Macau’s casino industry lost over $100 billion in 2014 and the market is still in decline as the Chinese government continues its anti-corruption campaign. The government has issued an official notice to casinos informing them that there will be no let up in the anti-corruption crackdown that has scared Mainland China’s VIP and high-stake gamblers from visiting Macau’s casinos.
Casino authorities have been forced to cut down on costs and restrict their overhead spending in order to deal with the crisis. Recent reports suggest that a number of casinos in Macau are coercing their employees to avail unpaid leave. The Chinese New Year (CNY) is the biggest festival in China that takes place in February each year. Casino employees who applied for leave to enjoy their CNY were contacted and asked to extend their leave and told that it would not be compensated.
The Wynn Macau, one of the largest and most popular casinos in Macau reportedly sent text messages to employees asking them to extend their leave. Wynn Macau has not followed this policy during the last 5 years and a sudden extension of leave being forced upon casino employees has caused concerns over job security.
In a statement, Lionel Leong Vai Tac, the Secretary for Economy and Finance in Macau said “We require gaming operators to provide more vocational training and not force employees to go on unpaid leave. We want them [casino operators] to pay a salary while they [employees] are being trained, as this can boost employees’ upward mobility.
There are over 25,000 casino dealers in Macau and all of the employees are residents of Macau. The government has promised to look into the matter and has instructed casinos to not violate their employment policies.