Cracking the cultural code of gambling

Kathryn A. LaTour, Franck Sarrazit, Rom Hendler, Michael S. LaTour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


International expansion by Las Vegas casino operators has so far been uneven, notably in Macao. Information on different cultures' understandings of gambling, which is scant, could be instrumental in supporting international expansion. Instead of using the common-macro level cultural comparison survey-based method, this research uses early childhood memory elicitation to focus on how individuals in three countries were initially exposed to gambling in their own families as children. This method is used to uncover the cultural code of gambling in the United States, the People's Republic of China, and France. The analysis indicates that each culture has its own code for gambling, a code that reveals that culture's gambling myth. These codes should help marketers understand the underlying motivations for gambling in each culture and should assist casino operators to market more effectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-497
Number of pages23
JournalCornell Hospitality Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Childhood memory elicitation
  • Cross-cultural studies
  • Gambling
  • Las Vegas
  • Macao

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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