The number of people in Macau working for the gaming industry reached an all-time high during the fourth quarter of last year, show official data released on Tuesday.
There were 87,000 people employed by the sector during the October-December 2014 period, said the Statistics and Census Service. The figure was up by 7 percent over the previous quarter.
The previous record had been set in the fourth quarter of 2013, when Macau’s gaming sector employed 86,600 workers.
The growth in the gaming workforce comes at a time Macau’s casino industry is coping with a sharp downturn in gambling spend by visitors to the city. Gross gaming revenue (GGR) has dropped for seven consecutive months measured on year-on-year terms. Many investment analysts covering the sector expect the GGR decline to continue at least during the first half of 2015.
But two new casino properties are scheduled to open in Macau’s Cotai district during 2015. They are Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd’s Galaxy Macau Phase 2 and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd’s majority-owned Studio City – and both casino operators have already started recruiting in order to staff them.
Galaxy Entertainment’s vice chairman Francis Lui Yiu Tung said last week that the company is looking to hire “more than 8,000 new employees,” to staff the firm’s new operations at Phase 2 and the adjacent Broadway, both scheduled to open on May 27. Melco Crown executives have stated that Studio City will also need a workforce of around 8,000 people.
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”The Macau government is not aiming to trivialise or drive out the junket sector, but to regulate the sector so that it would not hurt Macau’s reputation”
Alvin Chau Cheok Wa
Chief executive of privately-held VIP junket business Suncity Group