TitlePerceived luck in games of chance : determinants and effect on intention to play
CreatorFong, Hoc Nang
Date Issued2014
Degree GrantorHong Kong Polytechnic University
Place of ConferralHong Kong
Degree NamePh.D.
Degree DisciplineAll Doctorate

Casino gaming has been recognized as a catalyst of the tourism industry and a major economic pillar of tourist destinations like Macao. Therefore, it is imperative to generate considerable casino gaming revenue, irrespective of the well-being of the casinos or the tourist destination. Owing to the salience of luck in players' minds, casino operators commonly incorporate the concept of luck in their marketing schemes in order to prime players' perceived luck and thus heighten the gaming intention. In this regard, knowledge about how perceived luck can be shaped and how the effect of perceived luck on intention to play can be intensified should benefit casino operators' marketing strategies. However, the existing literature appears insufficient in providing these kinds of implications for casino operators, which leaves voids for this research to fill in. To understand how perceived luck can be shaped this research identified five determinants of perceived luck and its intensity, namely valence, rarity, importance, exclusivity, and proximity of an outcome. It grounded these determinants on adaptation-level theory and prospect theory. Following the attribution concept called locus of control, this research also proposed a notion, namely locus of control on luck, which distinguishes between attribution of perceived luck to oneself and attribution to external factors as a moderator of the effect of perceived luck on intention to play. Also, it is argued that self-serving bias explains attribution of perceived luck. This research engaged 640 participants solicited in Macao to play a computerized Wheel of Fortune game in which the determinants of perceived luck were manipulated. The results showed that a winning outcome led to higher perceived luck than a losing outcome (i.e., valence effect), whilst a losing outcome (i.e., valence effect), an important outcome (i.e., importance effect), and an outcome which was very close to the counterfactual outcome (i.e., proximity effect) strengthened perceived luck. The exclusivity effect was found only when it interacted with valence, importance, and proximity effects. Although the rarity effect was not significant, the design limitations of the current research cast doubt on the wisdom of omitting the rarity effect from future studies. The results also revealed that participants holding higher perceived luck were more likely to play the Wheel of Fortune again with their own money. This phenomenon was particularly salient when the participants attributed their perceived luck to external factors. Also, coherent with self-serving bias, the results showed that participants tended to attribute their high perceived luck to themselves and their low perceived luck to external factors. The findings add knowledge to the literature by providing a holistic picture of the determinants of perceived luck, clarifying the role of each determinant, confirming the significance of the new notion of locus of control on luck, and enhancing the robustness of several major theories and notions. The findings provide implications for casino operators on how they may increase players' gaming intention by improving their design of casino games and lucky draw schemes, as well as by providing diversifications of human resources and amenities. Finally, limitations and future studies are discussed.

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Fong, Hoc Nang. Perceived luck in games of chance : determinants and effect on intention to play[D]. Hong Kong. Hong Kong Polytechnic University,2014.
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