As Macau continues to see declining revenue earnings from local casinos, venue employees are worried about potential lay-offs. Forefront of Macao Gaming is a labor group of Macau who has reported that members of the group are worried about lay-offs, especially in the table dealer sector. Employees believe if no improvement is seen in the earnings from gaming, lay-offs will be eminent.
Back in January, it was announced by the Macau gaming regulator that the total casino gaming revenues in 2015 had dropped by just over 34% based on year-on-year numbers, falling to MOP230.84 billion. This was a 2.6% decline from 2014.
Speaking to GGRAsia, the Vice President of Forefront, Lei Kuok Keong, stated that the group has felt the operators of casinos have avoided making big changes especially when related to issues of labor, as the government was conducting a mid-term review of the gaming industry. Now that the review has been completed, the group is not sure if the caution taken by gaming operators will continue when the unfavorable gaming earnings are faced and higher pressure is applied to cut down the operation costs.
The findings of the gaming review have not been made public by the government but it is believed that the report will be viewed by the central government before year-end. Last year, six gaming operators of Macau saw a decrease in demand for training new dealers and it does not look like this area will recover in 2016.
Only individuals who have local IDs are able to be dealers and beginners to the position must complete a training course recognized by the government before being able to take a post in operations within one of the gaming facilities. According to labor groups, there is now an oversupply of dealers who are already qualified for the positions as operators are considering freezing or slowing recruitment. Experienced dealers are not being offered non-gaming roles and being reassigned to such positions.
The labor organization believes that dealers now have an uncertain career path now, than when the gaming boom was taking place. This has discouraged local individuals from applying for the training courses that continue to be available.