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Keywords

Mainland, Mainland China, high rollers, gambling, Macao

Document Type

Original Research Article

Abstract

Macao's casinos win a high proportion of their revenue from high rollers from Mainland China but some of these generate social problems back home. We analyze 99 cases of high rollers whose activities came to media attention, building a profile of them based on information in the reports. They were mainly from areas near Macao or from particularly rich regions of China. Most were male, aged 30- 49. They tended to be government officials, managers of state-owned businesses or owners of private enterprises. They lost as much as US$12.08 million on a single trip. Their average accumulated loss amounted to US$3.36 million by the time their activities were stopped, typically no more than four years from when they started high stakes gambling. Their motives for gambling had been to win money or experience excitement. Early experiences of large wins and cognitive biases regarding gaming appeared to be important factors driving their behavior. Evidence from the 99 cases is argued to suggest inadequacies in the regulation of casinos in Macao which, if not addressed, could threaten the sustainability of the industry there.


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