Seven out of 10 corporate risk managers and company executives polled in a survey by Marsh LLC – a United States-based specialist in insurance broking and risk management – identified employee attraction and retention as the top risk issues for their Macau operations.
Marsh said the survey was conducted at a recent risk management forum hosted in Macau.
A major pinch point for casino operators in the city is hiring sufficient casino dealers. The overall unemployment rate in Macau stood at 1.7 percent in the first quarter according to government data, and only Macau permanent residents can be table games dealers.
About 22.7 percent of the employed population worked in gaming in the three months to March 31, according to data from the territory’s Statistics and Census Service. Adding the hospitality industry, about 30 percent of Macau’s employed population worked in the gaming and hospitality industries as of March 31.
Morgan Stanley, a bank, said in a January report from its Hong Kong office that some of the new Cotai casinos – six large ones are due to open between mid-2015 and 2018 – could launch with as few as 100 tables were there to be no change in the government’s current labour policies. Morgan Stanley Research Asia-Pacific estimates that the new casino-resorts will need 12,600 extra dealers.
Lei Yu, director of Marsh Macau, said in a commentary on its own survey: “The issue of employee-related risks is amplified in a territory like Macau, which is an economy based on hospitality and gaming. Companies must offer competitive benefit programmes to attract and retain talent, while also invest into workplace safety and health programs to reduce absenteeism and increase productivity.”
Steve Wynn, chairman of Wynn Macau Ltd, said in late March via a company statement that his firm would grant shares in his Hong Kong-listed venture to his 7,500 “non-senior” local staff – albeit on a deferred basis. The implication was that this would be a way to ensure the company can retain staff.
Other risks in Macau identified in the Marsh survey were: customer default or non-payment (29 percent), professional liability (29 percent), cyber attacks (25 percent), natural catastrophes (25 percent), environmental or pollution liability (21 percent), and political risk (21 percent).
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Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China