Service quality in a sample of Macau casinos – including the work done by table games dealers – has shown improvement so far this year compared to 2018. That is according to the latest edition of the Macau Gaming Service Index, a subjective analysis based on findings by “mystery-shopper” -style researchers.
The survey team compiling the index – whose findings extend from January to October rather than a full calendar year – also concluded that service quality in Cotai casinos was generally better than that in downtown venues on Macau peninsula, a finding that reflected the pattern seen in the 2018 survey.
For the 2019 edition of the survey, the researchers were said to have visited 15 casinos that encompass the operations of all six Macau casino operators. The research team collected an aggregate of 1,840 casino employee samples – based on researcher observation – in order to assess various services on Macau’s mass gaming floors.
The jobs covered in sample were: table game dealers; cashiers; security workers; staff employed at slot machine areas; and attendants working either at casinos’ membership departments, cloakrooms, shuttle bus system or toilets.
The overall gaming service index (GSI) conducted during the stub fourth quarter this year was 2.07 points, down from 2.29 points in the prior-year period, which was also conducted in the stub fourth quarter. But the overall GSI for the year 2019 was 2.35, up by 9.81 percent when compared to the GSI points reached at 2.14 in 2018, according to the researchers.
The index is on a scale where zero is considered the worst-quality service and 3.5 the highest.
The index is compiled by the Macau Gaming Research Association and conducted by SGS Hong Kong Ltd. Undercover assessors rated staff in 15 casinos on their “smile”, “proactive attitude” and “tolerance”. The latter category was identified as measuring the level of patience staff had when interacting with clients.
Given the variety of nationalities working in Macau casino complexes, it was not clear from available information whether the survey methodology made allowances for cultural differences among workers when they deliver services, or the particular context of their work.
Table dealer improvement
The quality of services provided by table games dealers – with 920 observations, the largest sample size compared to other gaming floor positions – reached a reading of 2.04 points for this year, up by 9.09 percent when compared to the reading of 1.87 points in 2018, according to the research findings.
Table games dealer service quality in the sub-indexes “smile” and “proactive attitude” showed improvement this year compared to the 2018 survey. The latter sub-index was 0.52 points for this year, up by 30 percent when compared to the 0.40 points reached in 2018.
Of all the gaming positions gauged for the 2019 research, those in the cage department showed the biggest service quality improvement year-on-year, with a reading of 2.49 points, up 13.7 percent compared to 2.19 points last year. Cage staff showed improvement in all the sub-indexes, and they made the biggest progress in the “smile” rating.
The gaming venues covered were: MGM Cotai, and MGM Macau (MGM China Holdings Ltd); City of Dreams Macau; Studio City, and Altira (Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd); Galaxy Macau, and StarWorld Hotel (Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd); Venetian Macao, Parisian Macao and Sands Macao (Sands China Ltd); Hotel Lisboa, Grand Lisboa, and the Jai Alai and Oceanus complex (all SJM Holdings Ltd); and Wynn Palace and Wynn Macau (Wynn Macau Ltd).
The 2019 research did not contain any qualitative analysis regarding possible reasons for the changes seen in the service quality readings compared to previous years.
The survey team told GGRAsia that Macao Foundation had solely sponsored the service-quality index project. The project aims to offer casino operators a reference for their own internal assessment of staff performance.
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