Macau’s gaming industry recorded a decline of 580 casino dealers in calendar year 2016, official data show. That was despite the opening of two new large-scale casino resorts in the city’s Cotai district during the period.
The Macau casino sector employed a total of 24,039 dealers at the end of December, a year-on-year decrease of 2.4 percent, according to the latest survey on manpower needs and wages of the gaming industry, released by the Macau Statistics and Census Service on Tuesday. The survey is conducted twice per year.
The 2016 decline in the number of dealers in Macau followed a decrease of 4.4 percent recorded in 2015.
The statistics bureau did not provide an explanation for the decrease in the number of casino dealers.
The number of dealers in Macau at December-end was the lowest since June 2013, when there were 24,031 dealers in Macau, according to the statistics bureau.
The dealer decline in 2016 took place despite the number of licensed gaming tables having increased by 330 units during the same period. Macau had a total of 6,287 licensed gaming tables in the fourth quarter of 2016, up by 5.5 percent in year-on-year terms.
The overall gaming floor space available in Macau also increased in 2016, with the openings of Wynn Cotai by Wynn Macau Ltd, and of Parisian Macao, by Sands China Ltd.
Macau dealers saw their salaries increase slightly in 2016. They enjoyed monthly average earnings of MOP18,840 (US$2,355) in December, an increase of 0.3 percent in year-on-year terms. That was below inflation for the same period: Macau’s average composite Consumer Price Index, the city’s main gauge for inflation, increased by 2.4 percent during the year ended December 31.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, Macau’s gaming industry had a total of 55,794 full-time employees, an increase of 0.8 percent year-on-year. The figure excluded junket promoters and junket associates.
Job vacancies totalled 555 in the fourth quarter, up by 93 year-on-year, according to the statistics service. No vacancies for dealers were recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016.
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"VIP growth [in Macau] is roaring back on the heels of last year’s economic stimulus – but we think this could stall once the effect of the stimulus and the Chinese housing bubble wears off – as it did in 2013-14"
Cameron McKnight and Robert Shore
Analysts at Wells Fargo Securities