One of the two casino destinations allowed by Chinese gambling laws, Macau, continues its steady growth.
According to MGM China CEO Grant Bowie, their new gaming resort on the Cotai strip will require a workforce of 8,000 to run the establishment. To give you an idea about the size of the casino industry in Macau, the biggest Chinese gambling destination, the same number of vocational students sign in for the casino dealer course at the Macau Polytechnic Institute every single year.
Students may learn how to deal at the Gaming Teaching and Research Center, in what is termed ‘the biggest mock casino in Asia’. Apart from the rules of the casino games, fast computing is the most important subject for the students.
A typical casino dealer earns two-thirds above Macau’s average monthly income. As a result, an increasing number of students and university graduates start their career at the casinos.
There are currently as many as 23,000 casino dealers living in Macau. Larry So, a local political commentator criticized the impact of gambling on the society, saying “In the past in Chinese culture, we did not look up to this kind of people.”
Macau’s growth in casino gaming relies increasingly on the Chinese mass market gambling segment. Chinese gambling news analysts emphasize that most of the operators would be in serious trouble if they relied solely on the VIP gamblers who traditionally brought in most of the revenues.
According to the Macau Statistics and Census Service, total package tour visitor (mass market) numbers grew 21.9% to 750,000 in September. Package tour participants from mainland China increased by 23.7% to 538,000. Taiwan gambling visitors were up a staggering 50.8% to 70,000. Even though Singapore itself has become an important gambling destination, the Asian city state sent 35,000 casino players to Macau, which corresponds to a 33.9 percent increase.
The number of package tour visitors is up 24.5% to 6.57 million year-to-date, making about 31.5% of the total. The number of people visiting the special administrative region for the sole purpose of gambling is falling. In 2011, only 8.2% of Macau visitors came primarily to gamble, compared to 12.7% on 2010. The figures for the first half 2012 are just about 7%.