Brave new game: Macau ETGs thrive amid table caps, labor squeeze

Electronic table games have gained a strong and growing foothold in Macau’s traditionally baccarat-dominated casinos and may prove key in populating the floors of new multi-billion dollar resorts amid a tight cap on tables and ongoing labour shortages. According to forecasts from Union Gaming Research, the number of ETGs in Macau is likely to rise from 5,500 last June to 9,000 once all the new Cotai properties open. Revenue from electronic gaming machines as a whole, which includes ETGs, has ballooned from just $80 million in 2004 to an estimated $1.8 billion in 2014. Part of these gains have been fueled by Macau’s 2012 decision to cap the overall increase in the number of table games it allows to 3 percent a year. While ETGs are not exempt from the cap, regulatory authorities allow a much more favorable player ratio. While the traditional baccarat table has about nine players to one dealer,...

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