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Survey shows a drop in gaming service quality
Wednesday, January 14, 2016
Macau Daily Times

After hitting a historical high in gaming services in the second quarter of 2015, the Gaming Service Index (GSI) dropped in the third and fourth quarter of last year. The Macau Gaming Research Association launched its survey conducted by SGS Hong Kong Ltd yesterday. As has been the case previously, “mystery clients” visited casinos in the city to conduct the report.
Representatives from eleven casinos belonging to the region’s six gaming operators participated in the survey. The smiling, proactiveness and tolerance index were the three sub-indexes that were used, under the general service index.
Max Lee Kim Cheung, research manager of SGS Hong Kong Ltd. emphasized that the drop is mainly attributed to the smiling index, which was 10 percent less than the previous quarter, and the proactiveness index, which was 11 percent less than Q4. The “smiling” score for the fourth quarter of 2015 is 0.68 out of 1.50, while “proactiveness” scored 0.55 out of 1.00, and “tolerance” is 0.88 out of 1.00, having an index of 104, 121 and 122 respectively. However, there is at least a 10 percent increase for each quarter when compared to the same quarter in 2014.
Cheung added that the typical negative comment recorded under the “proactiveness” criterion is that staff kept chatting, failing to notice customers with queries. Security employees showed the best service performance among numerous staff categories that were assessed.
In terms of other measures, the air quality of casinos was deemed stable in the second half of 2015. The facilities in eighty-three percent of the washrooms are continually improving, however the waiting time at shuttle bus stations increased to 14.6 minutes in the fourth quarter, compared to 8.2 minutes in the third quarter, which was on par with the same quarter last year.
This year, 13 casinos will be evaluated. Six core casinos will be assessed on a quarterly basis while the seven noncore casinos will be analyzed on a semi-yearly basis. Checkpoints for conducting the survey will be 1,824 in comparison to last year’s 1728. “Later this year we have more casinos being established and we need to review the scale and methods of this research to be more constructive and useful for this industry,” says Dr. L. C. Koo, assistant director of the Macau Gaming Research Association. According to him, the index should continue to “help to adapt to improve service levels, particularly during this period of consolidation of the gaming business.”
Representatives of casino operators tackled the question of whether or not casino operators should remain anonymous in GSI reports.


Survey | Gaming and Hospitality Staff Show Improvements
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Macau Daily Times

Frontline employees in the gaming and hospitality sectors delivered the highest quality service to their guests in the second quarter of the year than they have since the beginning of 2014, according to gaming service index (GSI) research jointly conducted by the Macau Gaming Research Association and SGS Hong Kong.
Despite the economic woes that Macau has faced since early last year, the survey — which dispatched mystery shoppers to 11 major casino resorts owned by six companies — suggested that the assessed staff appeared very smiley, proactive and patient when dealing with patrons, at least far more than they were one year ago.
The indices of smiling, pro-activeness and tolerance, according to the two researchers, were identified as the most significant factors to determine one’s service performance. These findings came after their efforts in 2013 to seek consensus from the industry representatives, academics and tourists to lay down a benchmark.
Nonetheless, the groups’ findings drew concerns from the authorities of the assessed resorts during yesterday’s finding debriefing. Their representatives argued that the 2013 standards were most likely still referential to all of the gaming operators, who each have their own variety of standards and rules when it comes to gauging staff performance.
“We do have concrete standards to measure [performance.] Since different brands or operators have their own standards, we can only count on one rule to fit all,” said SGS research manager Lee Kim Cheung, who presented the outcomes of the report to the representatives.
Sands China was the only casino absent from the discussion, which was attended by representatives from the other five gaming operators.
Wynn representatives went on to challenge whether the deployed customers carried out their assessment based on quantifiable factors, instead of simply resorting to their personal perception, which they deemed as subjective.
“In the future, I think it’s possible to provide training to the mystery shoppers to see if they can provide some quantifiable figures regarding how long they wait for services,” said Dr. LC Koo, assistant director of the association.
About 80 percent of the anonymous personnel hired to assist with the research last year have remained to contribute to this year’s research. All of them, including the new recruits, were under strict supervision and received professional training in advance, stressed the researchers.
The body of such a research project would likely be tweaked if it were to run again in the near future, as the gaming operators executives suggested amendments to the sample sizes. It has also been said that the gaming company authorities could “improve their customer service using GSI as their benchmark.”
The research shows that all of the variable determinants over the previous year have displayed an upward trend, suggesting a tendency for the overall service to continue improving.
Compared to the base index of 100 in 2013, the pro-activeness index revealed the most noteworthy transition, as its value slid to a record low of 82 in this year’s first quarter before soaring to 144 in the following quarter.
Specifically, the staff responsible for security outperformed the rest of their fellow colleagues while the performance of croupiers, who dominated the sample size, remained much below the general par despite a quarter-on-quarter growth in performance.
Comments from the mystery guests on the air quality inside the properties suggested that it was a “generous good” in the first half of the year. More than 60 percent of the bathrooms were rated as having a “satisfactory environment” since the second half of 2014. Their comments also included the length of wait for a shuttle bus. Guests generally spent 4.7 minutes waiting for one to arrive in the first quarter of the year, while the following quarter saw the duration bounce back to 9.2 minutes, similar to the data from last year.


