Macau promises to guarantee labour rights in new gaming concessions

Macau’s tender process has received seven applicants.
Macau’s tender process has received seven applicants.

Adriano Marques Ho, head of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, said the government will be committed to Macau residents’ employment rights in the new casino concessionaires.

Macau.- Adriano Marques Ho, director of Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), has said that the government is committed to guaranteeing labour rights at Macau’s casinos. His comments were in response to a question from legislator Leong Sun Iok, who asked what measures the government planned to take to protect the employment interests of local people in the casino sector. 

In the name of the Macau Federation of Trade Unions, the legislator cited concerns from industry workers that there could be layoffs in the industry once the government granted new gambling rights.

Ho said: “Following the grant of the new concessions, we will closely monitor the gaming concessionaires’ implementation of what they have promised in their bids, which will include the exercising of their social responsibilities for ensuring the gaming industry can be sustained healthily; that local residents’ employment interests are protected and that they are supporting the diversification of the economy.”

The DICJ director didn’t specify what actions the administration might take in the event of layoffs, but he said every casino operator must give priority to providing employment opportunities for Macau ID holders. He also cited the corporate social responsibility provisions of Macau’s new gambling law, which requires that gambling franchisees guarantee the employment of locals.

Fears of layoffs have intensified in recent days, after reports of a slower-than-expected economic recovery in the gaming sector. According to Fitch Ratings Inc, continued Covid-19 cases in China and regulatory uncertainty mean that gross gaming revenue will reach only 70 per cent of 2019 levels in two years’ time.

Macau’s GGR for the first nine months of 2022 combined stands at MOP31.82bn, down 53.1 per cent year-on-year. In September, gaming revenue was MOP2.96bn (US$366.3m).

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