Gambling motivations and superstitious beliefs: a cross-cultural study with casino customers

Abstract

The expansion of legalized commercial gaming in Macau has motivated stakeholders to explore opportunities in other Asian countries. However, there is a lack of research focusing on casino customers in these markets. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore gambling superstitious beliefs and motivations of those visiting a casino in South Korea, and how these factors are different across four ethnic groups. The researchers surveyed 323 casino customers in the lounge area on the casino floor, including Americans, Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans living abroad. This study found American gamblers could be characterized as more superstitious than Japanese gamblers, while the Chinese and American gamblers exhibited many similarities regarding the pattern of superstitious beliefs that they were most likely to endorse. The findings also suggest the culture and the area around the casino might be more important to Chinese, while novelty to Japanese and winning money to Korean gamblers are seen as most important. This study contributes to gambling literature by examining gamblers’ beliefs and motives in a different setting with more diverse populations than those in previous studies. The findings of this study will help casino operators properly develop and adjust strategies to thrive in the Asian marketplace.

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