Exposure or Adaption: the Evidence from Macao

Guihai (Samuel) Huang

Abstract


Exposure and adaption models are competing perspectives of the gambling opportunity on the development of disordered gambling. Some argue that Macao residents have secured immunity to gambling and no or very few local residents are disordered gamblers as gambling has been there since the birth of Macao as a city. This argument is consistent with adaption model. On the other hand, some argue that pathological gambling prevalence must have increased with the growth of casino business as Macao has become the world largest casino city since its gross gaming revenue surpassed Las Vegas in 2007. This argument is consistent with exposure model. Macao disordered gambling problem had worsened from 2003 to 2007 peaked at round 2010 and decreased since then. Casino employees tend to have higher disordered gambling problem. The changing attitude toward gambling may have contributed to the rise of the disordered gambling prevalence between 2003 and 2010 and the responsible policy may have contributed to its decline. Macao experience seems to support the exposure model with a component of adaption. Implication to Macao responsible gambling policy is also discussed.

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