Union says over 1,400 casino staff seek counselling

2023-02-23 03:03
BY Yuki Lei

Four representatives of the Macao Gaming Industry Employees Home union said yesterday that it provided last year counselling services to 1,490 casino employees, of whom 192 required a follow-up, adding that the reasons for seeking help were mostly assistance in finding a job, help in applying for social welfare assistance, family and emotional problems, and gambling issues.

The representatives made the remarks during a press conference about its 2022 annual services report on the labour union’s premises at Mei Lam Garden Building.

In response to the ongoing business adjustment of the gaming industry, according to the representatives, there has been a “significant increase” in the transfer of casino dealers to other casino departments and entertainment venues over the few years. They pointed out that the union has recently received a number of complaints from casino employees about not being able to adjust to the new work environment, their salary being unilaterally reduced and uncertain job prospects.

The representatives also said they believed that many of the requests for help were caused by the lack of information from the casino management and dearth of effective communication channels between staff and their employers.

Meanwhile, the representatives expressed their concern about former junket staff of casino VIP rooms still being unemployed, adding that according to the findings of its survey last year, 85.1 percent of the 309 respondents were unemployed at that time, with 70 percent saying they thought that it would take more than six months for them to find a new job.

With the efforts of former junket staff to find new jobs and the “apparent recovery” of the city’s economy in recent months, the representatives said, most of the survey’s jobless respondents have meanwhile been successfully employed, but there was still a “certain gap” between their recent job benefits and those given by their previous employer, adding that many of the respondents have found jobs in the retail and catering sectors, or work as taxi or delivery drivers, with an average monthly salary of 10,000 patacas to 20,000 patacas.

According to the representatives, most of the respondents are still facing family and financial pressures, with many of them saying they hoped to be reemployed within the gaming industry.

The union urged the gaming sector to give priority to hiring former junket staff of casinos’ VIP rooms. 

Representatives of the Macao Gaming Industry Employees Home labour union address yesterday’s press conference on its premises in Mei Lam Garden Building.
– Photo courtesy of TDM


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