Public Awareness and Practice of Responsible Gambling in Macao

  • Kwok-Kit Tong
  • Eva P. W. Hung
  • Caren M. W. Lei
  • Anise M. S. Wu
Original Article


Responsible gambling (RG) is a relatively new concept to the Macao gambling industry. Although recent studies reported a heightened public awareness of RG, the prevalence of disordered gambling is still high. This discrepancy may suggest an existing gap between RG awareness and gambling practices, pinpointing aspects that need to be improved by different RG stakeholders. The gap may be attributable to people’s limited knowledge toward practices favoring RG. To explore means for enhancing the RG campaign, we studied Macao residents’ interpretation and adoption of RG practices. In Study 1, a random community sample was collected to assess the extent to which common RG practices were adopted. Results suggested that there was a fair proportion of gamblers not adhering to them and gambling disorder tendency was related to the adoption of RG practices. It implied a successful promotion of RG practices may reduce gambling problems. In Study 2, focus group discussions were conducted to explore how RG was conceptualized. Twenty-five participants (including 11 casino employees) took part in four focus group interviews. All participants were aware of RG but their knowledge of RG practices was limited. Very few of them were able to identify major practices such as putting constraints on gambling amount and time and the application for self-exclusion. We argue that future RG promotion needs to be more specific and behavior-oriented and it should also address various procedural concerns on how RG practices can be implemented.


Responsible gambling Gambling behaviors Gambling disorder Chinese 



The research was supported by research grants from the University of Macau (Ref#: MYRG2014-00018-FSS and MYRG2015-00213-FSS).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Ethics approval for the research was obtained from the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Macau.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of MacauTaipaChina
  2. 2.Department of Social ScienceHang Seng Management CollegeHong KongChina

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