Macau: Foreign workers decreased 11% since the start of the pandemic

Macau was heavily impacted by the lack of tourists at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Macau was heavily impacted by the lack of tourists at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Macau’s Labour Affairs Bureau has reported that the number of foreign workers in Macau has decreased by 11 per cent since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Macau.- Authorities revealed the number of foreign workers in Macau has decreased 11 per cent since the start of the pandemic.

According to Macau’s Labour Affairs Bureau, Macau saw 852 fewer non-resident workers during the second quarter of the year when compared to the previous period. Wholesale and retail trade were the most affected industries, followed by hotel restaurant and gaming sectors.

Macau casinos workers have recently expressed their concerns about unpaid-leave arrangements.

Cloee Chao Sao Fong, a casino labour activist who was going to be a candidate for the upcoming Legislative Assembly election on September 12, said at least two of Macau’s six gaming operators had pushed for unpaid leave in July. 

Sao Fong said: “Unpaid leave arrangement is inevitable for gaming workers. We just hope… that Macau could recover soon and the unpaid leave arrangement would not last too long, as it really burdens the financial situation of the workers.” 

After the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the unpaid leave system was applied by the casino operators then put on hold when there was more player traffic returning to the gaming floors.

Macau reaches 39 per cent of gaming tax revenue goal

Taxes on the gaming industry generated MOP19.64bn (US$2.46bn) in revenue for Macau during the first six months of the year, 39.3 per cent of the figure the government had estimated for the full year.

In June, gaming tax revenue was up 23.4 per cent when compared to May, from MOP3.25bn (US$406.5m) to MOP4bn and up 431 per cent year-on-year.

According to its budget plan, Macau’s government hopes to collect MOP50.01bn in taxes for the year 2021

In July, Macau’s GGR grew 29 per cent after a weak June. At MOP8.44bn (US$1.05bn), the figure was also up 528 per cent when compared to July 2020. Aggregate casino GGR for the first seven months of the year totals MOP57.4bn, up 64 per cent year-on-year.

GGR during the first week of August declined by 48 per cent after a community outbreak of Covid-19. At MOP125m (US$15.6m), the figure is the lowest registered since last September.

Sanford Bernstein said: “The week’s sharp GGR deterioration was caused by the travel disruptions after Macau detected four local Covid-19 cases on August 3.”

Analysts expected Macau’s GGR for August to be down 60 per cent when compared to August 2019 and down 30 per cent when compared to July 2021.

In this article:
Covid-19 Macau casinos