Three casino operators in Macau are now onboard with giving their employees pay raises this year. Sands China took the lead, announcing a pay increase for its staff in January, and Melco followed suit shortly after, announcing that employees will receive an increase of between 2.5% and 7.5%, depending on what they currently earn. Wynn Macau has tagged along, announcing on the eve of the Chinese New Year that it will give more money to its workers this year.
The pay increase is already in effect and was backdated to the beginning of this month. It reportedly covers as much as 98% of the company’s workforce, which totals 13,700 employees. Those who earn $1,980 or under will get an increase of about $74.23, which amounts to a bump of between 3.8-6.4%, according to the company.
Last December, many of the gaming labor groups in Macau began a push for a pay raise that would be at least 5%. This was due to the city’s inflation rate, which was 3.01% last year. That was twice what the rate increased by in 2017, when inflation grew by 1.23%. At the time, Cloee Chao, the head of the New Macau Gaming Staff Rights Association, stated, “In the last couple of years the casinos have been awarding their dealers a pay hike of 2.5 percent [per year]. I don’t think it really eases that much the inflationary pressure here. For next year we would ask for a pay hike of at least five percent for the gaming workers.”
For eligible employees who earn more than $1,979 monthly, the pay increase only amounts to 2.5%.
According to a government survey conducted last year, the second quarter average salary, excluding any bonuses, for a casino dealer increased 2.6% year over year.
When Sands China announced its pay increase, which become effective as of March 1, it indicated that the amount of the increase would be between 4.6% and 6% for those employees who earn up to $1,608. Those earning over that amount would see an increase of 2.5%.
Melco’s pay increase was similar to that of Sands China, but will take effect April 1.