Perception of quality of life among a sample of Macau’s casino dealers and staff employed in casino cage operations is that they have a worse time than people in other casino jobs. That is according to a study conducted by an affiliate of the Macau Federation of Trade Unions – the traditionalist local labour group – and by City University of Macau.
The study, which was sponsored by the Macau government, was said to be aimed at understanding local casino workers’ perception of their quality of life, and their need for supportive social services. Survey researchers were said to have gathered a total of 1,397 “effective samples” in terms of responses from casino workers. A total of 83.6 percent of the effective samples came from shift workers. The survey was conducted over a period running from September to November.
The latest edition of another survey - the Macau Gaming Service Index, including a subjective analysis of Macau casino staff attitudes based on findings by “mystery-shopper” style researchers – suggested the city’s table dealers weren’t smiling at the customers as much this year as the year before.
In the labour group-sponsored quality of life survey, as many as 29.5 percent of the 1,397 respondents were table games dealers. Two other segments making significant contributions to the survey were casino “service and sales personnel”, and “hard and soft count clerks”, representing 17.1 percent and 16.6 percent respectively of the overall respondents. The rest of the respondents included workers employed as pit managers, people in clerical positions, and some in management positions.
The gauging of “quality of life” amongst the respondents was measured against the World Health Organization’s standards, said Pak Kin Pong, director of Macao Gaming Industry Employees Home, an affiliate of the Federation of Trade Unions. The indicators related to individuals’ responses regarding their physical health, level of independence and their own perceptions of their well-being, Mr Pak told GGRAsia.
In terms of overall self-assessment of quality of life, out of a scale of 100 points, the surveyed dealers amassed on average 60.5 points and the hard and soft count clerks rated their average quality of life 59.6 points – both the lowest amongst the respondent casino employees. The surveyed workers that rated the highest points in this category were service and sales personnel, who put their average quality of life a rating at nearly 67 points.
Commenting on the findings on the workers’ perception of their quality of life, Mr Pak said that it could serve as a reference for casino employers when reviewing their work environment and shift arrangment for the workers, particularly dealers and the cage staff.
Reliance on social services
In the qualitative part of the study – derived from interviews with 11 respondents – the researchers concluded that the interviewees’ major pressure in life were “low professional commitment”, “balancing family and work life” and “pressure at work place”. The positions of the interviewees that have taken part in the study were, however, not clear in the study result provided to press.
The survey researchers also found out that a total of 60.64 percent of the nearly 1,400 respondents said either they or their family members had received at least one type of social service assistance in the past year. The social services involved were defined as community services such as caretaking of elderly people or of children, rehabilitation services for disabilities, recreation activities, or career planning services.
Casino workers working shifts generally show a higher use of social services compared to the non-shift workers, the survey researchers found.
Staff at all the gaming concessionaires – except SJM Holdings Ltd – were represented in the study, Mr Pak told GGRAsia. City University of Macau, the party responsible for sourcing the respondents, also had access to workers employed by the Golden Dragon Group for the study, he said. Golden Dragon Group, controlled by local businessman and former legislator Chan Meng Kam, runs several casino hotel properties under service agreements.
Staff employed by Golden Dragon Group occupied the highest proportion – or 23.9 percent – of the overall respondents, followed by those employed by Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd (18.2 percent), Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd (15.4 percent), MGM China Holdings Ltd (14.3 percent), Wynn Macau Ltd (14.3 percent) and Sands China Ltd (13.9 percent).
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