Survey says gaming service improved in Q2
Friday, August 1, 2014
Macau Daily Times

The Gaming Service Index (GSI) released its mid-term report yesterday. Results showed that the quality of service in Macau’s gaming industry is on the rise.
The survey was launched by the Macau Gaming Research Association and was conducted by SGS Hong Kong Ltd.
Representatives from eleven casinos belonging to the region’s six gaming operators joined the survey. The organizer invited mystery shoppers to visit the casinos involved in the survey.
Six operators scored 1.95 out of the total 3.5 in the general service index of Q2, which registered an increase compared to the 1.82 in Q1.
Under the general service index, there are three sub-indexes taken into account, namely the “smiling index,” the “proactiveness index” and the “tolerance index.”
“A positive example of smiling means that croupiers smile when dealing out cards, making customers feel comfortable. Croupiers also chat with guests from time to time. But if they are impolite and have no facial expression, it’s an ill performance,” explained Max Lee Kim Cheung, research manager of SGS Hong Kong Ltd. The “smiling index” registered similar results across Q1 and Q2, when compared to last year’s research. Findings indicated a slight decrease of two percent.
Another sub-index – “proactiveness” – went up by approximately 16 percent in Q2, compared to Q1’s figures. Scoring points in this index means, for example, that “staff in the cloakroom will greet customers before they [the customers] approach the cloakroom,” said Lee. Points are lost when “staff don’t take the initiative to greet customers or don’t stop their work at hand when guests, [or when] staff don’t make eye contact with customers and perform indifferently.”
The third sub-index is “tolerance”, which has seen continuous growth since 2013. The index went up by some 8 percent in Q2, compared to Q1’s figures.
Gaming casino departments are divided into six sectors in the survey, including slot machine, security, treasury, table game, free food and beverages. Besides these categories, customer service, cloakroom, shuttle bus and restrooms are grouped into one sector.
In terms of the “smiling index”, the free food and beverage sector ranked first in Q2 with 0.96 out of 1.5 points. This sector had made a great leap forward, having scored only 0.42 in Q1 this year. Staff in the Security department also ranked well for showing smiles, having scored 0.97 (out of 1.5) points in Q1 and 0.93 in Q2. The table game sector received the lowest scores from 2013 until mid 2014, hovering at just 0.5.
As for the “proactiveness” ranking, the security department continued to hold an advantage, scoring 0.68 (out of 1) in Q2. The score for this index in the table game sector increased by 13 percent in Q2, having scored 0.34 points in Q1.
The security sector registered the best performance on average in terms of the tolerance index, scoring approximately 0.9 from 2013 until Q2 this year. By contrast, the treasury department scored the lowest in this index.
“For some services, less engagement with customers gained a higher score. For example, staff members [involved] in table games have frequent contact with a large number of guests; it may be difficult for them to take the initiative and wear smiles all the time. While for security staff, no matter how many guests they greet, staff members only need to stand there and smile,” Lee reasoned.
Dr L. C. Koo, assistant director of the Macau Gaming Research Association, said that the results indicated that there is room for the casinos to improve their services. “Staff training is only one solution, I think it is more important to boost a consciousness of service within the industry.”
The Gaming Service Index (GSI) is compiled periodically to facilitate trend analysis, in order to monitor the service level of the gaming industry.

