Casino employees in Macau “have been subject to different degrees of exploitation,” said on Thursday a leading Hong Kong academic, adding that the psychological pressure on these employees should not be underestimated.
Professor Sonny Lo Shiu Hing (pictured), from the Hong Kong Institute of Education, said casino floor workers are becoming more vocal and active in protecting their rights, including lobbying operators for more benefits. He said the pay and promotion policies of the industry should be more transparent.
Mr Lo was speaking at the International Conference on Gaming, Leisure and Entertainment 2014 held at Macao Polytechnic Institute.
“The activism of dealers in articulating their interests is a healthy sign,” Mr Lo said.
“Because of the rapid expansion of the casino industry and of the number of tables, the workload, psychological pressure and physical demand have increased rapidly,” he added.
The scholar said the long working hours, the poor ventilation of casinos and the unpredictable demands of patrons have been named to explain the growing pressure faced by casino employees.
Some of the dealers are also demanding operators to use fewer “long gambling tables”, said Mr Lo.
“From my preliminary research, a few casino dealers expressed the view that there are too many long tables” and not enough manpower to staff them, the scholar said. “If there are too many of these tables, there will be added pressure for both the dealers and supervisors,” he added.
Nine players are normally seated at a baccarat table, the city’s most popular casino game. Casinos in Macau have tried to find ways to increase the number of baccarat players they can accommodate per table due to the current cap on gaming table numbers.
The Macau government has imposed a cap that seeks to limit the growth of live dealer tables to 3-percent compound annual growth until end-2022.
Some casino operators in Macau use normal baccarat tables with two boards, also known as Siamese tables, which can seat up to double the number of players accommodated at a typical baccarat table.
Sands China Ltd in 2012 introduced the Fast Action Baccarat table with 28 betting positions, allowing up to 60 standing gamblers. Each Fast Action Baccarat table counts as one live gaming table under the government’s cap and requires a minimum of three dealers.
The rapid expansion of the industry is adding pressure on casino floor workers, said Mr Lo. Demonstrations from gaming industry workers have obliged operators to become more transparent regarding their practices, “as employers now interact more with employees”.
“We’ve already seen that casino operators react to workers’ demands quickly,” the scholar said, adding that it doesn’t mean that all requests are reasonable.
A way to tone down these protests would be for operators to implement more transparent pay and promotion policies, he said. Mr Lo argued that a general basic standard policy for the whole industry – not meaning the same pay scale – could benefit operators and make the rules clear for employees.
Aug 20, 2018A key to entrepreneur Kazuo Okada reasserting control over...
Aug 17, 2018Entrepreneur Kazuo Okada (pictured) has told GGRAsia that...
Jul 06, 2018The operator of the Widus Hotel and Casino at Clark...
Jun 11, 2018Cambodia has some attributes that make it potentially...
Jun 06, 2018Global gaming supplier International Game Technology Plc...
Sep 21, 2018Police in the city of Cixi, in the mainland Chinese province of Zhejiang, have recently broken up a gambling ring that took bets through a website set up overseas, Chinese-language media from the...
Sep 21, 2018
Sep 21, 2018
”Assuming that our [Tigre de Cristal] phase two project and the other future operators’ development plans remain on track, we may see the benefits of a ‘cluster’ effect [in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone] as early as 2021”
Summit Ascent, lead developer of Tigre de Cristal