The average monthly earnings of gaming workers in Macau – as measured in June – were the highest since records began, according to data released on Monday by the city’s Statistics and Census Service. That is despite an ongoing decline in monthly casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) – measured in year-on-year terms – that started in May 2014.
Overall, Macau gaming workers enjoyed monthly average earnings – excluding bonuses – of MOP22,060 (US$2,758) in June, an increase of 2.7 percent in year-on-year terms. Casino dealers reported monthly average earnings of MOP18,960 for the period, also an all-time high, according to the latest survey on manpower needs and wages of the gaming industry, released by the Macau Statistics and Census Service.
In the second quarter of 2016, Macau’s gaming industry had a total of 55,708 full-time employees, a decrease of 1,714 year-on-year. The figure excluded junket promoters and junket associates.
Macau’s gaming industry recorded a decline of 787 in the number of casino dealers in the same period, official data show. The city’s casino sector employed a total of 24,285 dealers at the end of June, a year-on-year decrease of 3.1 percent.
The shrinkage in the dealer workforce took place despite the number of licensed gaming tables having increased by more than 180 units during the same period. Macau had a total of 5,998 licensed gaming tables at the end of June, up by 3.2 percent on year-on-year terms.
The overall gaming space available in Macau also increased in the period under analysis, with the opening – in October 2015 – of Studio City, 60 percent owned by Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.
The statistics service did not provide an explanation for the decrease in the number of casino workers.
The bureau suggested a “continued slowdown” in demand for such workers in the gaming sector, noting that only 660 new employees had been hired in the second quarter of 2016, down by 66.5 percent compared with the 1,972 new workers hired in the equivalent period the previous year.
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”Given that the blanket casino closure [in Macau due to Typhoon Mangkhut] happened on an all-important weekend day… we expect that somewhere between MOP1.1 billion [US$136.2 million] and MOP1.5 billion in GGR will be lost”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia