Dennis Andreaci: Reflecting on the last 20 years of Macau gaming

Dennis Andreaci

Managing Director, Andreaci Consulting

The first Sands Macau people were some of the first foreigners to come to Macau. When we arrived, we were all living together at the Westin Coloane Hotel. There were seven of us, and I was the third person to arrive from Sands.

I remember one day, I suggested casually to our HR consultant from the U.S. to organize an event to see if people were interested in working for us, or if they want to learn about our company. This was early 2003.

So, indeed, we decided we would put on a job fair to be held at the Macau Cultural Center, just behind the Sands Macau.

The morning of the job fair, I remember coming across the bridge in our little van, like we do every morning. I remember looking at the Cultural Center and lines of people, and even thinking ‘WOW! There must be something big happening over there!”

When we arrived, we realized, they were there for us. There must have been more than 40,000 people there. We were absolutely shocked. The line went around the corner and all the way down the street. The police were called in for crowd control, it was amazing.

The initial plan was to go over to the cultural center, give a presentation about Sands and then field questions from the public about what it was like working at the company. We only had six people with us, and around 10,000 pieces of information.

But I remember once we walked in the door, and saw those 40,000 people, we knew there was no way we could follow the plan. So instead, we spent the day handing out pamphlets and brochures like street vendors!

We even had some people pushing their way to the front of the line, only to pick up the brochure and sell it to those at the back of the line, as if they were selling jobs. Police had to get involved to identify the perpetrators and throw them out.

Looking back, I’m still not exactly sure why there was such a turnout, I guess we were one of the first American companies in Macau, we were the new company with a license. It was a combination of reasons.

I also remember around the time when Wynn Macau opened up, and of course The Venetian in Cotai. Not many people could even get to Cotai at the time. There were no taxis or buses. Everything in Cotai was new and far away. We had to arrange all the transportation – we bought coaches, vans, buses, we had to create the transportation network.

So much has changed since then. However, what I think about most is the people and the lives we’ve changed.

I think about all those young people that we hired and trained in the early days – and now when I go to Macau, I see they’ve become managers, with great jobs. That’s what makes me happy.

Business is booming in Macau, there’s nothing quite like it in the world. But I’ll always remember the people. That’s what makes a good story.