The casino dealer shortages in Macau do not mean monthly wages are going up in real terms, official data show.
A dealer in Macau earned on average MOP16,710 (US$2,093) by the end of last year, up by 4.5 percent in year-on-year terms. Inflation in Macau went up by 5.5 percent over the same period, meaning the purchasing power of dealers actually dropped last year.
The reverse happened in 2012, when the average wage of a dealer went up by 8.8 percent, while inflation increased 6.1 percent. But since the end of 2008 until last December, inflation went up by an accumulated 23.2 percent while dealer salaries increased by 19.8 percent. This means that the purchasing power of dealers has dropped by an overall 2.8 percent over the last five years despite the huge boom of the gaming industry.
Macau had over 25,300 dealers by the end of last year, up by 39.2 percent from 2008. There were also more than 1,000 vacant dealer positions.
The growth in dealer wages is underperforming the overall industry. The average monthly salary within the sector was MOP19,120 at the end of last year, up by 6.0 percent. The average wage in gaming has increased by 22.4 percent since end-2008.
Investment bank Morgan Stanley forecasts that labour demand for the city’s casino resorts will rise by 38 percent between 2014 and 2017, fuelled by the opening of several new projects in Cotai. Many of the jobs to be created will be for dealers. Only Macau residents are permitted to work as dealers.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China