Author: Wu, Mei Lan Jeanette
Title: Residents' perception of casino gaming development in Penghu
Degree: DHTM
Year: 2014
Subject: Casinos -- Taiwan
Gambling -- Taiwan
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xvi, 199 pages : illustrations ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: After a very long period of violent opposition, fierce debates and eager anticipation, the referendum held on September 26, 2009 for Penghu, Taiwan to embracing the lucrative but controversial casino gaming following the success of other Asian regions, was to the surprise of many voted down by the residents. The determinants for their voting intention remained unclear and this study intends to uncover the black box leading to such voting outcome. Previous researchers have made use of social exchange theory (SET) to investigate the relationship between residents' attitudes to the perceived impacts of casinos in their community and their behavioral intentions, that is, their intention to support or oppose casinos' development. However, it has been argued that SET alone is insufficient to support or explore the theoretical conceptual relationships between attitude, intention and behavior. We took a broader approach by integrating the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and SET as the framework of this study to unravel the factors that enable residents to make decisions regarding their voting intention to support or oppose casino gaming development in their community in future referenda. Moreover, residents’ past behavior (vote choice in the last casino gaming referendum in 2009) and partisanship (Pan Green or Pan Blue) were also tested for the possible moderation effect between the predictor variables and voting intention. A questionnaire was developed after a comprehensive review of past literature and interviews with local authorities and face-to-face surveys were conducted to collect data during January-February 2013. The survey yielded 546 usable questionnaires, with a response rate of 91%, and ultimately, 537 questionnaires were eventually used for further data analysis. Statistical analysis methods such as descriptive statistics and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were conducted and structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to investigate proposed causal relationships between constructs. Based on SET, residents' perceptions of the potential economic, social, and environmental impacts on attitudes to casino development in their community were examined. The analyses suggested a link between perceived personal benefit and attitude to improve the model fit, which was also supported in the literature (Caneday & Zeiger, 1991; Jurowski et al., 1997; Wang & Pfister, 2008). Residents’ voting intention to support/oppose casino development in future referenda was investigated in the framework of TPB with the additional construct of perceived personal benefit. Based on the SET theoretical perspective, the findings of this study revealed that among the proposed determinants, economic (β=0.309, t= 10.431, p<0.001), social impacts (β=-0.175, t=-3.895, p<0.001), and perceived personal benefit (β=0.581, t=16.397, p<0.001), did affect the residents' attitudes to casino development and determined their level of support for future casino referenda. However, it was discovered that perceived environmental impact (β=-0.061, t= -1.41, p=0.159) did not significantly explain residents' attitude. As expected, the study confirmed the usefulness of SET in explaining the residents’ perceptions of casinos' impacts and the perceived personal benefit affecting their attitude e to casino development in future referenda.
As proposed by TPB, individual's voting intentions were affected by attitude (β=0.725, t=14.876, p<0.001), subjective norms (β=0.089, t=2.613, p<0.01). Perceived behavioral control was found insignificant in predicting voting intention (β=-0.05, t=-1.715, p<0.086) This study expanded TPB by adding one more predictor, perceived personal benefit to the model to predict voting intentions in casino referenda. In path analysis, based on the TPB concept, an additional path between perceived personal benefit and attitude (β=0.122, t=2.681, p<0.01) was added into the model to improve the model fit and the completeness of the conceptual model. The perceived personal benefit was found having significant effect on voting intention (β=-0.122, t=2.681, p<0.01). The results of SEM show that the data fit the model well with acceptable fit indices (χ2 = 1257.014, df = 440, χ2/df =2,857, Bollen Stine p-value = 0.001, CFI = 0.957, NFI = 0.936 and RMSEA = 0.059). Partisanship and past behavior were proposed as moderators on the hypothetical relationships between voting intention and each of TPB variables and perceived personal benefit. When testing for moderation effects, it was found that partisan difference did not have a significant interaction with TPB variables or perceived personal benefits in the prediction of intention to vote. Past behavior, on the other hand, exerted moderating effects (Δχ2 =124.233, Δdf =32, p-value = 0.000) determining residents' voting intentions through TPB variables and perceived personal benefit. Additionally, it was found that attitude and perceived behavioral control were the most significant factors in distinguishing the "Pan Blue" and "Pan Green" groups. The results suggested that the theoretical perspective of this study incorporating SET and TPB appeared to be an adequate model for explaining residents' attitude to the perceived impacts of casino development and for predicting of voting intention in casino referenda. It is expected that the results of this study will benefit stakeholders in the development of casino in Taiwan and will also have implications for policymakers seeking to understand where to direct their efforts to make casinos gaming a reality in Taiwan.
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