2015 and 127 in the second quarter, the highest since the survey has been conducted. The ‘proactive attitude’ index dipped to its lowest point in the first quarter at 82, but had a rebound that topped the chart in the second quarter at 144. The tolerance index also hit its historical peak at 127 in the second quarter. The sample size totalled 864 casino workers in the first half. The score for each evaluation is either 0 or 1, with the industry average score the mean of six concessionary casino operators. Best security The index measuring different departments in casinos showed mixed results. The increase was more noticeable for ‘Dealers’, ‘Slot machines attendants’, ‘Guest Services’. The performance of dealers increased 33 per cent quarter-on-quarter. A positive sample of smiling dealers reads: ‘Staff [member] asked if customers needed cards with a smile on her face. There is no feeling of cool and rigid service attitude’, while a negative sample reads: ‘Staff did not have any smile when servicing customers, but the staff [member] chatted and laughed with fellow colleagues. He did not actively greet customers.’ Security employees demonstrated the best service performance of the various staff categories assessed. And there is an obvious trend of improvement in table games, which dominate headcount. The survey conductor said that during the data collection process, SGS arranged a group of project co-ordinators for supervision in order to ensure quality standards. Mystery shoppers had to submit data within 24 hours after the visits to avoid a vague memory after a long period of time. Other services The research also included the waiting time at shuttle bus stations, which indicated that in general waiting time bounced back to 9.8 minutes in the second quarter of 2015, from the record short of 4.7 minutes recorded in the previous quarter, but is on par with the figures of 2014. In addition, the air quality comment shows that is was generally good in the first half of 2015. Also, since the second half of 2014, more than 60 per cent of toilet environment assessments consistently rated ‘satisfied’. The Association says that the Gaming Service Index should be compiled periodically to facilitate trend analysis in order to monitor the service level of the gaming industry. The community will be aware of its service quality, and gaming concessionaries can improve their customer service using this GSI as their benchmark. In the meantime, the Macau Gaming Research Association said they had conducted their Fifth General Meeting and elected new office bearers.