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Macau rules out wage reductions and layoffs in casinos

The Government of Macau today ruled out the possibility of casinos moving towards wage reductions and redundancies in 2023, after the granting of gaming operating licenses in the tender to be concluded by the end of this year.

In response to a question from Lei Chan U deputies, in parliament, as part of the presentation of the Government Action Lines, the chief executive stated that this scenario has also been safeguarded in negotiations between the Government and the gambling concessionaires.

“They can rest assured about the workers. We will not allow any setback”, underlined Ho Iat Seng, recalling that the new specifications for the public tender already include requirements associated with the reinforcement of non-gaming activities and that the resumption of visas announced by Beijing will have a significant impact on the tourism industry. and the game.

On the other hand, he recalled that the Government has inspection mechanisms and that the authorities believe in the sense of social responsibility of the concessionaires.

“Misinterpretations or conspiracy theories will not be useful to anyone”, he defended, before deputies, in the Legislative Assembly.

On Tuesday, Ho Iat Seng had already said “that the stability of employment for workers in the gaming sector is a basic requirement of the Government for gaming companies” and that “in previous gaming concession contracts there are strict provisions in this sense, which will be definitively included in the new concession contracts”.

The government official also underlined that “the stability of employment for workers in the gaming sector must always be guaranteed”.

Concessionaires in Macau have accumulated unprecedented losses since 2020 and the Government has been forced to resort to the extraordinary reserve to respond to the crisis, not least because around 80% of government revenue comes from taxes on gambling.

Three concessionaires operate in the territory, Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, Galaxy, Wynn, and three subconcessionaires, MGM, Venetian and Melco.

The Malaysian group Genting, which operates a casino in Singapore, and the current six operators are in the running for six casino gaming operating licenses, for a maximum period of ten years, in a public tender launched at the end of July.

The Legislative Assembly of Macau on Thursday approved, in general terms, the proposal for the 2023 Budget Law, with a forecast for gross gaming revenue of 130 billion patacas (15.5 billion euros).

This is the same estimate made for this year, despite having raised just over a quarter of that amount by the end of October.

*With Lusa

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