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On the Frontline in Macao: Casino Employees, Informal Learning, & Customer Service


Carlos Siu Lam. On the Frontline in Macao: Casino Employees, Informal Learning, & Customer Service. Las Vegas: UNLV Gaming Press, 2015.

Macao is a large and vibrant casino market that continues to lead the world in gaming revenues. Tables games dominate Macao gambling, which means that frontline employees—casino dealers—have an even more central role than they do in other jurisdictions. In this study, Carlos Siu Lam investigates the role of informal learning processes in customer service. Four themes emerge: the importance of informal learning to frontline employees and casinos; experiences and processes encountered by frontline employees in their informal learning activities; how informal learning is acquired and shared by frontline employees; and the how casino management manages frontline employees.

Based on 49 interviews with frontline employees of six Macao casinos, On the Frontline in Macao is the most exhaustive study of Asian casino employees published in English to date. While it is sure to be valuable to those with an academic interest in Macao gaming, it has relevance to the industry as well: at the end of the book, twelve propositions and nine recommendations for practice explain to casino professionals just how they can utilize the author’s findings to improve their management.


Praise for On the Frontline in Macao

This book is a must-read for researchers, gaming practitioners, and anyone else who wishes to know more about the gaming industry of Macao.

- Lei Heong Iok, President, Macao Polytechnic Institute, Macao


Professor Carlos Siu has written an impressive work on employee-customer relationships in casinos. It is recommended as a reference to the Macau gaming industry, and also to other gaming-related industries which aim at providing quality services.

- Manuel Joaquim das Neves, Director, Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, Macao


It is impossible to address "gambling" in the world today without dedicating serious thought to Asia in general -- and to Macao in particular. In fact, it is not an overstatement to suggest that "all academic gambling roads will lead to Asia" in the 21st century, so important (and so massive) is this region's reach. I am excited about Carlos Siu's efforts to address the unique managerial challenges associated with Macao's integrated resorts, and I look forward to his continued commitment and leadership in this academic field.

- Bo J. Bernhard, Executive Director, International Gaming Institute, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


In the VIP segment, Macao premium patrons demand very sensitive personnel to serve them and attend to their needs in the casinos. Based upon this, casinos need to find out how casino employees informally pick up their skills to deal with these premium patrons in order to create an alluring and relaxing environment.

Prof. Carlos Siu has a deep knowledge of the casino industry in general, and it’s difficult to find academics with such an in-depth knowledge of the market. His work can help us modernise the gambling industry to better meet the needs and requirements of patrons. I believe this informal learning is the future of formal casino training.

- Heliodoro Giner, Chairman of the Executive Committee, European Association for the Study of Gambling


Prof. Carlos Siu’s effort in the field of gambling marketing has built a bridge between the Asian reality of Macau and the scientific community of the Western countries. His academic work is beneficial for academics, gambling operators and gambling regulators.

- Henrique J. C. Lopes, President of the Ibero-Latino-American Scientific Society for Gambling Study, Director of CEIA Research Centre, Lisbon, Portugal.


A must read book for anyone who would like to know more about Macau frontlines [employees]. The author had real examples of how the frontlines handled different behaviors from gamblers.

-  Michael Wong, Executive Director of Casino Marketing, City of Dreams, Macao


On the Frontline in Macao



1. Introduction
2. The Context of Macao Casinos
3. Literature Review
4. Research Methods
5. Data Analysis and Descriptive Findings
6. Theoretical Findings
7. Conclusions

The book also features appendices, references, and an index.

Read an Excerpt

Sample Chapter: Introduction

Order Infomation

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Author: Carlos Siu Lam
Title: On the Frontline in Macao: Casino Employees, Informal Learning, & Customer Service
Publisher: UNLV Gaming Press
Date of Publication: 2015
Pages: 208
ISBN (paperback edition) 978-1-939546-08-1
Library of Congress call number: HV6722.M252 E467 2015



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Last modified Thursday, 02-Aug-2018 20:48:38 UTC