The Macau Family-in-Transition: The Perceived Impact of Casino Employment on Family Relationships Among Dealer Families

Simon T.M. Chan*, Clara L.Y. Kwok, Johnny Y.N. Siu
Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

© 2015 Frantz

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distributin, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Hong Kong Baptist University, Room AAB 1022, 10/F, Academic and Administrative Building, 15 Baptist University Road, Baptist University Road Campus, Kowloon Tong, KLN, Hong Kong; Tel: +852-3411 7142; E-mail:


Although there is growing consideration of the negative impacts that are instigated by the booming gaming industry on the physical health and job satisfaction of casino employees in Macau, a critical research gap exists in the understanding of the perceived impacts of casino employment on the family life of the dealers. By drawing on evidence from a qualitative study carried out in Macau, the specifics of the changes in the family lives among dealer families and how family relationships have been affected by casino employment will be explored and analyzed in this paper. With a focus-group-interview design, 113 casino dealers have been interviewed in terms of the impacts of casino employment on their family relationships. The findings suggest that while there has been undeniably a positive change in terms of the financial situation of the family, this has neither improved family bonding, nor led to a large-scale transformation of family relations in the direction of greater harmony and functionality. Yet even though there are conflicting views on the perceived impacts of casino employment on their spousal, parental and overall family relationships, the study participants generally agree that the fatigue and incompatibility of schedules that are resultant of casino work impose significant challenges in their parental role. The paper concludes with recommendations to address the issues found in this study.

Keywords: Family, Macau, dealers, casino, family relationship.