Average earnings excluding bonuses for full-time employees in Macau’s gaming sector as of December 31 were 3.5 percent higher year-on-year, and therefore had outpaced one measure of local inflation.
That is according to the latest survey on manpower needs and wages of the gaming industry, released by the city’s Statistics and Census Service. The average monthly wage for a Macau resident employed in the sector was MOP23,740 (US$2,936). For a non-resident the average was MOP19,710.
Macau’s inflation rate for 2018 – based on the composite price index issued by the city’s Statistics and Census Service in late January – was 3.01 percent, up by 1.78 percentage points – or more than double – the 1.23 percent recorded in 2017.
A raft of pay rises across the Macau casino sector have already been announced for 2019, with those from local operator MGM China Holdings Ltd being the latest.
The latest survey showed the aggregate number of Macau casino dealers was up by 1.1 percent year-on-year as of the fourth quarter 2018. Measured from end-December, the Macau casino sector employed a total of 24,719 dealers for table games,
Only Macau ID holders can be Macau casino dealers, under a Macau government policy. The overall unemployment rate in the Macau labour market for the period November 2018 to January 2019 was only 1.7 percent.
The 2018 increase in Macau dealer numbers coincided with a rise in the aggregate of licensed gaming tables in the market. According to Macau’s gaming regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, there was a total of 6,588 gaming tables in Macau in the fourth quarter 2018, 2.63 percent more than that in 2017.
The official statistics also show the December average salary for a Macau casino dealer was MOP20,450, up 3 percent compared to the same month in 2017.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, Macau’s gaming industry had a total of 57,246 full-time employees, an increase of 1.1 percent year-on-year. The figure excluded people working for VIP gambling junket promoters and junket associates.
Macau casino industry job vacancies tallied 1,321 in the fourth quarter, 861 more than those recorded in the same period last year. Among the vacancies, 445 were for casino dealers, according to the statistics service.
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"The most worrying [thing] is whether [mainland] China will again tighten the issuance of travel visas [for visits to Macau]"
Luiz Lam Kai Kuong
Macau junket investor