An Exploratory Study on Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese Gaming Behavior in Macau Casinos


  • Louisa Yee-Sum Lee School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Cathy H.C. Hsu School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University


Macau, known as “The Monte Carlo of the Orient", is the largest gaming city in the world, with great influx of Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese players. Inspite of their potential spending power, limited information is available about their gaming behaviors. In-depth interviews were employed to fill the knowledge gap by detailing their gaming behaviors, including gaming frequency, types of games played, betting amount, and superstitions and taboos. Findings revealed that majority of the respondents favored table games, and would dine, shop, and enjoy performances in the casinos apart from gaming. No special pattern was noted in terms of gaming duration and self-control when losing or winning money. An interesting finding was the different gaming behaviors between Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese interviewees. Interviewees from Hong Kong visited Macau casinos more frequently than the Mainland interviewees because of geographic proximity and convenience. Consequently, Mainland Chinese interviewees acted as tourists and were more likely to visit different casinos as sightseeing activities. They were more attentive to the tangible elements of casinos, whereas Hong Kong interviewees paid more attention to service quality, gaming rules and behaviors of other players. In addition, Hong Kong interviewees were more familiar with the Chinese gambling superstitions and taboos than did the mainlanders, probably due to the popularity of gaming movies in Hong Kong. Another significant finding was that the long-standing Chinese beliefs feng shui did influence Chinese? Gaming behavior. A conceptual framework and several propositions illustrating the interrelationship between Chinese cultural value system and behavior are discussed. Recommendations for casino practitioners, including selling of auspicious mascots or souvenirs at the casino stores and improving service quality of employees, to serve these segments better are also suggested.