Why has Macao attracted the world-record gaming revenue?

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Carlos Siu Lam


Macao, located on the southeast coast of China, is perfectly situated to receive patrons from China about thirty years after its open-door policy in 1978 when they have accumulated significant amounts of wealth. With its gaming liberalization and the supply of such mainland Chinese patrons, Macao has become the world’s gambling capital since 2007. This article aims to analyze the major factors leading to this dominant economic performance. The experience of the mainland Chinese in the Cultural Revolution and the Era of the Gang of Four has motivated them to get rich quick to enjoy the material comforts that they have been deprived. Given that baccarat has a low house edge and is easy to play, many mainland Chinese like to play baccarat in Macao. Moreover, the interaction with the card afforded by baccarat, makes patrons feel that that they can control over the gambling outcome, and this fits the mainland Chinese psychology in their attempt to win much and quick with their high stakes.   On the other hand, casinos have trained croupiers to make their patrons stay longer, including being polite, identifying the emotional status of patrons, managing patrons’ emotions and regulating the croupiers’ own emotions. In this way, casinos in Macao not only can make patrons experience sovereignty while in control of the staff-client interactions, but also help Macao attract the world-record gaming revenue.

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