Inside Asian Gaming is now officially in the managerial training business – something Macau desperately needs.
By Andrew W Scott
April 20 saw the first ever program in the “Strategic Leadership Series”, organized by Inside Asian Gaming. It was extremely well attended with 57 people at the course, well above expectations for our first such event.
Entitled “Managing Yourself,” the program was the first of three standalone one-day events in the series, all led by Dr Brian To. The second event, to be held on Wednesday June 29 at Banyan Tree Macau, will be “Managing Others” and the last event in the series will be “Managing Organizations.” Participants need not have attended prior events in the series to attend later ones.
The entire proceeds of the event were donated to a beneficiary charity, the Simply Share Foundation (simplyshare.org), a non-profit organization devoted to fighting hunger and undernutrition, especially in children, in the most vulnerable populations of the Philippines.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our good friends at Banyan Tree Macau, who were kind enough to be venue sponsors providing not only a perfect MICE space for the course, but delicious refreshments throughout the day. Thanks also go to our Diamond Sponsors, Dragon 7 (ezbaccarat.com), and our gold sponsors, the World Green Organization (thewgo.org). And many thanks to our lucky door prize sponsor, PREM1ER Bar & Lounge in Macau, who provided a beautiful bottle of Legend of Kremlin Super Premium Russian Vodka – the official vodka to the Russian Parliament!
Reaction to the event was overwhelmingly positive. “Absolutely superb and a lot of fun”, “When is the next one?” and “It was too short – I want more!” were just some of the comments made by participants after the enjoyable and engaging event. The day’s training was held in an informal conversational style with plenty of opportunity for Q&A with the program leader.
The course was positioned at an incredibly low introductory price point of just MOP$888 per participant – less than 10% of the price of some comparable courses around the world.
Some IAG readers might be aware that I ran a casino training school in Australia with a variety of course leaders. The two constants will be that courses will always relate in some way to the Asian gaming, entertainment, tourism and hospitality industries and that we will endeavor to always have program leaders of the highest caliber.
We’ve long written in IAG and our sister publication WGM about the shortage of for over a decade in the 1990s and early 2000s. The time spent operating this school were some of my happiest days; there are few things more rewarding in life than teaching people new skills and abilities. So it is with great to be back in the training game through IAG. It is our intention to run many more such courses in the future, on a wide range of subjects senior executive skills in Macau. And we’re not the only ones – just google “Macau skills shortage” and you’ll see a litany of articles, commentary and analysis bemoaning the situation.
The biggest culprit is the totally unprecedented growth of Macau since the liberalization of the gaming industry. Genuine poverty in Macau is still well within living memory, but that all changed with the introduction of competition heralded by the opening of Sands Macao in 2004 and the boom that followed – with GGR increasing an average of 20% year on year for a decade.
That growth, and the effect it had on the labor market, is a story that has been told again and again in the pages of this magazine. Unemployment in Macau remains consistently around 2% and the median wage has more than tripled over the last 15 years. The boom, coupled with the Macau government’s policies of actively promoting locals, has led to many locals being super fast-tracked through the managerial ranks. Some would say this has resulted in the Peter Principle, where managers rise to their lowest level of incompetence rather than their highest level of competence, being alive and well in Macau.
Macau parents are even known to encourage youngsters to skip University in favor of the quick cash available in the gaming industry. IAG, through our training courses, is doing its part to improve the attitude, work ethic and managerial skills of Macau locals.