Macau’s gaming industry recorded a decline of 1,133 casino dealers in 2015, official data shows.
The city’s casino sector employed a total of 24,619 dealers at the end of December, a year-on-year decrease of 4.4 percent, according to the latest survey on manpower needs and wages of the gaming industry, released by the Macau Statistics and Census Service on Monday.
The bureau did not provide an explanation for the decrease in the number of casino dealers.
The dealer decline took place despite the number of licensed gaming tables having increased by almost 250 units during the same period. Macau had a total of 5,957 licensed gaming tables in the fourth quarter of 2015, up by 4.3 percent on year-on-year terms.
The overall gaming space available in Macau also increased in 2015, with the openings of Galaxy Macau Phase 2 and its sister site Broadway Macau by Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, and of Studio City, 60 percent owned by Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.
Macau’s accumulated gross gaming revenue for the full year of 2015 fell 34.3 percent compared to 2014, according to data released by the city’s regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
Despite the decrease in their ranks, Macau dealers saw their salaries increase in 2015. They enjoyed monthly average earnings of MOP18,780 (US$2,397.7) in December, an increase of 4.3 percent in year-on-year terms. That was similar to inflation for the same period: Macau’s average composite Consumer Price Index, the city’s main gauge for inflation, increased by 4.56 percent during the year ended December 31.
In the fourth quarter of 2015, Macau’s gaming industry had a total of 56,217 full-time employees, a decrease of 1,540 year-on-year. The figure excluded junket promoters and junket associates.
Job vacancies totalled 462 in the fourth quarter, down by 379 year-on-year, according to the statistics service. No vacancies for dealers were recorded in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The statistics service suggested a slowdown in worker demand in the gaming sector, noting that only 376 new employees had been hired in the fourth quarter of 2015, down by 81 percent compared with the 1,968 new workers hired in the same prior-year period.
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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