Gaming, Governance and Public Policy in Macao

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The ratio of GDP per capita to the medium income level was 2. However, this ratio increased to 4. The income gap between the top quintile and the bottom quintile income groups had increased from 8. This means that Macau's growth benefited the higher income groups more than the lower income groups. What is important is that the average GDP growth line has an increasingly bigger gap between GDP and resident's income growth. This means that economic growth has not led to income growth at the same rate. This was caused by the burden of family care, retirement and sickness.

Within these disadvantaged households, most of the working members were employees of restaurants and hotels. However, they were not confident to take job training. At the moment, the unemployment rate is low in Macau. However, tracing the history of unemployment would help us to identify the potentially vulnerable groups. Since the economic boom, the people who managed to return to employment most successfully were from the age group of 25— They benefited from the booming gaming industry. This also means that they are also likely to lose their jobs when the gaming industry slows down.

However, this may not be such a big threat when we take into account of migration.

These temporary migrants came to Macau when the economy was doing well and returned home when the economy slowed down. However, as more people work in Macau for a longer period of time, the migrants may not necessarily be keen to return. These can potentially cause social resentment, conflicts and social instability Smart Another issue embedded in the current economic structure is the smaller share of labour income. Supposedly, apart from reinvestment and covering costs, a company's outputs are shared by capital, labour and the government.

The outcomes would be that workers receive pay for their work, the investors receive profits and the government receives tax revenues. This ratio was relatively stable for Luxemburg from — Comparing Macau and the nearby regions, we can get similar results. A social protection is not only helpful to protect the victims financially, it may also help to get the residents psychologically better prepared so that they would not overreact during the recession, which would be crucial for building up confidence in the recovery period.

In this section, we examine the status of the social protection system and discuss how well Macau is prepared for the looming large economic changes. The social protection system of Macau has three parts: social insurance, social assistance and social services, including social welfare and protective measures regarding old age, unemployment, health care, education and housing. This is a broad definition of social protection.

Macau's social security spending was very low in the past. For example, in , Macau Government spent less than 70 million dollars. In , the amount increased to million dollars. Starting from , social security spending by the government increased fast. In , social security spending reached million dollars, Social security spending as a proportion of government spending has also grown pretty fast.

Social security spending in Macau can have different meaning. In its narrow definition, it means social assistance and subsidies provided by the Macau Government using social security funds. It has nine categories: pension, special payment, disability pension, unemployment benefit, sickness allowance, birth allowance, funeral subsidies, marriage allowance and others. Before , there was no state pension in Macau. In , people older than 65 would be able to receive MOP monthly state pension. In , this amount increased to MOP1, In , the pension increased to MOP1, However, there was no further increase until Starting from , pension started to increase again.

Gaming, governance and public policy in Macao

Unemployment benefit becomes less important. This is because the economy was doing better, which helps to generate employment. A further examination of the social security spending using a wider definition that includes spending on social services shows that social service spending on young people and elderly people have declined as a proportion of the overall spending. In general, Macau's economic growth has so far benefited the welfare state in the sense that it generates a good number of employment opportunities, and unemployment is kept low.

The people without income and in poverty are able to receive a lot more cash transfer from the government than 10 years ago. In this sense, the economic growth is socially friendly. The government's social policy also has caught up with the increased resources and redistributed more than in the past. However, when we take into account of the characteristics of its economic growth, some weaknesses embedded in the existing system start to emerge.

Despite of the fast growth in the existing system, the overall level of social spending in Macau is still way below the level of other countries of similar scale. As discussed earlier, workers pay as a proportion of the GDP is much lower than other countries and regions. One might expect that investors have benefited disproportionally more than workers.


However, it is also worth noting that capitals do not gain much more than businesses in other countries. What made Macau stand out was that the Macau Government has much greater taxation power than other governments. Given that the Macau Government has such strong capacity to collect tax, one would expect more money to be spent on public infrastructures and services and improving people's livelihoods.

The reality is that it is not yet the case, despite of its recent commitment to spend more on redistribution. Importing cheaper labour force to keep the wages low started to cause problems Song Workers have to move to nearby regions in China such as Zhuhai River Delta and settle down where they can afford a better living Chang Moving to peripheral regions for cheaper housing should in principle reduce the government's pressure on solving housing difficulties.

