Eyes on casino gaming in China: Residents’ attitudes towards pre-casino development in Sanya

Abstract

While Macau offers world class casinos, casino gaming is not legalized in Mainland China. Current media reports, however, indicate a growing interest by the Chinese government in establishing casinos in the Hainan Province. This study assesses the perceptions of residents about potential gaming development in their community. Resident attitude surveys have been used by planners and policymakers in order to gain local support for tourism projects and initiatives. A series of hypotheses were tested. In particular, the study evaluates the difference in perception between tourism workers and non-tourism workers, residents who live in the city center where the casino development project is planned and those who live outside the city center, and short-term residents and long-term residents. The biggest divide in perception exists between recent and long-time residents. Slight differences also appear between tourism workers and non-tourism workers. Only minor differences were recorded between city-dwellers and those who live outside the city. Recent residents and tourism workers appear to be more optimistic than the other groups. A discriminant analysis was used to find out which of the perceptions variables discriminate the most between the sample groups. Implications for planning and communication are given. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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