  By Date 日期 By Topic 題目 By Source 報紙來源
1 12th July, 2013 Index on gaming service standard shows "much to improve" Macau Daily Times
2 12th July, 2013 Gaming industry service has plenty of room for improvement: survey Macau Post Daily

Index on gaming service standard shows "much to improve"

Macau’s first profile on the gaming industry’s service standard shows that despite the city’s number one ranking in terms of market size, the services offered to clients by the top casinos in Macau only scored an “average” grade and “have a lot of room for improvement.” Commissioned by the Macau Gaming Research Association and produced by Hong Kong-based research and certification company Systems& Services Certification (SGS), the research results indicate that the city’s gaming revenue still has a lot of potential to grow.

“The six gaming concessionaires only scored 1.83 on average with 3.5 as the maximum score...which shows that they have a lot of room for further improvements in their services,” said SGS Training Manager Edmund Fong, who presented the results of the findings during a conference attended by about 20 representatives form Macau’s gaming operators, academic institutions, and government offices, including the Policy Research Center and Financial Services Bureau.

“The scores of the six casinos operators are close to each other, though ranging from 2.18 at best to 1.54 at worst,” the researcher said ,adding that among the major factors covered by the survey, it’s the frontline casino staff who have lower performance rates when it comes to their ability and willingness to proactively engage clients and help them solve their problems.

“The ability to take initiative proactively can make a lot of difference,” said Lius Vong, senior manager at the Performance Improvement Department of SJM, who spoke to the Times after attending the presentation.

The veteran HR manager said that the level of proactivity among frontline workers, especially dealers , could have a direct influence upon casinos, clientele, and therefore revenue.

"There are different ways to engage clients in different scenarios, such as when they have lost or won a game and have had different kinds of reactions. An experienced dealer knows how to comfort distressed customers and how to give them suitable encouragement...these are very important skills in keeping our clients and encouraging them to come back to our casinos instead of others."

Vong said the index is a source of reference for casinos, but that the company will have to study the survey carefully before deciding how to use it. Speaking at the presentation, L. C. Koo, assistant director of the Macau Gaming Research Association, the institute which commissioned the research, said the study would play a pioneering role.

“This is the first services index targeting the gaming industry in Macau," he told the audience." We hope this index will inspire other service sectors to use similar indexes, which can provide valuable data to industry players in different sectors for self-improvement and sector-wide improvement. This is of crucial importance for Macau’s initiative to develop itself into a world leisure hub." He said the survey would be conducted once every three or four months, depending on the financial resources from the Macau Foundation.

The survey was conducted across 9 major casinos (Wynn, MGM, Galaxy, COD, Lisboa, Grand Lisboa, Oceanus, Sands, and Venetian), and included frontline workers in gaming areas, security, F&B, shuttle bus operations and other areas. The results Show casino workers are good at giving clients "sincere smiles” and have demonstrated high level of patience whilst helping customers. However, staff from cloakrooms and shuttle bus operations attracted the most criticism. This included their inability to give clients timely services , and their impolite manners during the treatment of their clients.

In addition to a questionnaire conducted at the Border Gate and the outer Harbor Ferry Terminal, the research firm also conducted a Mysterious Shoppers Survey, organizing 810 undercover visits by trained surveyors masquerading as average gamblers at the 9 casinos.

The work performance of the 810 frontline workers has been posted on an online platform and gaming operators have been given a login pin to read the results and comments on their own staff, whose identities are not disclosed. Nevertheless, their position can be identified by analyzing the casino and the gaming table they served. The researcher said casinos only have access to their own results but not to those of their competitors.

Separately, the report also suggested the government should establish a Crisis Management Office for Gaming Industry, jointly operated by the authorities and the industry, in order to provide analysis and prepare for possible crises, such as the possible strengthening of restrictions imposed by the mainland on visitors heading to Macau.



Gaming industry service has plenty of room for improvement: survey

A first-time survey conducted by the Macau Gaming Research, Association (MGRA) in collaboration with service consultancy SGS Hong Kong (SGSHK) found that the service provided by the local gaming industry is not of satisfactory quality, leaving plenty of room for improvement.

The findings of last month’s Macau Gaming Service Index (GSI) survey were presented in a press conference yesterday, hosted by MGRA Assistant Director Koo Leong Chi and SGSHK Training Manager Edmond Fung Hok Hoi, at the Macau Productivity and Technology Transfer Centre (CPTTM) in Zape.

