Local gaming workers boast lower gambling participation rate than others – Study

The gambling participation rate of gaming workers in Macau, which has continued a downward trend over the years, is lower than their counterparts in other places in the world, according to a recently published research.

These results were included in the study, titled “Comparison of Gambling Participation Rate between Local and International Gaming Workers”, carried out by Zeng Zhonglu, a professor at the Centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies (CJT) of the Macao Polytechnic Institute (IPM).

The scholar highlights in the paper as the gaming workers’ excitement and novelty towards gambling have worn off over time, the same scenario would also happen among casinos patrons, urging the Macau gaming industry to continuously bring new ideas to life to keep the patrons interested in gambling.

Citing figures from government and academic studies, Prof. Zeng’s research compares the gambling participation rate of gaming workers among Macau; Victoria and Queensland, Australia; Nairobi, Kenya; South Africa; Northern Alberta, Canada; and Las Vegas, the United States.

The study finds the gaming workers in South Africa and Macau have the lowest participation rate between 30 per cent and 40 per cent among the seven places, while the employees in Victoria, Queensland and Las Vegas boast the highest rate of over 90 per cent.

‘Whether it is casino gambling or other formats of gambling, the gambling participation rate of Macau is lower than other places,’ the study says. ‘There are almost no differences between Macau gaming workers and local residents in terms of the gambling participation rate and problem gambling rate.’

The actual results are incompatible to the contact theory, the research continues, as Macau should theoretically have a higher participation rate than other places given the small size of the city and the high density of gaming venues.

Prof. Zeng explains in the paper that it is likely due to fact that the higher-than-average salary package is the main rationale for most Macau gaming workers to be involved in the industry, while the employees in other places are involved in the industry mostly because of their interests in gambling.

Another reason is that casino gambling has a long history of over 170 years in Macau and the local population has been used to a gaming environment, the study adds.

‘The long-term exposure to gambling will lower the enthusiasm of the population of a place towards gambling and make [them] more rational towards gambling, thus reducing the gambling participation rate,’ the research remarks. ‘[And] the extensive gaming facilities that are conveniently located [in a city] will also not lead to a higher participation rate.’

‘This means the gaming industry will have to tackle the problems of lower gambling enthusiasm of [casino] patrons due to their long-term exposure,’ the study continues. ‘The Macau gaming industry … needs to remain innovative to keep travellers interested in gambling and maintain their gambling expenditure.’