Macau’s six casino operators have so far been able to support their employees “as promised”, said the city’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, in comments to the local media on Wednesday. Mr Lei did not specify in his remarks whether the support meant specifically the avoidance of lay-offs.
Macau’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, mentioned at the onset of the Covid-19 crisis in February, that the government was calling for the casino operators to avoid job lay-offs if possible, but did not specifically mention the third-party run junket sector. At the time Mr Ho urged the casino operators to “fulfill their social responsibilities”.
Mr Lei declined on Wednesday to give a view – when asked – on the voluntary resignation scheme announced by Macau junket firm Tak Chun Group, and whether he foresaw a rise in staff cuts by the city’s other junket firms in the near future.
“I won’t comment on an individual company’s decision,” said Mr Lei, in response to questions on Tak Chun Group’s scheme offering “ex gratia payments” to workers if they chose voluntarily to resign. The junket firm said in a Tuesday updated announcement that the scheme had already ceased.
Mr Lei then briefly added: “The six leisure companies [casino operators] have, until today, been doing what they promised in terms of supporting their employees… Macau will still need, in the future, manpower for this [sector].”
Mr Lei urged the gaming operators and their staff members to be “mutually supportive”, and to work towards the recovery for the city’s tourism trade.
The official has also mentioned on Wednesday that the Macau government would continue to strengthen tourism campaign efforts for attracting a greater number of mainland Chinese visitors, and encouraging them to stay in the city for more nights.
Mr Lei also highlighted the benefits of working with China’s online commerce platforms in promoting tourism products to mainland Chinese tourists, saying such steps had already succeeded in capturing the attention of such consumers, and spurring demand for hotel stays in Macau.
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"In light of the ongoing Covid-19 disruption and continued travel restrictions across Asia Pacific, G2E Asia has shifted its focus to 2022 to ensure we meet the show’s high expectations, which we share with our valued exhibitors and attendees”
Project director at Reed Exhibitions, one of the organisers of the G2E Asia trade event