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Pro ling pro ts


Chinese gamblers are risk takers with an extraordinary illusion of control at the table, argues one marketing expert


BY LUCIANA LEITÃO


Kong and Taiwan off ers casinos huge revenue streams. But how much do gaming operators know about the profi les of the people that create their profi ts? Desmond Lam Chee Shiong, as-


T


sociate professor of marketing at the University of Macau, says most Chi- nese gamblers are “hard risk takers with a high illusion of control” – char- acteristics that refl ect traditional be- liefs. “Superstition is one of the means


they use to [try to] control the out- come,” Mr Lam said on the sidelines of a session called “T e Chinese Con- sumer: How to Appeal to the Regional


he constant infl ux of Chinese punters from the mainland, Hong


Giant”, at G2E Asia, where he was one of the speakers. Numerology and feng shui, the


ancient Chinese system of channel- ling positive “qi” or energy, reinforce superstition among players. Mr Lam says that together, these ideas create the illusion of control. “You can con- trol feng shui. You can control where you sit and your ‘qi’,” he says. Chinese are also fast gamblers who


do not want to waste time. T at is why baccarat is still the dominant game in Macau. Not only are Chinese players familiar with baccarat, but it is a rapid game and has a low house edge, so it is attractive. “T at goes out to their values as well, because they want to achieve


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high amounts very quickly. T ey don’t want to waste time,” Mr Lam says. A recurrent question is whether the


non-gaming amenities that integrated resorts in Macau have been developing suit the profi le of the Chinese consumer. “We are creating markets. It’s not


just if there is a demand or not,” Mr Lam explains. Non-gaming amenities are another way to diversify the econ- omy by attracting a diff erent kind of person, he says. “T ese people might not be the gamblers. T ey are people who just want to enjoy.” As time goes by, even hardcore


gamblers that only want to play may eventually “change their mindset” by taking an interest in non-gaming amenities, Mr Lam says.


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