Gaming employees in Macau were able to pull ahead of inflation in 2018, according to a survey conducted by the city’s Statistics and Census Service (SCS). The average earnings for full-time gaming employees, excluding bonuses, through the end of December were 3.5% higher year-on-year. This was greater than the rate of inflation, giving those employees a little extra take-home pay.
The SCS showed that the average monthly wage for a Macau resident working in the gaming sector was around $2,936. For a non-resident, it was slightly lower at about $2,437.
Based on the composite price index provided by the SCS this past January, the inflation rate for last year was 3.01%, giving the gaming employees a cushion of around 0.4%. The rate of inflation for 2018 had increased by 1.78% over the 1.23% seen just a year earlier.
The survey also showed an increase in gaming employment in 2018. The aggregate number of casino dealers rose 1.1% from its 2017 level, reaching 24,719 by the end of the year. The average monthly salary for a casino dealer in Macau came in at approximately $2,529 last December, an increase of 3% over the same period a year earlier.
That increase was directly tied to an increase in the number of licensed gaming tables allowed in Macau last year. The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, Macau’s gaming regulator, indicates that there were 6,588 gaming tables in the city in the last quarter of 2018, which was an increase of 2.63% year-on-year.
At the end of 2018, there were 57,246 full-time employees working in Macau’s gaming industry. This does not include those individuals who work for VIP gambling junket promoters or junket associates, and represents an increase of 1.1% over December 2017.
While there has been an increase in the number of full-time employees, there are still a number of positions waiting to be filled. According to the SCS, there were 1,321 vacancies in the fourth quarter of last year, 861 more than a year earlier. Of those positions needing to be filled were 445 casino dealer jobs.
Only those who hold a Macau ID can work as a casino dealer in the city, according to government regulations. The general unemployment rate in Macau over the three-month period from November 2018 to January 2019 was just 1.7%.