According to a paper on responsible gaming policy and its practice, Macau’s casino operators request visitors to show identification to ban those under 21 from entering casinos, which proved to be the most effective measure.
The study collected data from 644 Chinese adults in Macau and was published in the Journal of Gambling Studies. Its main purpose was to explore the effect of responsible gaming policy and practice on people’s casino gaming behavior.
The scholars decided to use ‘purposive sampling’ so that about half of the respondents were from the gaming industry, while the gaming industry employees are considered a more vulnerable group as they might be affected by workplace triggers such as big wins.
The study also finds that, besides the gambling age requirement, ‘Macau’s casino operators providing employees training about responsible gaming’ is also considered the second efficient policy.
The paper was written by three scholars from Macao Polytechnic University: Liu Shuang, lecturer of the Centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies; To Wai Ming, professor of Management in the Faculty of Business; and Samuel Huang Gui Hai, dean of the Faculty of Business. Their paper is entitled “Effect of responsible gaming policy and practice on casino gaming behavior.”
The scholars also note that respondents working in the gaming industry are more aware of responsible gaming policy, resulting in ‘their having significantly lower casino gaming intention and behavior than those working in other industries.’
Greater effect on males
The liberalization of Macau’s gaming industry happened more than 20 years ago, and the gaming regulator started promoting responsible gaming to the public in 2009, as casino gaming is commonly considered as entertainment and a hobby.
As of the end of 2022, Macao’s gaming industry was still the largest industry in terms of employment with over 52,000 full-time workers.
The responsible gaming policy has a greater effect on males versus females, as ‘females had significantly lower casino gaming intention and behavior than males’ in practice. Additionally, ‘there was no significant difference between males and females in attitude towards casino gaming.’
The scholars confirmed via scientific means that the implementation of a responsible gaming policy in Macau has significantly influenced attitudes toward casino gaming, which eventually affects people’s gaming intentions.
They concluded that in the Asian gaming hub, ‘the responsible gaming policy and practice had ‘a small, negative but significant indirect effect on casino gaming behavior.’
The authors explain that three factors that may affect casino gaming behavior are attitudes towards casino gaming, subjective norm (for disapproval of casino gaming), and perceived behavior control (for not engaging in casino gaming).
The paper notes that casino gaming intention was positively affected by attitude and negatively affected by subjective norm and perceived behavior control. Casino gaming behavior was positively affected by intention and negatively affected by perceived behavior control.