The objective of the index, which was compiled for, the first time, was to evaluate the quality of service in the local gaming industry so as to improve it in the future.

The survey employed "mystery shoppers” to assess the services in nine casinos operated by the city's six gaming enterprises, during which they gave ratings for the service they received without revealing their identity.

In order to determine the factors which most accurately reflect the overall service quality in casinos, the research was conducted in three stages. The first stage was a focus group and the second stage a questionnaire answered by 120 respondents who said they had gambled in casinos. After the two stages, the association identified "sincere smile”, "proactive attitude” and “patience" as the factors which the mystery shoppers used to assess the casinos’ services.

The mystery shoppers were recruited by SGSHK, which trained them to ensure the "ratings were consistent with the services they received”.

The index values of "sincere smile”, "proactive attitude” and "patience” range form 0 (poorest) to 1(best). Eight departments including table games, slots, cloak room, security, cashiers, shuttle bus, marketing and F&B were surveyed. The GSI aggregate (each member of staff was marked from 1.5 for smiling, 1 for being proactive and 1 for tolerance.) was a combination of the three indices, with the range of 0(poorest) to 3.5(best).

The results show that the "smiling index” and "proactive index” were 0.44 and 0.45, which are less than the half. The staff performed much better for the "patience index” at 0.72. The combined GSI was 1.83 point out of 3.5, which Fung described as "plenty of room for improvement”

Within each of the three indices, the "marketing” and "security” departments performed the best, while “table games” and "shuttle bus" were the worst.

The survey also showed the marks each of the six enterprises were awarded for their quality of service. Fung said that performances of the six enterprises were similar" without anyone being particularly exceptional".

Speaking to reporters, Koo said that the association was planning to conduct the survey three times a year in future. He said that the first results provided "a benchmark”, adding that “we can see if the future performance of the gaming concessionaires is improving or not by comparing the future results with this benchmark”.

Koo said that the survey was funded by the Macau Foundation (FM) but refused to disclose how much the survey cost.


1 2005年4月21日 博彩業開放歷程研討會 內地澳門專家周六聚首 華僑報
  21st April, 2005 Specialists from both Mainland and Macau assemble on Saturday for the Seminar of the Gaming Industry's Progress of Opening up Jornal Va Kio
2 2003年10月7日 澳門博彩研究學會選出第一屆理監事會
  7th October, 2003 MGRA's election of the first Supervision Committee
Ambrose So: To Promote a Balanced and Healthy Development of the Gaming Industry
Jornal Va Kio

1 2005年4月21日 博彩業開放歷程研討會 內地澳門專家周六聚首 華僑報
  21st April, 2005 Specialists from both Mainland and Macau assemble on Saturday for the Seminar of the Gaming Industry's Progress of Opening up Jornal Va Kio

【News Report】 "Liberalization of Macau's Gaming Industry: Retrospection and Envision" hosts by the MGRA and sponsored by the General Association of Administrators and Promoters for Macau Gaming Industry (GAAPMGI) will be held on the 23rd April (Sat) at 2:30 p.m. at the auditorium of Macau Millennium College, China Civil Plaza, 8 andar, Macau. Professional scholars from Mainland China and Macau will be invited to express their views on the development of the Macau's gaming industry after liberalization.

 It has been four years since the Macau SAR announces to open up the gaming industry. The market of gaming industry has also started real competitions for nearly one year. Singapore has approved to build two casinos just a few days ago as well. This development drew the attention of people both inside and outside of the Macau SAR. Therefore, we are holding a seminar to look back the progress of the liberalization of Macau's gaming industry, to analyze and review with the current situation and to discuss the future development. Dr. Ambrose So, the director of MGRA will deliver a welcome speech. Speakers for the seminar include Dr. John Yeung, vice-chairman of the MGRA; Professor Shen Ming Ming, The Research Center for Contemporary China Peking University; Dr. Ieong Wan Chong, Rector of Centre for Macau Studies of University of Macau; Professor Feng Bang Yan, Director of Research Institute of Ji Nan University for Economy of Hong Kong and Macao Special Economic Zones; Professor Zeng Zhong Lu and Professor Wang Wu Yi from the Macao Polytechnic Institute. The subjects for discussion include the government's policy and its role, the government's supervision of the gaming industry, the development scale of Macau's gaming industry,analysis of the economic effect, and the influence on the development of gaming industry of the nearby regions on Macau. Participants of the seminar can have interactive discussion with the speakers.

