The Macau Metro Monitor, November 28, 2011
ALL OPERATORS TO GET COTAI PLOTS: TAM Macau Daily Times
Secretary Tam has confirmed that the government is planning to grant a plot for casino development in the Cotai area to all of the six gaming operators. Tam also stressed the (average) 3% table growth cap from 2013-2023. “There are reasons for this figure. We don’t want this sector to grow too much, too fast,” he said. The official recalled that concession contracts were signed for a period of 20 years. “We are halfway there now so it’s the right timing to stop and look back,” he said.
Further restrictions would also pose a danger to the local economy, Tam warned. “If we were to stop the gaming sector from developing, we would have a risky economic environment. There would be consequences for the Macau society,” he said. "We want gaming to be just one element of a world-class tourism and leisure destination. But in the short-term, gaming will have to continue dominating the economy.”
UNEMPLOYMENT TO DROP: FRANCIS TAM Macau Daily Times
“We can expect a slight decrease in the unemployment levels [for 2012],” Secretary Tam said. With two-digit economic growth expected to continue next year, the working-age population could rise by 10% in 2012, Francis Tam said. Local hotels and restaurants had more than 7,400 vacancies at the end of September, despite hiring over 4,000 people in just half-a-year, official data shows.
EMPLOYMENT SURVEY FOR AUGUST - OCTOBER 2011 DSEC
The unemployment rate fell to a record low of 2.4% in August-October 2011, down by 0.2 % point compared with the previous period (July-September 2011). Total labor force was 346,600 in August-October 2011 and the labor force participation rate reached a historical high of 73.0%, with total employment increasing by 2,900 over the previous period to 338,200.
MACAU DIVERSIFICATION Reuters
MGM China's CEO, Grant Bowie, said Hengqin was a big plus for Macau and would be key to enhance engagement between mainland China and Macau. "Its greater land area allows other tourism, leisure and recreational assets to be introduced to support the diversification of Macau, which would not be possible in Macau," he said. Robert Drake, CEO of Galaxy Entertainment, said Galaxy was interested in investing in Hengqin and will explore options there. In a push to lure investment to Hengqin, China is granting tax benefits to companies that operate in targeted industries and will grant duty-free status for imported goods.
"We are encouraging all foreign companies to come, like Walmart for example, but just no casinos," said Zhao Zhen Wu, a Chinese government director working on the development of Hengqin.