Macau loses 5,500 gaming sector workers

By Brad Allen
The world's largest gambling market Macau saw its gaming workforce contract in Q2 by 5,500 to 80,000, according to data from the region's Statistics and Census Service.

With the region reporting unemployment levels of just 1.7%, many of these workers may have moved to the construction industry, which added 7,000 workers.

The worker migration away from casinos could reflect Macau's increasing willingness to embrace non-gaming activity.

As much as 90% of the money spent in Macau goes on gaming; a statistic that becomes a problem if gaming revenues falter.

In June of this year, gaming revenue fell by 3.7%, eliciting calls from investors and ratings agencies for economic diversification.

"As a small, open economy with a high degree of concentration risk, Macau is characterised by above-average volatility with respect to growth, inflation and government revenues," said Moody's.

Las Vegas could provide a model to mimic, where 'Sin City' is now better known for its family and corporate-friendly amenities rather than pure gaming.

The strip recently reported 5% growth in gaming revenue for the second quarter, and looks poised to record five straight years of growth.
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