During a meeting on Friday afternoon in Macau between the Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tak, legislator José Coutinho, and Stephen Lan, issues were discussed revolving around the retirement system, the increasing number of non-resident workers, and suggestions for the Gaming Mid-term Review. The meeting was initiated by Lan, the President of Power of the Macau Gaming Association.

José Coutinho told reporters, “We cannot have too many non-resident workers taking locals’ jobs,” according to Macau Business Daily. He said, “Although the gaming industry has showed a decrease in revenue, it is still generating a profit. So far, by now, only one gaming operator has increased its employees’ salary, whilst the other five operators have not increased their workers’ salary yet, which is unfair.” Coutinho added, “Over 15 years, the employees have sacrificed a lot in terms of the work scheduling shifts. According to one European report, it proves that 24-work shifts do the most damage to employees’ wellbeing. Without any compensation, it is very unfair from the very beginning.”

An optimistic view is held by Lan for the gaming sector in Macau. He urged operators to increase job promotion opportunities, as well as the amount of training workers are provided. After the meeting, Lan told reporters, “The Gaming Interim Review should closely observe the details of operations of the six gaming companies in terms of local worker promotion opportunities and internal transfer work opportunity within the companies.”

The retirement system was also discussed during the meeting. Lan added, “While the Gaming Interim Review is in working progress and gaming revenue shifts, workers should not only rely upon the Social Security Fund. Casino companies offer Provident Funds to their employees but it will not be guaranteed once the workers are sacked.”

Lan also revealed that Leong said the Gaming Mid-term Review would be adjusted accordingly. The review will mainly be looking into whether the six operators in Macau are in compliance with their contract. If deemed necessary, relevant suggestions will be added to the review.

In related news, labor group, Macau Gaming, reported that members of the labor group are concerned about possible layoffs, especially in the table dealer sector. If no improvement gambling earnings are seen, employees believe layoffs are eminent. It is the belief of the labor organization that dealer’s career path is uncertain, unlike during the country’s gaming boom. Gaming operators are trying to determine how to attract gamblers to the struggling gaming industry. A Macau gaming firm believes that while price wars between gaming operators may not be on the horizon, hotel prices may begin to rise. Numbers released by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau indicate the gross gaming revenue in Macau dropped 21.4% in January.

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