The Philippines has encouraged gambling enterprises to set up multi-million dollar casinos in the country as the casino industry was expected to generated significant gaming revenue for the government and also create vast employment opportunities for its citizens.
Some of the biggest gambling companies in the world have opened in the Philippines as they were looking to capitalize on Macau’s VIP gambling segment who had stopped visiting Macau due to the anti-corruption crackdown.
Things have not really worked out according to plan for some of the casinos in the Philippines. Based on revenue data collected during the first half of 2015 most casinos have fallen well below their revenue targets. Melco Crown Resorts, who recently opened City of Dreams Manila, has incurred a significant decline in profits. Melco Crown Resorts is looking to reduce its overhead considerably and as result has decided to suspend close to one hundred employees.
The company had earlier filed a financial report with the Philippine’s Stock Exchange and reported a huge loss of around PHP1.8 billion during the months of April to June 2015. The company has been unable to attract enough customers so far, and as a result has fallen well behind its revenue predictions.
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has not been very happy over the fact that close to one hundred employees will be out of work. Santiago has called on the Senate to launch an investigation into Melco Crown Resorts to ensure that employees in the Philippines are not being treated unfairly. The senator has filed a Senate Resolution 1520 stating that the loss incurred by the City of Dreams casino was mainly due to the depreciation and amortization, license fees and gaming taxes, employee benefits and other overhead costs.
Melco Crown Resorts has assured the employees that they will be re-hired once the casino recovers and starts making more money. However the senator is concerned that if this practice is allowed without being addressed by the government, then a number of other casinos were likely to follow suit and create a high level of unemployment in the Philippines.
The senator wanted Congress to collaborate with the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment to strengthen its existing legislation to ensure that employees were not exploited with these “unwarranted suspensions”.