GGRAsia has learned from industry sources that Macau casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd is offering cash incentives of up to MOP500,000 (US$62,045) for pit managers at its Macau properties to leave their jobs. Other incentives are being offered for such staff either to transfer to non-gaming work or take as much as a year off via unpaid leave.
Rumour of the offers had been circulating within the industry since at least yesterday. Several people with knowledge of the matter have independently confirmed the details to GGRAsia. The news comes against a background of a recent reduction in demand for VIP casino gambling in Macau. The International Monetary Fund said in commentary on Thursday it foresaw “subdued VIP gaming growth” in the city’s casino sector for a while yet.
Macau casino operators have in recent years been under pressure from the local government to fast-track locals working as table games dealers into more senior casino-floor roles. A Macau gaming labour representative has told GGRAsia that it is not untypical for an entry-level dealer to become a supervisor after two years. It can take at least another two years – often more – for a person to be promoted to pit manager. Only local ID holders can be casino dealers.
A number of industry commentators has told GGRAsia that Macau’s public policy of supporting local workers and ensuring statistical full employment makes it harder for casino operators and other private-sector employers to be flexible in acquiring or shedding workers depending on market conditions.
Casino dealer jobs are generally considered “safe” and with a reasonably high salary for people that might not have tertiary education. The average monthly pay of local ID holders in the gaming sector in the fourth quarter was MOP23,950 according to the most recent published survey of the gaming-sector labour market published by the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
SME startup chance
GGRAsia has learned that Melco Resorts’ MOP500,000 payoff proposal is being presented to pit managers as a way of helping them start a business. Any such start-ups would then be encouraged to pitch themselves as vendors of goods and services to Melco Resorts, GGRAsia was told.
Another option is for pit managers to take unpaid leave for at least a month, or as much as a year. For pit managers interested in working in non-gaming departments, Melco Resorts is offering support for study and vocational training prior to transfer.
In an emailed response to an enquiry from GGRAsia, Melco Resorts confirmed such options were available to pit managers currently working either at City of Dreams Macau, Altira Macau, or Studio City.
Such options were “100-percent voluntary”, and “designed according to findings via focus groups and other colleague-human resource [department] communication channels,” said the firm.
“Since the the announcement, numerous pit manager colleagues have expressed their excitement about the openings and possibilities on offer,” Melco Resorts added to us. The company was unable to confirm how many posts were affected by the offer.
A monthly salary for a table game pit manager in Macau ranges from MOP35,000 to MOP40,000, depending on the person’s seniority in the post, GGRAsia learnt from local gaming labour groups New Macau Gaming Staff Rights Association and Power of the Macao Gaming Association.
The roles of table game pit manager or director are considered mid-level management, according to a local-government body called the Talents Development Committee in its most recent update on the demand for vocational study in the local casino sector. According to the committee’s findings – based on data collected during the third quarter in 2018 – a table game pit manager or director was earning MOP25,000 to MOP46,200 a month.
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“The licensing process is still under way for all non-gaming amenities at Grand Lisboa Palace”
Macao Government Tourism Office