To encourage study and research on the Macau's gaming industry, the GAAPMGI gives full financial support to the seminar. Ms. Angela Leung, the president of GAAPMGI will also attend the seminar's opening ceremony. The seminar is open to public and MGRA welcomes all who are interested. Participants can sign up for the seminar by phone (2970999), fax (2970988) or e-mail ( Please leave the participant's name; organization and contact number if you want to sign up by fax or e-mail.

2 2003年10月7日 澳門博彩研究學會選出第一屆理監事會
  7th October, 2003 MGRA's election of the first Supervision Committee
Ambrose So: To Promote a Balanced and Healthy Development of the Gaming Industry
Jornal Va Kio

The MGRA has held its first member's conference yesterday and has elected its first members of council and supervision committee. The first director of MGRA, Ambrose So, gives a speech and indicated that the association hopes to combine theory and practice by researching on the local gaming industry's future direction on development so as to promote the local gaming industry's balanced and healthy development.

The MGRA's first member's conference was held at Hotel Lisboa. Over sixty participants including experts who are engaged in the study of gaming industry and tourism, and those who are interested with the development of Macau's gaming industry as well as employees in the gaming industry has attended the conference. Dr. Stanley Ho was invited to be the Honorary President of the association. At the same time, meeting confirmed the appointment of and executive committee members as well as five member lists of supervisory committee. The association's advisors, including some professional scholars of Macau's gaming industry and some experts responsible for training programs relating to gaming industry, have attended the meeting.

Dr. Ambrose So mentioned in his speech that in order to face the opening up of Macau's gaming industry, the building up of hardware infrastructure is expected to increase. However, the key to gaming industry's greater success lies in the strengthening of innovation of software, which includes supervision by legislation, personnel training, strategy analysis and process control measures. The aim is to improve the competitiveness of gaming industry by enhancing the professionalism and regularized development. In addition, the social problems evolved from gaming industry such as pathological gamblers should not be neglected and we have to do something before the problem gets worsen.

He also says that the Macau's Gaming Industry has a long history. It has been legalized since 1847, which is 84 years earlier than Nevada of the United State. The gaming industry has always been Macau's special culture and the key contributor of the economy. Many opine that Macau should adopt Las Vegas approach as a blueprint. However, there are many differences between Macau and Las Vegas either on their history or cultural backgrounds. Therefore, simply copying everything from Las Vegas, will have much unexpected outcomes.

To Establish an Academic Platform for the Gaming Industry

Dr. Ambrose So mentioned that in order to face the keen competition from the nearby regions and to promote the development of other related businesses, Macau has to fully utilize and strengthen the chain effect of its leading role played by the gaming industry of Macau. On one hand, we should learn from the Las Vegas' about their innovative spirit in marketing promotion. We should also develop a more diversified gaming tourist industry as well as cultivating a cultural trend of superior quality. On the other hand, we should also be practical and make full use of Macau's privileged position in respect of its geographical, social and cultural characteristics. We should maximize Macau's strength and minimize the weaknesses to ensure the stability and development of the society.

Dr. Ambrose So also mentioned that the Macau's gaming industry possesses the foundation and condition for further development. The liberalization of the market has provided an opportunity for continuous improvement. The aim of establishing the MGRA is to build up an academic platform for the specialists, scholars and professionals to learn from each other by exchanging views and to draw on collective wisdom. We try to put theory into practice in studying the future development on the Macau's gaming industry, as well as promoting its balanced and healthy development. As a result, we can achieve the goal of an all-rounded improvement. Furthermore, the association will try to help the public and international media's better understand the gaming industry through lectures and seminars. The association will also compile the results of academic researches into periodicals as references for the government and all sectors of the society. The association welcomes all people from the gaming industry to join, so as to promote its international image. Apart from Macau, the association will also strengthen the communication among academic organizations globally, and to keep track of the development trend of gaming industry in foreign countries. We will also look into the new issues of the gaming industry from all over the world. Moreover, we will solicit professionals from all regions and try our best to strengthen our base in Macau with a global vision.


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