Macau’s annual Gaming Service Index survey of casino resort staff performance shows that the overall index in the fourth quarter of 2021 stood at the same level as the same period in 2020. But the ‘tolerance’ index relative to staff attitudes to customers shows a record-low since the survey’s debut in 2013, according to the presentation of the survey results on Tuesday.
The fourth-quarter 2021 overall gaming service index reading was 130 points. The review, conducted by so-called ‘mystery shoppers’, was limited in 2021 to two observation rounds, one in late November and another in December, said the organisers during the Tuesday briefing.
The survey was arranged by the Macau Gaming Research Association, in collaboration with SGS Hong Kong Ltd, described as an inspection, verification, testing and certification company.
Within the overall index, the ‘tolerance’ index – which indicates casino staff members’ level of patience when interacting with customers – was only 96 in the fourth quarter of 2021, representing two consecutive years of decline, and also marked a low compared to the base score of 100 in 2013.
The latest survey results showed an 11.11-percent year-on-year decline in the fourth-quarter tolerance index for table game dealers. When gauging this index, most mystery shoppers reported “robotic responses” from the dealers when they interacted with customers on their job duties, stated Cheryl Tso, a senior researcher at SGS Hong Kong.
The researchers could not draw any correlation between the number of customers the individual dealers served, and their respective level of ‘tolerance’, the organisers said. The survey did not cover a qualitative aspect that might explain quantitative changes measured in casino staff members’ gaming-service performance.
In the surveys done in pre-Covid 19 times, researchers had been given guidance when assessing service by baccarat table game dealers, to choose a table that was serving anywhere between three to eight guests.
As a result of fresh protocols on social distancing – as well possibly as lower aggregate numbers of people on gaming floors – for the 2020 and 2021 surveys, mystery shoppers were asked to assess baccarat-game service at tables with between one and five players, for the same 10-minute span as the pre-Covid 19 surveys.
For the 2020 and 2021 version, observation was limited to between three and five minutes, for any tables with only a single customer.
Meanwhile, within the overall gaming service index, the ‘smiling’ index in relation to casino staff for the final quarter declined to 146 points, compared to 151 points in the final quarter of 2020. Given that casino staff are currently required to wear masks, the researchers observed other facial cues to indicate the friendliness of the workers.
The ‘proactiveness’ index for the same periods, showed a 13-point gain, to 163 points.
The casino-venue departments covered as well as table games in the survey were: cashier; cloakroom; membership desk; security; slot machine; and shuttle bus.
According to the association, SGS collected an aggregate of 864 casino employee samples from Macau’s casino resorts located both in Cotai and on the Macau peninsula. The mass-market customer areas of 12 gaming properties were visited for the survey, in order to assess various services on Macau’s mass-gaming floors.
They were: City of Dreams and Studio City, all run by Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd; Galaxy Macau and Star World Hotel, run by Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd; Grand Lisboa Palace and Grand Lisboa, run by SJM Holdings Ltd; MGM Macau and MGM Cotai, operated by MGM China Holdings Ltd; the Sands Macao and Venetian Macao, promoted by Sands China Ltd; and Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace, run by Wynn Macau Ltd.
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