Leong Sun Iok, a lawmaker representing the Macau Federation of Trade Unions (FAOM), has urged gaming operators to increase workers' salaries, following the latest news of record-breaking gross gaming revenue (GGR) in July, as a way of sharing the profits with those affected by the economic crisis precipitated by the pandemic.
Leong also said that a salary increase from the gaming concessionaires would be an exemplar for other private companies in different sectors to follow, catalyzing a general salary increase across economic sectors in Macau. The lawmaker's request is in line with that of his colleague Lei Chan U, who on Monday at the Legislative Assembly called for a pay raise for civil servants, as reported by the Macau Daily Times.
The lawmakers noted that the profits currently being collected by the gaming and hotel industry are attributable to the efforts and contributions of their workers, many of whom were laid off or furloughed during the pandemic.
In July, Macau casinos' gross gaming revenue (GGR) increased by more than 4,000% from the previous year to MOP16.7 billion ($2.1 billion), according to a report by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ). July's total was also up 9.6% from the GGR posted in June, which stood at MOP15.207 billion ($1.88 billion). Accumulated revenue stands at MOP96.79 billion ($12.05 billion), up 263% year-over-year.
The government has set a target of MOP130 billion ($16.19 billion) in GGR for 2023. However, many analysts believe the territory is capable of generating as much as MOP168 billion ($20.92 billion). Nearly MOP60 billion ($7.47 billion) in gaming taxes will be collected in 2023, according to projections.
According to official statistics at the end of 2022, the average earnings of full-time employees in the gaming sector were MOP23,680 ($2,941), an amount 3.9% lower than that reported at the end of 2019.