The anti-corruption crackdown in Macau has caused a significant decline in casino revenue and as a result casinos have been forced to look at ways to bring down their overhead costs. A number of casinos have cut down on their hiring and also terminated a number of casino workers during the past 12 months.

Casinos have also been very frugal in promoting and providing salary increases to existing employees as the decline casino market in revenue has made it extremely difficult for casinos to stretch their budget. The Forefront of Macau Gaming (FMG) which is Macau’s casino union has been fighting hard to get casinos to pay casino workers better and not withhold any of their benefits.

The FMG recent submitted a petition to the Melco Crown stating that over 1,000 high-duty table dealers have not been paid fairly and the petition urged Melco Crown to reward them for their hard work by promoting them and paying them what they rightly deserve. FMG raised the petition after hundreds of high-duty table dealers approached them with complaints that they were being unfairly treated by Melco Crown Entertainment and wanted the FMG to intervene on their behalf. FMG has submitted the petition to the human resource department of the Melco Crown.

A high-duty dealer in Macau casinos is equivalent in designation to an intern supervisor and performs the same role just like a full time supervisor. However they are paid the same salary as ordinary dealers and feel that they have been unfairly treated. Normal table dealers in Macau get around MOP90 and the same package is also paid to high-duty dealers with no other benefits.

Cloee Chao, the director of new gaming association Union of New Macau Gaming Workers Rights has been helping Melco Crown’s high-duty dealers to fight for their rights. Over 300 Melco Crown casino workers signed the petition and Melco Crown management will have to review the same and address the issue soon.

In a statement, Chao said “After the HD dealers turned to us, some 150 dealers of the company have also come to us for help. Currently, the company’s contribution to the workers’ provident fund is based on their basic salary. They hope that the company can make contributions based on their whole [income]” Chao said that she remained positive that Melco Crown management will open talks with FMG to address these issues, failing which the matter will be escalated to the Labour Affairs Bureau.