Macau’s annual Gaming Service Index survey of casino resort staff performance shows that there was a 17-point improvement year-on-year in the overall index in the fourth quarter of 2020, relative to the final three months of 2019. The fourth-quarter 2020 reading was 130 points, versus 113 points in the same period a year earlier, according to a report published on Wednesday.
The review, conducted by so-called ‘mystery shoppers’, was limited in 2020 to two observation rounds, one in October and one in November, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, said the organisers in a Wednesday briefing.
The survey was organised 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 ‘smiling’ index in relation to casino staff, for the final quarter jumped to 151 points, compared to 110 points in the final quarter of 2019. 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 30-point gain, to 150 points.
But the ‘tolerance’ index relative to staff attitudes to customers, declined by 13 points year-on-year in the final quarter, to 99.
In the 2019 survey, prior to the pandemic, researchers had been given guidance when assessing service by baccarat table game dealers, to choose a table that was serving 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 survey, 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 2019 survey.
For the 2020 version, observation was limited to between three and five minutes, for any tables with only a single customer.
The casino-venue departments covered as well as table games, were: cashier; cloakroom; membership desk; security; slot machine; and shuttle bus.
Another item surveyed – although not a component of the index result – was “toilet environment” in the properties visited. Those facilities rated “good”, fell four percentage points year-on-year in the fourth-quarter 2020, to 81 percent.
According to the association, SGS collected 728 data samples from Cotai resorts, and 520 from Macau peninsula properties. The mass-market customer areas of 15 gaming properties were visited for the survey. The research team collected an aggregate of 1,248 casino employee samples – based on researcher observation – in order to assess various services on Macau’s mass gaming floors.
They were: Altira, City of Dreams and Studio City, all run by Melco Resorts and Entertainment; Galaxy Macau and Star World Hotel, run by Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd; Grand Lisboa, Jai Alai-Oceanus, and Lisboa, run by SJM Holdings Ltd; MGM Macau and MGM Cotai, operated by MGM China Holdings Ltd; the Parisian Macao, Sands Macao, and the Venetian Macao, promoted by Sands China Ltd; and Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace, run by Wynn Macau Ltd.
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Lei Wai Nong
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance