MGM China Holdings Ltd, the operator of casino resort MGM Macau (pictured), on Friday announced staff pay rises equivalent in some cases to a percentage above the city’s rate of annual inflation for 2014.
For non-management workers at MGM Macau earning up to MOP12,000 (US$1,500) per month, the new increment is between 6 percent and 8 percent of monthly salary. The casino operator said in a statement it amounted in many cases to approximately MOP700 per month per worker for those in that wage bracket.
MGM Macau workers earning more than MOP12,000 per month will receive an increment of 5 percent of monthly salary. All the awards are effective from March 23, the company said.
MGM China said in the press statement the pay rises were “in view of the rising costs in Macau”.
In January – the most recent data available – Macau’s consumer price index, a measure of local inflation, rose by 4.75 percent year-on-year, according to the city’s Statistics and Census Service. The annual inflation rate in Macau in 2014 was 6.05 percent.
The award comes at a time when local casino operators have been looking to cut their overheads as Macau gaming revenue continues to fall in the wake of China’s anti-corruption campaign, say investment analysts.
The newly announced wage increment follows the discretionary and special bonuses equivalent to two months of salary that were announced by MGM China in February.
Grant Bowie, chief executive of the firm said: “MGM China is committed to providing competitive level of benefits and compensation to our team members. We will continue to invest in promoting and nurturing local talents and existing team members.”
“As our Cotai project is moving ahead rapidly, there will be many opportunities for our talented and hardworking team to develop new skills and fulfil their ambitions when our company continues to grow,” added Mr Bowie, referring to the US$3-billion MGM Cotai due to open in 2016.
The city’s six gaming concessionaires are all in the process of building new casino resorts on Cotai that will need thousands of extra workers for front of house and back of house roles. Currently only Macau residents can be casino dealers.
On Monday, rival Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd announced a 5-percent pay rise for its staff, backdated to March 1. The company said it is increasing the salaries of 26,000 eligible full-time team members.
Fellow concessionaire SJM Holdings Ltd announced a 5-percent pay rise for its staff in 2015 at the beginning of January.
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"The MSAR [Macau Special Administrative Region] Government is always maintaining its policy not to have imported labour to work as dealers. This position has not changed"
Lionel Leong Vai Tac
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance