85.1% of former junket operator staff in Macau remain unemployed

Most junket-run VIP rooms had closed their doors by the end of last year.
Most junket-run VIP rooms had closed their doors by the end of last year.

A local survey has found that the vast majority of former junket agent employees are still looking for work.

Macau.- The Integrated Service Centre of the Macau Gaming Industry Employees Home has published the results of a survey revealing that 85.1 per cent of former junket operator employees remain unemployed after the majority of VIP rooms closed their doors.

Meanwhile, 8.1 per cent found jobs at non-gaming companies, 3.8 per cent were working with gaming operators or other junket companies and 1.9 per cent had started their own companies. The rest are either seeking to pursue further education or not looking for a job.

According to the poll, the top three reasons why former junket employees failed to find new jobs were a lack of job openings due to poor economic conditions, a lack of diversity in their work experience and a lack of professional skills.

Of those who found new jobs, 64.9 per cent now earn MOP12,000 (US$1,500) a month or less, and only 5.4 per cent earn MOP20,001 or more. In contrast, just over half of the 309 respondents reported having had a monthly income of MOP20,001 or more while working in the junket business.

The survey polled 309 former junket staff in March. Nearly half said they had worked at Suncity Group, while 18.1 per cent had been employed by Tak Chun Group and 12.3 per cent by Guangdong Group.

In December, Suncity Group Holdings decided to close all of its VIP rooms in Macau following the arrest of Alvin Chau Cheok Wa on cross-border gambling and money laundering accusations. Tak Chun, the second-largest junket operator in Macau, closed its operations after its CEO Levo Chan Weng Lin was arrested.

Macau legislators think VIP gaming promoter bill is too strict

Committee chairman Chan Chak Mo has revealed that some legislators have concerns about the government’s proposal to increase the minimum registered capital of junket operators from MOP100,000 to MOP10m.

According to a report from TDM, legislators also want an explanation of proposals for the size of Macau’s junket industry to be considered before issuing or renewing licences – a measure that could create problems for junkets already licensed or in the process of applying for a licence.

Macau’s Legislative Assembly approved the first reading of the new bill on junket businesses and satellite casinos last week. In the first reading, 30 MPs voted in favour and one against. However, some of the legislators who spoke at the debate questioned the viability of satellite casinos continuing to operate under the proposed framework. They raised concerns that local employment could be affected as a result.

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