This, however, made commuting time a lot longer. To make it sustainable, there needs to be sufficient investment in public transportation. Migrant workers were not covered by the existing social security system. Despite that Macau salary level is higher than the nearby regions in Mainland China, the living costs are also high. Driven by the desire to improve living quality, even local residents started to resettle into Mainland China.

Migrant workers began to leave as well. The consequence is that Macau suffers from continued labour shortage despite of its relatively more tolerant migration policy. When new casinos are planned, the main concern is how to get enough employees to fill in the job vacancies Cai However, these days, importing more migrant workers becomes increasingly unpopular politically. Local residents blame the outsiders for take their jobs and making their living costs more expensive.

The negative perception of migration contradicts the fact that there is a labour shortage.


The increased social tension reflects people's growing frustration over the lagging in public spending to improve people's livelihoods. Some might argue against low local labour pay based on the nature of the economy, that is, the jobs are not highly skilled. In contrast, local graduates though increased overtime, the number remains to be quite small.

The education and occupational training systems are good at churning out casino workers and workers in the hospitality sectors. But there is serious shortage of medical and nursing professionals who would provide necessary social services to its labour force and local residents in general Leong A further look at other social services that are not targeting individual needs, such as community facilities and services, as shown in the official statistics, shows major cut over time.

Given the high inflation, the spending was cut a lot more dramatically than the actual amount of cash would show.

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However, these services are crucial for improving workers livelihoods. This study examines the relationship among economic growth, social needs and social spending. Thus, the cost of entertainment, especially rent and operational cost, increases simultaneously with economic development Interviewee The development of a destination depends on the resources available and demand [ 42 ].

Previous researchers have attempted to match supply and demand by connecting tourist motivation and destination choice [ 43 ], tourist perceptions and tourist satisfaction [ 44 ], and tourism products and the needs of the market segment [ 45 ]. The entertainment industry in Macau lacks communication to the local or international media.

On the one hand, the lack of internationally recognized local entertainment brands, such as Disney, prevents communication or promotion Interviewee On the other hand, the Macau government does not promote some of the attractions in the old town to tourists Interviewee The sub-categories of strategic planning, coordination among VIP junket operators, and mass market service are grouped under the theme of management.

Unlike the business model in other gaming destinations, such as Las Vegas and Singapore, the gaming industry in Macau is concentrated in VIP business.

  • Customer Service;
  • Citation Tools.
  • Venom;

This business is mainly in the hands of junkets and VIP gambling promoters instead of casino operators. VIP junkets usually possess a network of sub-junkets. Sub-junkets are responsible for enticing VIP clients to gamble, and their main source of income is the commission from the junket operators. Junket operators are responsible for giving loans to these clients and collecting debt afterwards. According to Interviewee 8, the credit assessments to high rollers are usually insufficient, which leads to over-lending.

Gaming, Governance and Public Policy in Macao

An incorrect assessment of credit risk and over-lending increase the operating risks of junkets and VIP gambling operators [ 46 ]. The fifth problem of entertainment development in Macau is the insufficient capacity of its public entertainment activities. The sub-themes include land scarcity, traffic congestion, accommodations, and physical environment. Macau is a small city and does not have a large carrying capacity for tourists.

Economy of Macau - Wikiwand

Moreover, there are too many people and vehicles in the main attractions which create congestion Interviewee 4. In addition, three- or four-star hotels are insufficient in Macau resulting in high accommodation expenses for visitors Interviewee 4. Many outdoor projects greatly depend on the weather conditions Interviewee 1. Many interviewees said that government support is necessary to develop entertainment tourism. Similar to other entertainment destinations, the Macau government should support and promote Macau as an entertainment capital Interviewee 6 , encourage new investment in entertainment products, and encourage community innovation.

For example, new street shows should be innovated Interviewee 7. Although Macau has many luxurious and fancy casino hotels, restaurants, spas, and shopping centers, another major constraint to entertainment tourism is the lack of world-class natural attractions and facilities to support Macau in developing into an entertainment destination.